Mind the cyclist, dear… because if you see this driving towards you, chances are you might take your eyes off the road for few moments…
Cheshire Auto Promotions’ two annual Tatton Park classic car shows are always good for unearthing the odd gem – the Car Mart section might not be huge, but for some reason there’s always something that turns up and leaves the likes of me and other fans of ‘ordinary’ transport a little gobsmacked.
Back in June, my attentions were swayed by a 12,000-mile Renault 9. But for the Tatton August show, it was the turn of Rover’s SD3 – or, more specifically, an F-reg 216 Vanden Plas that had been garaged from new and covered a mere 5,750 miles in 25 years.
Clearly, I wasn’t the only person that coveted it, as the owner had sold it to an undisclosed buyer ten minutes before the show even opened to the public. Apparently, he’d accepted an offer just a shade under £3,000. That may sound quite a bit for a humble SD3, but where else are you going to find a car in such good condition, with such low mileage for a similar sum of money? I know from personal experience that the VdP version is also a really pleasant car to drive – lively, comfortable and with a well-appointed cabin. No wonder Hyacinth was smitten.
Only one other car had me thinking I could take it home with me this year, though, and that was much later – a 2005 MG ZS 120 with XPower styling kit. Love or loathe the 2004 facelift models, MG Rover’s last chance saloons are, by definition, extremely rare, especially with the XPower kit. Nice as this low-mileage example was, I’d suggest that if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it properly and go for the KV6 model – and that £1,995 is a trifle too much for a K-Series powered Rover 45 with wings and fins. If bought, kept and cherished then this would make a lovely ZS for someone – but, for now, I’ll hold out for a 180 in Firefrost Red if anyone has one going…
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