By 1 September 2006 0 Comments Read More →

Car of the Month : September 2006

For all those out there who happen to think that the Rover 75 V8 is a rare beast – here’s something a little more special for you…

Mark Baxter has already featured in these pages with his stunning ZT 260 V8, but here’s another he’s recently added to his fantastoc collection of Rovers – a 75 V8 Tourer, which looks fantastic in the classic colour combination of British Racing Green and beige leather…


Earth mover


What a great way to move your luggage in style…

WE make no apologies for featuring yet anoyther V8 powered Rover 75 in the pages of this website. It’s a bespoke special, and one that offers so many pleasures behind the wheel, that there’s no doubt we’re looking at a future classic. In fact, it could be argued that it’s already a classic car. The saloon version is pretty rare, with less than 100 having found buyers, but that figure pales into insignificance compared with the Tourer version, of which, we reckon six have been built.

Ever since SMC Motors obtained this example from Longbridge last year, the company’s chief car purchaser, Mark Baxter, has had his eyes on the car for his own person collection. Mark recalled, “Obviously being a buyer for a big company I do not buy cars as in the way other people do – walking into a car showroom and placing an order. I first saw The tourer about two months after MGR went into administration, and it was being used as a factory ‘hack’ by the drivers on the plant. It was even full of jump leads, and keys for other cars…” What a fantastic breakdown recovery vehicle.

Mark wanted it as soon as he clapped eves on it, but things wouldn’t be that easy. He remembered, “Obviously being a Tourer I was very interested, and asked the guys in charge of selling the cars if I could buy it. At the time it wasn’t for sale, but I perservered and about three months later I was offered the car with a batch of other V8s. In fact this was while I was on my honeymoon in Switzerland; my new wife was very understanding!”

We can see why Mark wanted it so much. Resplendent in BRG in beige leather, it’s a colour combination that looks fantastic when clothing the 75’s sculpted lines, but because of the dictats of fashion, very few people seem to have chosen it. He added: “In the end I bought almost half of the Engineering fleet (of 150 cars!) with most of the balance being sold/given to the Chinese. I kept the Rover for myself as it was very unusual and I believe it to be of only about a dozen Rover 75 V8 Tourers in existence.”

Well, whoever in Engineering specified this one from new made a very wise decision because it looks stunning in the flesh. Mark’s delighted with his new car, and it’s obvious that the 75’s now in good hands – remaining in ‘as new’ condition for years to come. As Mark said, “I intend to keep this car – as well as my ZT 260 – as long as I can as a momento of a very strange, enjoyable, sad, happy and interesting year in my life.”


Gallery


Wood, leather and a touch of chrome marry beautifully…


Proud owner, Mark, with his latest addition to the fleet…


That front end works so much better than the standard item.


Thanks to Mark Baxter for the drive of his V8.

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

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