by Steve Favill
I only owned a “current” (rather than what might be termed a classic) vehicle once while I was in the UK, this being a 1982 MG Metro. I’ll admit to having rushed into ownership, but the car was available locally at a BL dealer and was in immaculate condition with low mileage. I had also always wanted an MG, but one of the products of Abingdon was out of my reach, for reasons both practical and financial.
Eighteen months old when I bought it, the car was finished in an attractive shade of silver. I liked the styling that the car had been treated to in order to differentiate it from the common or garden Austins, and although it wasn’t the Turbo model, I felt that it had sufficient performance to serve as a commuter car and family runabout.
It had MG badging, vinyl graphics and a tailgate spoiler, with “pepperpot” style alloys. A common problem with these is that they would not want to come off if you needed to change a wheel due to galvanic reaction, of which I knew nothing until I needed to change a wheel.
Other than this, the car never missed a beat. I remember driving this car with my wife, two little girls, a rather large Labrador, plus a week’s worth of “stuff” to the Welsh coast for a holiday in a friend’s caravan.
The car coped admirably, thanks to the versatility of the unusual (for its time) feature of a one-third/two thirds folding rear seat. No car sickness from either child or the dog, and only a few calls of “Are we there yet?”
The interior, with red carpets, cloth seating with red highlights and nicer levels of trim was a pleasant place to be, and it was only the arrival of a third child that necessitated a switch to a larger vehicle.
I liked the car, rather a lot in fact, and I would contend that it was as much a “proper” MG as any of its saloon-based predecessors. It served to introduce me to the MG Owner’s Club (which had a chapter for the “modern” MGs), and although I didn’t have it for long, I can say that I would have another one, without question.
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