MG Metro 6R4 Group B World Rally Car C870 EUD as driven by Tony Pond on the 1986 Monte Carlo Rally
When the, then, new World Rally Car specifications were announced for the 80s Austin Rover Group, management decided that the company should join the elite group of manufactures that were intending to enter.
Consequently, the original MG 6R4 prototypes were designed and built by Williams Grand Prix at their Didcot factory during the early 80s for Austin Rover Motorsport.
On Monday 7 February 1983 the entire staff of Austin Rover Motorsport, plus key personnel from Williams GP, turned out to welcome the first car 001P to its new home and the start of its secret development programme and its eventual entry in the 1986 World Rally Championship.
The car pictured is the final incarnation of that first car. It is the 1985 MG Metro 6R4 Group B World Rally Car C870 EUD.
220 of these cars were built on a special production line at the Longbridge factory during 1985 in order for the car to qualify to compete in International Rallies.
Driven by Tony Pond, arguably one of Britain’s finest rally drivers, and his co-driver Rob Arthur, the Monte Carlo Rally was the first appearance of the MG Metro 6R4 in the 1986 World Championship. A second car was also entered for Malcolm Wilson and Nigel Harris.
The cars only competed during 1986 as, after a number of incidents, the Group B cars were banned from the World Rally Championship. The RAC Rally in November 1986, 30 years ago was the last WRC appearance of these cars.
However, in a less powerful form, the MG Metro 6R4 is still competing in events every week throughout the world in all manner of motor sport events.
Displayed courtesy of Michael Kitt
Photography by Martyn Goddard