Soon after this the car was further developed to incorporate improved frontal and side impact to focus on occupant safety and at this point the vehicle became known as ESV Metro. This time improvments were made to the vehicles structure at the front the subframe was replaced with an twin box section each side designed to be very strong but also to collapse and absorb impact energy and reduce the transfer of that energy to the bodyshell this was mounted on the original metalastic bushes to the four original mount points on the car, in the engine compartment additional box sections added to front inner wings/flitches up to bulkhead each side and at the back of the engine the cetral bulkhead has been redesigned and now features a energy absorbing section sitting 1″ from the back of the engine block going all the way back through the bulkhead into the front floor center hull area this absorbs energy as the engine is forced back on heavy impacts this reduces the risk of cabin intrusion, the complete floor section have redesigned to include strong box section running from front to rear two on each side and two box section across the car these are highlighted in green this was painted this colour by TRRL and the floor sections in between are black gloss.
Both front a posts pillars are redesigned and reinforced with additional strength added along with the B posts now with additional reinforcment at the bottoms and doors have addditional latching added this is again something you now see on high end german coupes, sills have been reinforced with the addition of internal fillets which resists rotation about its longitudinal axis also both rear quarter panels from B post to rear wheel arches have been reinforced, both doors now incoporate tall beams to take impact loads into the A and B posts the seat mount member has been reinforced along with the seat runners, the roof has had a lateral roof beam added to support the top of the B posts. This was possibly the strongest Metro shell ever built and at this stage it was decided to repaint the car the colour you see today to differentiate it from psc1 so the shell was completly repainted by Sikkens UK in this experimental colour this paint was one of the first to contain flecks which changed the colour of the viewing angle please see the end of the video when I do the final walkaround on youtube and you will see this. sikkens uk have kindly scanned the paintwork and given me a near as damn it colour match as the colour never went into production.
After all this additional work the car was then exhibited at the 1987 experimental safety vehicle conference in washington usa, after this around 2004 the vehicle was transfered to the standon transport museum where it stayed on display probably forgotten untill around 2016 when the car was sold off I purchased the car from its then owner in 2017 and carried out some recommissioning work including points plugs, waterpump, oil and filter all brakes stripped cleaned handbrake freed off brake fluid drained and replaced, steering rubber coupling replaced , some electrical contacts cleaned, bulbs replaced, new wipers, pedal rubber, carburettor stripped and rebuilt using a genuine SU kit, replaced with new gaskets inc manifold gasket, cleaned fuel lines and drained tank added clean fuel with additive, rocker cover gasket replaced, fuel pump gasket, oil filter housing gasket, I had a local company remake the center exhaust pipe as the old one was holed and thin and it had a new intermediate pipe and rear box. While all this was being done one eye was on anything that would cause a fefusal to issue an mot test as the car had never been motd before see DVLA MOT Check I wanted the very first MOT on the car to be issued with a pass and without any advisories which is exactly what it did in may 2018 at 9220 miles , what a result the MOT tester could not believe his luck only thing he needed to do was adjust the carb to pass the gas test.
The car still carries its unique number plate brass fixings and large plastic bolts designed by TRRL so the PSC1 and ESV87 plates could be secured over the originals for pictures/display and television.i have the other two ESV87 wheel trims coloured and the other two PSC1 trims silver. so you can fit whichever you prefer. The interior is superb everything works radio, choke, clock etc seats like new rears maybe never sat on headlining is as new the unique handmade and bound carpets a little faded in places but still superb, these had to be made as the floors, sills seat belt mounts were reinforced with the center hull so original one piece would now not fit anymore, door trim on drivers side has a small crack which has been repaired at some point an both still carry their unique panels to house the side impact padding. jack wheel brace, spare wheel looks unused all present rear seat back restraints still present.
The car has its original dunlop TD tyres. it still have both original PSC1 plates and both ESV87 plates and also a sample of the padding in the doors which is pictured with the car way back in 1985. All the modifications/enhancements carried out on this car are backed up by 3 technical reports and pictures issued by TRRL. First a 15 page technical report on all changes made when vehicle was PSC1 inc pictures, also a 14 page technical report on all additional changes made to become ESV Metro inc pictures, and a 20 page technical report on side impact and the changes made to this vehicle, there is a short video also of the car taken in 1987 when the car was on national television with the then transport minister Mr Peter Bothamly at TRRL HQ. I am still in contact with one of the original professors Mr Adrian Hobbs and he has told me there is more footage but has not found it yet.
For Dave: Here is a made up picture in Photoshop. Hope you like it.
Thames New feature about this actual Austin Metro
Here we have some news footage taken at the time when this Metro was in its hay day! The story is covered by Thames News.
On Wednesday 30th October 2019 this car was featured by “Classic Car Weekly”. (Click here for details)