Mighty Mighty Metro!

One of the greatest sights and sounds on the hills from the last 20 years made a competition return at the Gurston test last weekend.

Andrew Fraser Metro TPR4100

The TPR4100 at Ashes Bend at Gurston in 2009 (thanks to www.zipp.co.uk)

 

The Tipadel Metro TPR4100 has been absent from active service for a couple of years as owners Tim Painter and Andrew Fraser have rebuilt this exciting Group B car.

The TPR4100 was a development of the awesome MG Metro 6R4 Group B car and featured the same running gear as the 6R4, but had a longer wheelbase and featured a ‘Rover Metro’ style bodywork rather than the more angular ‘MG Metro’ styling. Incidentally TPR in the cars title stands for Tony Pond Racing as it was developed by the former works Rover driver after he retired from full-time rallying.

Painter & Fraser first ran the car in standard road spec in 1993, before fully updating the car to works ‘International’ spec with a 420bhp engine for the 1994 season. It was at this point that the car acquired its hugely popular ‘jigsaw puzzle’ livery.

In 1996 the car was further updated with aero and suspension mods by Gould Engineering and became one of the fastest 4×4 cars on the hills at the time.

When the Tipadel team acquired their Gould GR37 (now run by Terry Graves) in 1997 the Metro went on the back-burner a bit and has only been seen occasionally since, largely due to the fact that spares for the car (especially the diffs which were always a weak-link in period) are becoming very scarce.

Now however, the little pocket rocket is back! It won’t be used often, but will be brought out occasionally to entertain the crowds (and it’s drivers) all over again.

We also hear that there maybe another exciting car taking shape in the ‘Jovial Gents’ Somerset workshop at the moment…. More on that project soon!

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