The Metro 6r4 is a tV star
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.