Rust 2 Rome - Team Retro Metro

Matt James tells the story of his Rust2Rome adventure – Team Retro Metro!

rust 2 rome logo

Rust2Rome is a Top Gear style cheap car road trip adventure from Edinburgh to Rome, without benefit of broadcaster support vehicles. Starting in Edinburgh the rally goes through the highlands of Scotland, the valleys of the Lake District before crossing over into mainland Europe whereby not only the distance to Rome will challenge the budget cars but spending 3 days in the mountains of the Swiss Alps.

Covering over 4000 miles the highlight of the trip driving over the vast numbers of mountain passes and namely some of the most iconic and famous roads which have starred in The Italian Job and James Bond.

About Rust2Rome

The rules for entry are simple, in the true spirit of Top Gear there is a limit to the cost of the vehicle of less than £500.

Our Mk2 Austin Metro 1.0L originally sold in Jersey then imported into the UK in 1986, with 32,000 miles on the clock. In need of some minor structural work to the body and a full service purchased for mere £400.

rust 2 rome retro metro logo

The trip

Day 1 saw the mighty Metro take on the steepest road in England, the Hardknott Pass which has a section of gradient 1 in 3 (about 30%).
From the Lake District and over the course of day 2 the route would end up on the coast at the Port of Dover, visiting the icon Gaydon Motor Museum on the way.

rust 2 rome metro thumb  rust 2 rome hardknott pass lake district

rust 2 rome grimael pass damDays 3 and 4 saw the road trip head across the English Channel to France, taking the Auto Routes south towards the Swiss border and staying in the Swiss town of Luzern.

Here we could gaze upon the Swiss Alps and where we will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of the mountain passes over the coming days.After a brief stop at the Luzern Transport Museum,

Day 5 was set for the Swiss Alps, taking on the second highest mountain pass in Switzerland the Nufenen Pass and taking on the amazing Grimael, Tremole, Susten and the famous Furka Pass which stars in the James Bond film Goldfinger.



Day 6 saw the Rally again tackle sections of the Grimael and Furka Pass once more the highlight of the day was lunch at the top of the San Bernardino Pass, 2000m above sea level. Testing the 1.0L Metro to the limits these passes were slow and with the engine working hard the grill was removed to improve air flow to the radiator.

rust 2 rome furka pass

Day 7 was the last day in Switzerland but by no means an easy one, enroute to Venice the road today would take the Metro up the highest paved pass in the Eastern Alps, the Stelvio Pass. Iconic from its sharp hairpin bends which are bordered by stone walls.

A showcase video of this event can be viewed at as many parts were filmed by a drone and other filming equipment over the course of the trip.

rust 2 rome retro metro teamrust 2 rome stelvio pass

Day 8 starting from Venice, we passed the iconic town of Piza, and a visit here wouldn’t be the same without taking the typical tourist picture holding up the Leaning Tower of Piza. To prove we actually got this far you can see the tower in the back right of the photo.

rust 2 rome piza

Our accommodation for the evening of day 8 lay in the beautiful historic hill town of Volterra located in the region of Tuscany.

rust 2 rome town of volterra tuscany

For the final leg of the road trip our destination was set for Rome, where the final check point was in front of the famous Colosseum, and not let’s forget before we got there we would have to negotiate the streets of Rome, many of which had no markings and the sat nav was of no help, who has right of way? … no idea. An amazing experience, with amazing people with well… a remarkable little car.

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Last modified on Monday, 28 August 2017 12:28

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