Yes, I was supposed to be slimming down my car fleet to a more manageable level, but when somebody walks into the local MoT station and says, “I believe there’s a bloke in the village who likes old Rovers”, you know the conversation is only going to end one way.
The next thing I know, my regular MoT man is on the blower with the kind of offer you can’t ignore, and that’s how I came to be the custodian of a really rather smart Rover 416 iXL in Tahiti Blue – a great spec, really good condition and pleasant (if every so slightly dull) car to drive.
It was only a few weeks ago that I was extolling the workaday virtues of the HH-R here on AROnline – never a car that was especially well executed or capable of setting the world alight, it was, nonetheless, a pleasant performer and one that had a few good things going for it – not least its smooth ride, capacious boot and bargain-bucket pricing.
The HH-R, then, is a secondhand bargain and a dutifully dull car in this case made significantly better by the Christmas tree trim and rather lush colour scheme – it certainly cleans up well.
This one’s story? Well, it truly is the car that found me. Owned by an elderly lady locally since 2001, she’d finally decided to hang up her driving gloves. There are three previous owners on the books – a fleet hire company from January 2000 until December 2001, the lady’s deceased husband and her. Since it came into her ownership, it has covered less than 20,000 miles as, according the service book it covered 50,100 miles as a fleet car, and the current mileage is now 69,000.
The bodywork is simply stunning – a few small marks and a tiny bit of lacquer peel, but nothing to detract from its overall appearance, while the interior is equally mint. It drives well, too, and while there’s no paperwork to back up a head gasket swap, the local garage has looked after it for the past 14 years and they ‘swear they did it once…’ (it’s that kind of garage, I’m still awaiting an MoT invoice from 2009…)
What to do with it? I haven’t a clue, to be honest. It’s currently being used by a friend who’s waiting for his Mondeo to be fixed but, beyond that, it has no real use – so do I just sell it on as a cheapie, or put it away somewhere until these, too, are super-rare? Decisions, decisions…
What it does mean, though, is I’ve pretty much run out of room for my Rover 75, so if anyone fancies a 2.0 V6 75 Club (pictured below), with a blowing exhaust and a minor oil leak, I’ll let it go for the £300 I paid as I haven’t done a thing with it… Drop me an email at [email protected]