Nathan's Henley Blue 1.8 Turbo

Nathan's GTa started out as a 1.4 carb GTa and has had a full nut and bolt restoration to GTi spec. It really is one of the Metropower greats! 

Nathans car started life as many Metros do. An original example, with a 1.4 and a carburetor. Low mileage and in the rare Henley blue, it was clearly the ideal candidate for what Nathan had in mind for his Metro. Here, Nathan tells his story.

''I bought the car in 2011 after seeing it for sale in the Metropower for sale ads. A 1990 Rover Metro 1.4 carb GTa in Henley blue with 41,000 miles on the clock. Along with a mate of mine I made a spontaneous 2 hour trip to Tamworth on a dark November evening to view it. After a short test drive and bit of haggling I was driving it away, it was sat on the bump stops and had an awful Sportex exhaust fitted that droned all the way home!

The original plan for the car was simply for a quick fix up and for it to replace my tired Rover 100 daily driver. However, after a detailed inspection serious rust was found in structural areas which inevitably meant a full strip down. That's when plans and ideas spiraled out of control and the car ended up receiving a full bare shell restoration to GTi spec, respray, MPi conversion and a rebuilt 160 VVC engine.

The work lasted a couple of years and once finished I stored it away for another year or so before it was finally put on the road. With this being my second VVC Metro (I owned another whilst building this one) it soon became apparent the VVC game was getting boring - it was time to turbo it!

The turbo conversion took a bit more thought and a lot more money than the VVC which, in comparison, just slotted straight in. It required a custom radiator, charge cooler, exhaust and standalone ecu to get it to work as I wanted. Although it could have been done much cheaper and easier I wanted to over engineer it so that I had scope for more power in the future. I have recently started building a brand new forged engine with the aim of achieving around 250-270bhp.''


  • Rebuilt 1.8t engine on standard internals other than baffled sump and mahle bearings
  • Omex 600 ecu with launch control and flat shift. Mapped by Chris at EFI parts. It's making 218bhp 234ft-lb @14psi
  • Garrett T25 turbo (360 thrust bearings, billet compressor)
  • Motobuild dump valve
  • Pipercross foam air filter
  • 358cc bosch fuel injectors
  • 160 vvc inlet
  • 52mm throttle body
  • Walbro 255 external fuel pump
  • Sytec fuel pressure regulator
  • Ultralight flywheel
  • AP race clutch
  • Hydraulic clutch conversion
  • Oil cooler
  • Polybushed engine mount
  • Charge cooler
  • PRT thermostat
  • Alloy radiator
  • Custom stainless 2.5" twin box exhaust


  • Pg1 with c6bm ratios
  • Steel caged bearings
  • Quaife atb diff

Suspension, brakes and steering

  • Individualised and lowered hydrolastic units
  • Fully poly bushed
  • Anti roll bars
  • Solid mounted front and rear subframes
  • Spax dampers on front
  • Gti calipers
  • Ebc drilled vented and grooved disks
  • Mintex m1144 pads
  • Red band steering rack
  • MGF ball joints and steering arms


  • Stack oil pressure, oil temp and coolant temp gauges
  • Aem wideband, boost and fuel pressure gauges
  • Varley red top battery under seat
  • Momo steering wheel
  • Custom gear shifter and knob
Last modified on Thursday, 09 March 2017 20:48
(6 votes)