Tuesday, February 16, 2010

1981 Austin Metro (Mini Metro) Pickup Truck - The Last Survivor? The One and Only?

This is really interesting. This is an Austin Metro pickup truck.

The seller writes: "During the 80's Austin made 50 prototype Metro Pick ups that used the majority of the same components as the Metro Sedan and the same drivetrain as the classic Mini. After the 50 prototypes were produced the factory decided against putting the pick up in to full production. However, some of the 50 prototypes remained on the road. This is believed to be the last one in the world and definitely the only one in the US!"

I've been trying all afternoon to verify his claim of it being the last one in the world, but there is very little written about this vehicle in general, let alone how many are left. I'm pretty certain his claim of it being the only one in the US is true.

This car is in rough shape, but certainly restorable. The vehicle has some rust, the most serious (and common on Minis and Metros) is where the rear subframe attaches to the body. It also has some rust in the bed and the doors. It has not been run in at least 3 years and the seller has lost the keys. There's seems to be a question as to whether there is a 1275cc engine or 998cc engine in it. The car was originally white, but repainted orange. (The door jambs are still white.) If I were to buy it, I'd paint it white again (and throw on a set of Minilites). Accoring to the seller, the interior is "dirty", but "not bad for an original interior from a 30 year old car."

This is not a weekend restoration project, but this is a car that must be restored. It's such a cool / odd piece of automotive history. I hope the new owner is an east coast person and brings it to some of the local British car shows. I'd love to see this pickup in person.

Located in Long Beach, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.

The picture below is from Austin Rover Online. The caption reads, "Another fascinating could-have-been, this Metro pickup remained a one-off..." One off? Could this be it?

No comments: