Austin Mini Metro Saloon
Coventry Transport Museum
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Registration No. MPB 909W. It is actually a very early model, and was one of a batch of 73 standard cars which had no extras fitted so it was not specially customised at factory for Lady Diana Spencer at the time of her engagement to the Prince of Wales. Sunroofs and Radios were not fitted at the factory, these were dealer fit options.
The Austin Metro was first launched in 1980 and was one of the most publicized ‘secret’ projects in British motoring history. It had taken several years and £270 million to develop and was described, among other titles, as British Leyland’s ‘make or break’ car – indeed the whole strategy for BL’s recovery depended upon the public’s response to their ‘Supermini’ car.
The vehicle was known as the ""courting car"" because it belonged to Lady Diana Spencer at the time of her engagement to the Prince of Wales. In November 1980, Prince Charles had attended a Royal launch to BL’s new Metro, taking it on a twenty minute test drive from their factory at Longbridge.
The car remained in Lady Diana’s possession until June 1981 and is reputed to have carried some very well known passengers! The car has covered just over 30,000 miles since its manufacture and is in generally original condition, apart from a few minor maintenance repairs to the paint work etc. The car has had three further private owners following Lady Diana’s famous ownership, and was purchased by the Museum in 2001.