Tag Archives: Rover

Monday Long Termer, Rover 75: 12/05/14′

By Tim Smith

It’s been a while, I know. Truth is, I haven’t owned a car for over a year. In that time I’ve been renting, mostly. It’s been nice having a near brand new car every so often and it’s given me a taste of where the current affordable market is. Truth is, it’s largely where I left it, but that’s another story for another time.

So, after living in the war economy, student life, money pit, I’ve finally got myself into a position where I can save a bit of money here and there for the initial outlay needed to get me on the ol’ car market ladder. So what have I chosen to save up for?

A Rover 75.

I Repeat.

A Rover 75. That’s the 37th best British Car as voted for by Autocar readers.

My first car was bought on a whim, with money that wasn’t really mine. So, this time, I’ve decided to do it properly. And doing something properly always involves lists and the ticking of boxes:

1. It must be in ‘Connessuir’, sorry, ‘Connesir’, wait, Ive got this… ‘Conn’… Eff it. Top spec trim. Not ‘Club’ trim. I’ve decided that the 75 will be my gentleman’s express and having blanked switches on the dash is a little uncouth.

2. It must be the pre-facelifted version. The later versions suffered from quality problems. And they were ugly. You can thank the Phoenix Consortium for that.

3. It must have the ‘Serpent’ wheels. These rather pretty looking things were used in all of the original press pictures when the 75 was first released, but didn’t appear to be actually offered for sale. Later they did. I have no idea of the process behind this. Either way, they do exist, and they do look good. Although not as good as those in the press pictures. Those buggers.

I'll take it.

I’ll take it.

4. It must have the projector headlamps. They look cooler. I know it, you know it, even that bloke down the pub who knows nothing about anything knows it.

5. It must come in a dark colour. Preferably blue, but green is acceptable.

6. Here’s where things get tricky. I would prefer the two-and-a-half litre petrol V6, possibly with a bit of tuning taking it up to ZT190 levels, but realistically the diesel would be best. A four cylinder diesel doesn’t quite fit into the smooth image of the curvy 75, but I plan to use it for drive stories, and petrol is just a little too expensive verses consumption.

7. This leads me into another tricky issue. Like most people who enjoy driving, I prefer a manual, but having driven several different engines with several different types of transmission I discovered something interesting. Diesel’s prefer auto’s.

With a petrol, an auto blunts the character, the responsiveness of the driving experience. Diesels don’t start from a responsive place, but do need that cream of auto feeling to make things a little more civilised. Here’s a statement for you; I actually preferred an A4 2.0 TDI with a CVT to the manual. Yes I did.

As it stands, I’m half way to my car fund target. It should take another 8 weeks or so to make the rest up. Your choice of deity only knows how long it will take to find the exact model I want. Couple this with research into the issues and availability of what I want, and I may be lead to change my mind on some of the details.

One thing is for sure though. I’m gonna keep you updated every Monday at the usual Tim Smith posting time of 6:00pm, GMT.



Leave a comment

Filed under Monday Long Termer

First And Last Rover

The Rover P6, first delivered in 1963 is, and was, the last truly good car to come from Rover. Most would point towards the SD1, but this, in many ways was a step backwards for a manufacturer that had, for a time, considered placing a gas turbine engine in the nose of the P6.


Inspired by the DS, the P6 had unstressed body panels bolted onto a large unitary frame. It also featured a synchromesh transmission, a rear de-Dion non-independent suspension set-up and disc brakes all round. Reckoned too expensive, those last two would not make it onto the SD1.


The interior included standard seat belts, a feature not made law for another five years and not made compulsory to wear for another twenty. The controls were arranged in a manner that made sense to operating the vehicle safely and efficiently. Many of those controls were designed to break on impact, one of the first cars to allow for soft human bodies. Lastly an extension to the front lamps was made proud of the front wings allowing the driver to place the nose of the car accurately during low-light.


Styled to appeal to a new executive class, one more amenable to change, the P6 was like nothing before it and was replicated by nothing proceeding it. Shades of the P6 can be found on the 75, on the headlight design and rear-three-quarter view, for instance, but that would almost be thirty years later and attached to a company that in 1963 had only just defined its Neue Klasse sports saloon. Had British management and political attitudes been different, then perhaps the 320d that now achieves 60mpg while undertaking you at 90mph on the M1 would have had a distinctly British(1) competitor.


No matter, it was always going to happen like this, it cannot be sufficiently gauged how things would have been different for better or worse. What we can do, though, is look to the classifieds, indulge the idea.


P6s’ can be had for as little as a grand, but you wouldn’t want to. Good ones start at around the £5000 mark. I’ve gone a little crazy with the imagined coffers this week, picking my perfect spec in my perfect colour, with the addition of a five-speed gearbox and some engine modification.

Personally I think its worth it. This is the car that Stephen Bayley called the ‘one of the greatest English saloon cars’.(2)

Advert reproduced below:

European Classic Cars
Swindontel: 01672 512879     07813394167
web:  http://www.europeanclassiccars.co.uk

1972 ROVER P6 3500S.Upgraded,3.9ltr,5 speed,£25k+ spent!! For Sale

Here we have on offer a very interesting P6 Rover.Originally a 3500cc V8 car,fitted with the factory 4 speed manual gearbox,it has been restored and upgraded with a 3.9ltr V8 which is fed by a 500cfm Eldelbrock carb and Viper Hurricane camshaft and Magnecor leads.It also has a full stainless steel exhaust system,including the manifolds.
A 5 speed SD1 gearbox replaces the orignal 4 speed and fully adjustable AVO shocks are fitted all round.
Much of the restoration work was carried out by Annable and Son of Derby and bills exceed £25k.She looks stunning with the superb red paintwork and contrasting black vinyl roof fitted with a full length Webasto sunroof.The interior is full black leather with new,cream Wilton carpets and she sits on a set of chrome Rostyle wheels.
This is a real Q car car that looks stunning,is very quick and quite unique.


1. As a side note, Vinnie Jones’ character, Big Chris, a London east-end gangster, drove one in the feature film Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. The P6 has presence.

2. Bayley, S, (2009) Cars: Freedom,Style, Sex, Power, Motion, Colour, Everything, 1st ed. London, Octopus Publishing, p.246.

Leave a comment

Filed under AutoEclectics


A long, hot day serving the hoi-polloi in a mildly air-conditioned restaurant and a colleague has a day off, deciding to spend it with friends outside on our not unattractive but road plagued ‘terrace’. I get off early as it’s quiet. I join the group and we sit in the sun bantering about work. I raise that I’m trying to find a cheap car and joke about an Alfa I’ve found. Turns out friend of said colleague is an affectionado. Turns out he’s had many an Alfa experience. Loves ’em, turns out.

This sends me to my first phone call of the Hunt For A New Car. Or, The Hunt.

So here it is:  Image

Looks good, has mild miles and is the right colour (red fades badly) but alas, has no service history. What do you expect for 500 quids? Well, something I can sell on.

Next stop sees this rare metal and rubber LJK Setright preference:



Was lookin’ only yesterday.

It’s gone. There was something sus’ about it. Just cant quite remember… Perhaps I was jus’ dreamin’.

So, I’e got a soft-spot for Rovers. I would Really like to own a V8 75 at some point. This next offering was something Car referred to as polished turd.


Such a remarkable trait can be found, it seems. This one, doesnt look the best, though. Compounding the already brittle alloy of the ad is the sellers total lack of spelling. I’m not a grammarian, and anybody who’s ever read this blog will know that my spelling isn’t perfic’ but with spell-checking and browser spell-checking and smartphone spell-checking and the whole of human knowledge but a google away, there really cant be much left to excuse except for wilful ignorance. Cant be doing with that. Have to contend with that too much.

Again, 500 quids you scream. Well eff off. I want some clarity and a bit of promise. It does exist. I’m tellin’ you.

Went and looked at another couple of Preludes (the afore mentioned LJK cars) but most are beginning to rust or have starship spec milage or have been tickled by some modder or two. No t’anks.

I trawl for another hour or so, W124’s with massive miles and a tempting Bravo HGT. The easy option is to go for a sorta tidy Ford KA. It’s the logical option, I like ’em and they are simple things. Problem is they are too proliferate. this is Autoeclectic. I wanna have an eclectic time, drive something I’ve never driven before and generally have something to write about, which brings me too Alfa’s Fiat’s, old Merc’s and  messy hot Rover’s. So perhaps I need to set down some ground rules, parameters if you like.

In the mean-time, these two caught my attention. And yes. The Michael Schumacher reference is genuine. Google it, or sumin’.



Leave a comment

Filed under Monday Long Termer