The Metro 6r4 is a tV star

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - 7 Brilliant Stories -

Austin-Rover’s bid to take on the Audi Qu­at­tro and Peu­geot 205 T16 at top level mo­tor­sport had a few ex­tra test­ing miles un­der its belt – by be­com­ing one of the stars of a Yorkshire Tele­vi­sion drama.

The six-part se­ries The Win­ning Streak fol­lowed the for­tunes of fic­tional mo­tor traders Paul and Bernard Sav­age, who de­cide to try their hand at ral­ly­ing. The brothers’ weapon of choice was MG’s new Group B con­tender, which hand­ily Austin-Rover was still hard at work de­vel­op­ing.

One of the three 6R4 pro­to­types, A656 NJO, dou­bled up as the Sav­age fam­ily’s ticket into the world of ral­ly­ing, with Yorkshire Tele­vi­sion mix­ing spe­cially cre­ated footage of the car on a test track with stock footage of it com­pet­ing in Bri­tish Na­tional ral­lies in the hands of Colin Malkin for the se­ries.

The car’s ap­pear­ances in the show tied in neatly with Austin-Rover’s strat­egy of de­vel­op­ing the 6R4 – in a break from Group B con­ven­tion – by test­ing the pro­to­type ver­sions on ac­tual events be­fore the works and pri­va­teer ver­sions were launched. Un­like the later cars cam­paigned by Austin-Rover’s works team the 6R4 used in the se­ries had a smaller Rover­based 2.5-litre V6 and a nar­rower track.

In its launch ma­te­rial for the 6R4 MG says: ‘It’s never fully pos­si­ble to fully sim­u­late the rigours of com­pe­ti­tion un­der prov­ing ground con­di­tions, hence gen­uine ral­ly­ing was seen as an es­sen­tial part of the pro­gramme. The par­tic­i­pa­tion in The Win­ning Streak gained us some use­ful ex­tra test­ing mileage dur­ing the pro­to­type year.’

The pro­to­type 6R4 is now one of the clas­sic MGs on show of the Bri­tish Mo­tor Mu­seum.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDOJUYlaYz0

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