The Austin Mini Metro, this one once owned by HRH The Princess of Wales. CTM collection

The 1980 Austin Mini-Metro L

Affectionately known by the worlds press as the ‘Courting Car’, this vehicle was once the property of Lady Diana Spencer. Later to become Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, she was very much in the public eye in late 1980 and early 1981 prior to her marriage to Prince Charles.

This 988cc 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 repairs to the paint work.

The Austin Metro model itself was first launched in 1980 and was one of the most publicised ‘secret’ projects in British motoring history. It had taken several years and some £270m to develop, being described as British Leyland’s ‘make or break’ car. Indeed the car was a success, being the British ‘super-mini’ car of the 1980s.

In 1994, the car was re-badged as the Rover 100 with production lasting until 1997.

This car can be seen in the Museum’s 1980s and 1990s Gallery.
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