1987 Austin Mini Metro Vanden Plas

Highlights 


  • Covered just 14,000 miles
  • Cheeky charm 
  • Very original, clean car
  • Simple to own and maintain


The Appeal


We just don’t see cars this simple anymore, and that alone can make driving a Mini Metro very refreshing. 

The controls are light, you can see all around, and it doesn’t use that much fuel. Coupled to that, it’s just a sweet-looking car with a very nice, airy – and original – interior. And it’s a four-door, so no getting out to let your mates in the back. 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find such good, low mileage examples. They are also becoming quite collectible.

Even if you weren’t a Metro fan back in the day, its charm will very likely make you smile this time round.

The History and Paperwork


  • MOT history corroborates low mileage
  • Carburettor rebuilt and new distributor cap
  • Recent refettling

Unfortunately, there isn’t any real service record with the car, though its MOT history (dating from 2011) logs the mileage, then at 13,467, and goes through to 2018 when the car was taken off the road. 

However, the present keeper has gone through the car and made sure everything is running smoothly. 

The Metro has a new water pump (and radiator flush), its carburetor has been stripped and cleaned and a new distributor cap fitted. The battery is also new, and the car has benefited from an oil change and service.

It’s good to go.

The Interior


  • Calm grey velour interior in good condition
  • Nice wood trim
  • Very original

After the condition of the outside, and considering the very low mileage, it’s no surprise to find the inside of the Metro is as good as it is. 

The grey velour – quite calming – is clean and retains all its colour as well as the patterns in the soft pile. Seat cushions and bolsters remain well defined, their contours nicely shaped by the stitching. Carpets are clean with no heal marks in the drivers mat.

The Vanden Plas was the luxury option in every Austin Rover range, so this little city car boasts a bit of wood trim. Most of this is in excellent condition, showing a good colour and lacquer, however, the edges are a little worn on the inserts in the upper door panels.

Both steering wheel and gear stick are looking good – the former does have one or two tiny marks. Window winders and switches are all fine, though some of the door handle surrounds are cracked. 

The headlining is clean and the sun-roof helps to make the cabin even lighter. Its fitting is tidy with good seals and no signs of rust or water ingress.

The Exterior 


  • Paintwork in excellent condition
  • All VP trim, including wheel trims, intact
  • Glass sunroof

The Metro Vanden Plas’ angular lines look all the more crisp in this daring shade of (solid) red. 

It’s a good colour for the car and the finish remains excellent across the whole of the bodywork. There are no polishing swirls and no areas fading to orange. It’s all good. 

There are some very minor flaws b- a handful of tiny, touched up scratches on a wheelarch ‘flare’ or the bumper edge, but nothing at all to spoil the impression the car makes. 

The trim too is very good (these can get tired), but badges, grill and bumper inserts are all very neat and straight. I light of the bright coating to the beltline trim has flakes off in a very small patch, but otherwise these Vanden Plas adornments are all good. 

Panel fit around the car is very tidy and the glass showing no signs of delamination. Window trims retain their colour and shape, and the rubber seals beneath are likewise good. Rain gutters are clean with no signs of corrosion.

All very tidy.

The Mechanics 


  • Very solid underneath
  • Good tyres all round
  • Tidy engine bay
  • Undersealing intact

The Metro’s engine bay is ‘workmanlike’ rather than concourse, but everything looks to be present and quite correct. 

Nuts, bolts and clips look like they’d comply with a wrench – as they obviously have since the car has had a recent overhaul. H/T leads and wiring look to be fine, certainly no signs of perishing, and hoses appear supple with neat connections at either end. The battery, remember, is new.

The metal around the inner wings look good and there is are no signs of corrosion. This is also true of the pressings under the bonnet (there is no insulation); the paintwork looks almost as bright as the exterior.

The underside of the car appears to be very solid with no signs of rust or collision damage – and no oil dripping from the engine sump. 

The underside of the car appears to have most all of its undersealing intact and the sills appear solid. Likewise, crossmembers look robust and rust free. 

Suspension parts, some displaying a little surface corrosion, look to be in good working order and the exhaust looks very sound.

The Metro wears a good set of tyres and those VP wheel trims look very smart.

Summary


The Metro VP is a cheeky little number, a talking point and very easy to drive – and park. 

It might not outdrag an AC Cobra, or waft you in ultimate comfort to Paris. Nor is its value every likely to go stratospheric. But it will likely put a smile on your face every time you get in it, and be easy, practical (folding seats/hatchback) and fun to run. 

What’s more, it might fit in a kitchen cupboard when you’re not using it too.


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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make Austin
  • Model Mini Metro Vanden Plas
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 14,884 Miles
  • Engine size 1275
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Cheshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 9 bidders
  • Pi•••• £5,000 13/10/22
  • An•••• £4,900 13/10/22
  • Vp•••• £4,800 13/10/22
  • fu•••• £4,600 13/10/22
  • nd•••• £4,500 10/10/22
  • TR•••• £4,000 10/10/22
  • nd•••• £3,500 08/10/22
  • TR•••• £3,000 08/10/22
  • nd•••• £2,500 07/10/22
  • An•••• £2,200 07/10/22

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