MotorPunk spends like Monaco and saves like Greece, so when Dr Octane decided the fleet needed a retro rally car the new accountant did her best Angela Merkel impression and told him we can’t afford an Ur-Quattro. When the petty cash tin was raided it yielded just £300, plus some € cents, a washer and the cardboard end cap off a smarties tube that looks annoyingly like a pound coin. Shortly afterwards we received an email from eBay announcing that we had “won” a Rover Metro. Not a 6R4 nor Gti, but the most basic model Rover ever made; a 1.1 Quest. Some rally car…

Metro Quest

Metro Quest

I got the short straw to collect the Metro and bicycled to Nottingham to a back street garage who wanted it off their forecourt. I found a car with very short tax but long MOT, a glovebox full of paperwork and front suspension in need of a regas; it had a little rust too but overall not bad for £300.

It’s quite entertaining to drive with a noisy 4 speed gearbox and heavy steering not helped by an odd steering camber on the front wheels, probably caused by the sagging hydragas. There’s a good 10 degrees of play in the steering. There’s also a little oil leak from the rocker gasket dripping onto the exhaust manifold and a Pye cassette desk with auto-stop function. Thank the lord for that! I hate rewinding cassettes! The speakers don’t work. The previous pensioner owner had fitted an air freshener which didn’t touch the stench of a 50 a day fag habit and kindly left a boot full of bits of broken plastic and rubber trim. There was a 1p piece in the doorbin. I’ll give that to the accountant.

 

MotorPunk’s Metro 1.1 Quest now sits in the yard at HQ and visitors laugh at it. So why have we bought it? Well, we like the idea of an African rally themed roadtrip. How does “Harris Mann(k)’s Cowley to Casablanca Reliability Trial” sound to you?

Rich Duisberg

8 Responses

  1. dermot

    Yeah,what a great idea.
    Is there an engine size limit?cost of car etc etc. Should be a fun trip.

    Reply
    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      Hi Dermot. No limit on engine size or value but we would like to see British Leyland kinda cars, preferably designed by Harris Mann (think Metro, Montego, Maestro, Princess, Allegro etc). The cars will almost certainly be abandoned at the end of the trip. More info on this soon!

      Reply
    • Mark M

      Don’t ‘diss’ the Marina. Learned to drive in that POS and loved it. Completely crap but my first proper wheels and I love them as a result. You can keep your MK2 Escorts…

      Reply
  2. Andy B

    Sounds awesome. We drove from Birmingham to Mauritania 2 years ago via Morocco in a £120 Honda Civic. Unless it has changed you won’t be able to ditch the cars in Morocco. I say won’t, a suitable bribe can help but it’s a lottery. Let us know when you’re going!

    Reply
    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      Sounds like fun! Our cars will be scrapped in Gibraltar then we’re flying home. We’re going in November and there’ll be a page on MotorPunk with info for those who might want to join us!

      Reply

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