Chris House - That Turbo-ed Metro
I have always been interested in cars for as long as I can remember but I never had a car to work on myself.
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My name is Chris House,
I’m 21 years old & I’m based in Dorking, Surrey. I have worked as a technician for 3 years, working with Nissan for two of those years & currently working in a Volkswagen main dealership. Before I did this as a career, I did lots of work with my Father on his classic cars – the biggest being an engine swap on a Mk1 Ford Capri 1973 from a 1.3 to a 2.0 litre.
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How it started:
I have always been interested in cars for as long as I can remember but I never had a car to work on myself. My Dad & I always went to car shows together, this is what most likely encouraged me to get a car that I’d be proud to show off! The main reason I own my Rover is because it’s rarely seen these days & to see a highly modified version is even more unique
Best parts of the car scene & the rewards:
Every time I’ve taken any of my cars out to shows, it’s always received positive comments & even some have admitted it’s inspired them to create their own dream motors. The opportunity to see other peoples creations & hard work as well makes it more rewarding as you all share the same passions. For me though, mainly, it’s the enjoyment that people get showing off their pride & joy to then create friendships through them.
Family of petrol heads:
My dad is probably the main reason for how much I’ve accomplished up to this day. Ever since he was young, he’s had his fair share of classic Ford’s which he’s extensively modified to then be the owner of a Corvette Stingray C3. I’ve now also managed to encourage my better half into getting a matching Rover 111GSI to also have modified that profusely. Hopefully, my little boy will have the same passion for these amazing cars; when he is near his due date he would always pummel his mother's tummy when he heard any drag cars.
At the moment, I own my Rover 100 Ascot which, currently, has 1.8T K series engine fitted. I purchased this car for project purposes to create a 12 second car down the drag strip. This car was bought for £250 as a barn find which also included delivery to home address. My daily car is a Cupra Leon 290 as it’s a family car with the ability of still having some fun every day.
I would always recommend it to anyone having a Metro! They are one of the few cars you can modify to your specific taste without emptying your bank account. The only issues they tend to have is either rust in the rear arches or front footwells alongside head gaskets. Even though these problems may be common, they are fairly easy to fix & the Metro community is always up for helping anyone out as they are all very knowledgeable of these vehicles.
It has such a striking colour that in any weather it stands out from any other coloured vehicle. The overall shape and exterior modifications mean that in any environment, there is nothing else like it. My little Metro creates enough noise to grab people's attention from starting up to when the turbo kicks in half way down the road. All of the work & modifications are carried out in all seasons & weather when I have the spare time from work and family commitments.
⦁ Rover 1.8T K series from a Rover 75
⦁ GT2871 Turbo (from eBay)
⦁ 390cc Injectors
⦁ Charge Cooler
⦁ K-Maps ECU Map (232 bhp currently)
⦁ Short Shift Kit
⦁ R65 Gearbox
⦁ Full Sportex Exhaust System inc. Screamer Pipe
⦁ 13x7 UltraLite Alloys
⦁ Nankang NS2-R Tyres
⦁ Re-painted bumpers
⦁ Wide Arch Extension Kit
⦁ Cobra Bucket Seats
⦁ Momo Steering Wheel
⦁ Omex Launch Control
⦁ MGF Brakes
⦁ Lowered Suspension
First car & its journey
My very first car was a Peugeot 206 Estate which crashed within a week of passing my test so I don’t really count that as my first car! The first proper car I owned was a Toyota Starlet which I modified a prominent amount. It had wider wheels attached, the whole exhaust system was converted to a straight pipe, it was lowered with cut springs & covered in stickers. That car was absolutely bulletproof as I probably hammered it everywhere – including burnouts. It crashed a few times but always went back to its former glory each time. To this date, it’s one of the best cars I’ve ever owned & would love to have another in the far future.
Any more plans?
A project car is never finished & there are always more ideas for it. The upcoming plans would include: a full roll cage, new bucket seats, forged engine & aiming for 300+bhp. After all these are done, it would only be used for drag racing & track as it would not be worthwhile on the public roads.
I am a member of MetroPower which consists of many current or past owners of all years of Metros. They have been a massive help for the whole of my build & would not be here with my car now without their help. My other main club I am a part of is South London Retro Power; they have a broad variety of cars in their club. These members have always got a show or convoy planned all around the South East making it easy to get out the house & are very friendly as well as proud of their cars. All of the members of both these groups are absolutely admirable with all their knowledge of cars & have been encouraging the whole time I’ve been with them.
I go to car shows for the fun of it, no competition involved. Every time I take my cars out, it’s for the thrill of showing off my car & being surrounded by people who admire cars as much as I do. However, I was meant to be competing in the drag race series ‘Run What You Brung’ at Santa Pod this summer but has been postponed until next year now. I mainly only do local classic car meets or convoy drives with groups but nothing too far from home.
The ultimate dream car would have to be a classic supercharged V8 Mustang in the brightest yellow going (don’t ask why!)
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