Our Cars : Rover 216GSi’s second Life
Today, our old Rover 216GSi starts into a new lease of life – hopefully a successful one…
Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
Three years and almost two months ago, the useful life seemed over for our beautiful 1991 Rover 216, not without reason – although reliable, the Honda engine used rather inconvenient amounts of oil, and for more than a year we had a replacement in shape of a much younger K-series powered 416 Tourer.
Not being too fond of the Tourer I felt very reluctant to decommission the 216. Some half-hearted attempts to sell the car were undertaken – rather less successful I’ll hasten to add. So, the former AROnline Car of the Month April 2005 was parked in my back yard, the battery on permanent charge – but as it happens the intervals between warming up the engine, cooling down the air-con and exercising all electrics grew longer as the dirt and moss accumulated. A sad sight.
That changed when a friend of the family showed interest in purchasing it as a daily driver…
From the last run-up a year ago I vaguely remembered an empty tank – so some fresh fuel and a little bit of cranking saw her back to life. All electrics, air-con still worked well, even the battery has survived the time well. On closer inspection all that was needed was a new rear ABS sensor and a little welding to the rear end of both sills.
Thanks to a good friend in Cologne I was able to complete this work in a nicely heated workshop, as I was not too keen on doing this work outside in sub-zero conditions with the odd snowy shower in between – and the Rover got a decent test drive of about 90 miles this way. A quickly booked test was passed afterwards with flying colours earlier this week.
Today the 216 drove off in the hands of a very happy new owner, hopefully giving him the same good service we always enjoyed – if he keeps the oil topped up!