Blog: Monkey magic

blogcoupe_01A monkey. £500 to anyone outside of Mockneyland. What can that buy you these days? A week in Lanzarote. A widescreen TV. A weekend’s stay in a four-star hotel. Not a lot basically. If, however, we are talking Rovers, £500 can actually buy rather a lot. A work colleague of mine has just found out for himself exactly how much, thanks to the wonders of eBay…

To non-car people, the 800 Coupe is one of those cars that is impossible to guess the price of. When I bought my own K-registered Coupe last summer for £500, my colleagues could not believe just how cheap it was. After all, it looks good, it is extremely well-equipped, and it has an interior as visually appealing as a Bentley – a model of restrained British opulence.

One particular work colleague became so taken with my Coupe that he decided that he wanted one as well. I did explain that they don’t usually come in as cheap as £500, but they do turn up from time time. The idea slowly germinated in his mind, and although nothing happened for months, I could tell that he was still thinking hard about it. A ride in my Vitesse further solidified his resolve to buy a Sterling Coupe. For him, it was the relaxed nature of the car, its silent Honda V6 engine and generous equipment level that made this his car.

The fact that my V6 never suffered any breakages, probably helped a great deal too.

As the auction time flashed “30 seconds
remaining”, I placed a bid: £550. The
wait for the page seemed interminable.
By the time the page updated, the
auction was over. My
god, we won it!

A few weeks back, I pointed out a particlarly pretty Coupe in Nightfire red, which at the time resided on eBay for a couple of hundred quid. OK, it had a short MoT and the description listed a number of electrical gremlins, but it was in a nice colour and sounded honest enough. We agreed that it might be worth a speculative punt on…

Luckily for us, the auction end time was at 9:30 in the morning, and I could place a last-second bid on it at the last moment. I don’t think either of us really expected that this car would go for a reasonable sum of money, but it was a nice diversion during a boring morning at work. I kept tabs on things – waiting for the end to come. As the auction time flashed “30 seconds remaining”, I placed a bad: £550. The wait for the page seemed interminable. By the time the page updated, the auction was over. My god, we won it! No-one was more surprised than my mate…

£550. Not a lot, then. But in our case, it bought a 135mph, 177PS, V6 engined super-coupe. Talk about persepective. A set of tyres for my Vitesse Sport Coupe cost more – but here we had a more refined, better equipped and (arguably) more rugged Coupe. I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little jealous. Even though I already have two.

A few days later, Chris went to pick it up. And the ride had been pleasurable for him. The following morning, he was still grinning. He loved his new toy. Welcome to the world of Rover ownership then…

He’s bought cleaning products and has a flat-cap in his glovebox. The tartan travel rug surely won’t be far behind. Is Chris a typical Rover owner? Under thirty and actively into outdoor activities – probably not. So what? It never harms to break stereotypes.

So there you go. £500 buys quite a bit of happiness. Long may it continue.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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