£1m MG Metro… yours for just £2100

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

‘One of the bid­ders wanted some­thing in­ter­est­ing – he picked well!’

A unique Trans­port Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory (TRL) de­vel­op­ment MG Metro that was in­sured for £1 mil­lion in 1985, has sold for £2100.

The so-called ‘Mil­lion Pound Metro’ – then known as ‘pedes­trian safety car 1’ (PSC1) was used across Europe as a demon­stra­tion ve­hi­cle to show off safety fea­tures de­signed to re­duce pedes­trian injuries.

The mil­lion-pound in­sur­ance was nec­es­sary due to the amount of re­search and time that had been put into the ve­hi­cle by TRL and how ex­pen­sive it would have been to re­place at the time.

Ven­dor Chris Wright says: ‘It was for sale on eBay with a start­ing bid of £2000. Some­body bid £2550 right at the end, then im­me­di­ately emailed to say that he’d bid on the wrong item.

‘Luck­ily, one of the un­der­bid­ders from Swansea got in touch. He wanted some­thing in­ter­est­ing and I think he’s picked well! We agreed on £2100, and he’s plan­ning on show­ing it lo­cally and telling its story.’

Chris man­aged to ac­quire it from Brightwells’ Mod­ern Clas­sic auc­tion on 23 June last year for what he calls ‘a bar­gain price’ – after the pre­vi­ous owner, Ston­don Mo­tor Mu­seum, near Bed­ford, was forced to sell the car as part of its re­main­ing col­lec­tion after it closed down in April 2015. Other clas­sics from the mu­seum in­cluded the Metro-based Rover Scout con­cept car.

Wright adds: ‘There was an­other Metro listed and some of the in­for­ma­tion about the car had been mixed up. I’d seen ex-TRL cars be­fore so I knew that this one was likely to be special. Luck­ily for me I won it for a bar­gain price.’

Professor Adrian Hobbs was in charge of the Metro project for TRL in 1985 and had asked Brightwells to let him know who had ended up buy­ing the de­vel­op­ment car.

He later struck up a con­ver­sa­tion with Chris to fill him in on the his­tory of the Metro.

This Metro sold for just £2100 on eBay – de­spite once be­ing in­sured for £1 mil­lion.

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