eBay Find of the Week #2 – Rover 216 GSi

Craig Cheetham

Twice in a week? Well, I couldn’t let this one lie, really. Partly because there’s a lot of R8 love out there at the moment following its 25th birthday shindig at the weekend, and partly because it’ll be gone by Monday.

Clean, low mileage original Ronda cosies up to some flower tubs. We must be in 1990s suburbia...
Clean, low mileage original Ronda cosies up to some flower tubs. We must be in 1990s suburbia…

Nice pre-grille R8s are getting fewer and further between, especially bearing in mind this is a February 1990 example, so when I stumbled upon it during my morning coffee break I thought ‘blimey, that looks pretty smart’. Not the best pics and a very brief listing, but in a subsequent email to the seller I discovered it’s just had a cambelt and full service, comes with a heap of old bills and history and is, apparently, completely rust free.

Honda engine, auto box – a combination that some love and some hate – but there can’t be many Rondas left in this kind of condition. If I didn’t already have an R8 and a serious storage problem, I’d be in there like a shot. If it goes for less than £500, as I suspect it might, someone will get themselves a cracking bargain.

It comes with a private plate, too, though personally I'd put it back on a G-plate to show how early it is...
It comes with a private plate, too, though personally I’d put it back on a G-plate to show how early it is…

Anyone up for keeping it in the family? Here’s the relevant link

Craig Cheetham

A serial impulsive car purchaser, Craig has had his name on over 200 V5s over the past 20 years. 10 per cent of those have been either 800s or Austin Allegros, with between 10 and 20 cars usually owned at any one time. Started out as a local newspaper journalist then worked for car mags including Auto Express, Classic Car Weekly and Land Rover Owner. Worked inside the car industry for a decade as an employee of General Motors, now works for a news distribution agency. Home based, which is dangerously convenient for further irrational heap purchases. Lover of all makes of car since childhood, with a particular leaning towards Austin-Rover... Father of three boys, so hoping to spread the car love. Other passions include rugby union, travelling and eating out.


  1. No visible wheelarch rot or stonechips, plastics not faded. And it’s a GSi. Number has to be worth a few hundred quid. Bargain.

  2. I gave a pensioner couple £50 for a 1990 216GSi they had from new three weeks ago with genuine 65000 miles and power steering, ran lovely body work and interior very nice but MOT was only days, the car was sound, unfortunately no one in the motor trade wants old stuff now so rather than getting messed around prospective bidders on internet auction sites or running risk of selling as a banger cheapie with the comeback you are wide open to by any buyer under the sale of goods act it went straight to the scrapyard where it weighed in at £80 and still made a trade profit!.

    • You should have mentioned it on here – someone would surely have had that from you! Fully understand the frustrations of selling cheap cars in trade as I’ve been on the receiving end a few times – but I’m too soft hearted to scrap anything!!

    • Hmm, this isn’t something to brag about… if the car was as good as you say, why on earth let it be scrapped? that car would have done someone proud as a cheap runaround, for the sake of makeing a tiny profit of £30!!! Or, a collector would have liked to have the opportunity to buy it – you have posted on this website so must be aware that there are people out there who would buy such a vehicle. Not impressed.

  3. @ Derek, that’s very sad, particularly if the car was as good as you say – better off going to a collector/enthusiast (Mike Humble??). I ran a couple of Honda company cars and my father & brother owned Honda’s at one time… I reckon their engines were as good as any.

    I often think the pre-grille R8 looked as good as the later grille versions, though of course Rover were trying to give it back a traditional “Rover” look for an older clientle.

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