Car of the Month : April 2015 – Marc Stillebroer’s Rover 827 Vitesse

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Admittedly, it’s a little late in the month for a Car of the Month, but that’s because AROnline dedicated most of April to remembering the events of 10 years ago.

Anyway, I make no excuses (despite my own well-documented fondness for the model) for featuring another Rover 800 in this spot. Marc Stillebroer is a young enthusiast from the Netherlands, who grew up in a Rover-owning family and clearly caught the bug early on. I’ll happily fly the flag for any enthusiasts in their Twenties or younger, who are dedicated to preserving our automotive heritage, especially when they’re as committed as Marc.

In his own words, here’s why he loves his Vitesse. I have to confess, I’m more than a little partial to it myself – Ed.

Marc with his 827 Vitesse
Marc with his 827 Vitesse

Before I was born, in 1990, my parents owned a Rover 2600 SD1 Mk1. My brother, who was six at the time, remembers it well and bought himself a V8 Vitesse version in 2005.

The Stillebroers have the Rover bug hard - this is Marc's brother's Vitesse
The Stillebroers have the Rover bug hard – this is Marc’s brother’s Vitesse

At the same time, he became a member of the Rover Owners, Club Holland and I became more and more interested in the Rover brand. The 800 Fastback MK1 stood out to me the most because it is timelessly stylish and that Honda 2.7 litre V6 makes it an awesome all-rounder. In January 2008, my father bought an MK2 827 Si Saloon in black and, as you can imagine, my love for the 800 grew and grew even more.

Marc's father owns this Mk 2 827 Si
Marc’s father owns this Mk 2 827 Si

One week after I passed my driver’s test in January 2009, (just before my 19th birthday in February) I was lucky that my brother found a mint 827 Vitesse automatic on a website, for sale in Germany with only one previous owner who lived in Switzerland, full Austin-Rover stamped service history and just under 70,000km on the clock. I bought it without hesitation and still love it every time I see it, drive it or think about it.

Siblings, in more ways than one...
Siblings, in more ways than one…

I have been on the Rover Owners’ Club Holland stand in Rosmalen ‘’British Cars and Lifestyle’’, and have been to the UK with the car and to visit friends and meetings in Holland. This car is purely a hobby car and does not get driven in bad weather or during the Winter, nor do I need it later on to get me from A to B because, career-wise, my plan is to go into sailing!

Marc's 827 has returned (very briefly) to its homeland
Marc’s 827 has returned (very briefly) to its homeland (or at least as far as rural Cambridgeshire)

Recently, the car has been in a Dutch magazine along with my dad’s 800 and my brother’s daily driver, which is a 400 Tourer. Clearly, it runs in the family.

DSC_1816 (800x532)
My future plans with the car? Not selling it ever…..!

 

 

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.

32 Comments

  1. Like it a lot. Lucky family having an SD1 and 827 Vitesse! I got to drive an 827SLi auto a few times and it was so smooth and powerful. Also remember Autocar testing the 827 Vitesse just after launch, think they liked it but said it “lacked V8 grunt” although nearly 140mph weren’t bad in 1988…….

    • Interesting comment. What were the actual 0-60 stats for the V8 SD1 and the 827 Vitesse? Wouldn’t surprise me if the 827 was faster (although the SD1 might still have beaten it from 30-70).

  2. Nice story Marc and a great looking car. At 61 I have recently bought an MG TF and I just love it. Its a low mileage example in a great colour ( Fire Frost Red ) I can’t help smiling every time I get into it.

  3. I hope you will know that the rear badges were not on its correct place. If you need a rear mud flap or the cover for the towing ring, I still have these parts in stock!
    You will find my name on the website of the Austrian Rover Club. Oliver.

    • Hello mr Oliver,

      Thank you for your reaction. I am supriced that you said that the Badges are misplaced? Do you mean the ”Rover” and ”Vitesse” badge? In every MK1A brochure i have the badges are placed like this. You are right if it was a MK1B-C spec because it would have had higher ”Rover” letters and the ”Vitesse” badge would have been placed higher itself. This car is an 1989 MK1A. Please respond because if am amazed and confused 😛

      The rear cover for the towing ring would be nice indeed. Maybe you even have the colour? (steel grey).

      All the best,

      Marc.

  4. Very nice indeed! I guess a Vitesse would have been a very expensive car new in Holland.

    Quick question is the small registration plate surround standard fit? Or a US spec Sterling one?

    • Hello Andrew Elphick,

      Thank you for you reaction! The Vitesse was around 90 000 guilder and that was about the same as a basic Mercedes 260 or a basic BMW 530i.

      The small plate was there because the car was delivered new in Switzerland and over there they had a small square plate at the back and a wide narrow plate at the front. Indeed it is the same as a US spec rear plate holder. Today the small license plate and US plate holder have been replaced by a normal one because i think the bigger one looks better.

      All the best,

      Marc.

    • The plate surrond may be a standard fit for the Swiss market, as the Swiss used nearly square rear plates a lot, especially in the 1970s and 80s.

      (Tried to google for pics of Swiss-registered Rover 800s, but no luck. However, I found this article which does show a Swiss-registered Rover with the type of registration plate I mean, and a very remarkable rarity too: a P6 convertible made by coachbuilder Graber of Berne (one of two ever built, apparently).
      http://www.rover-freunde.de/rfmgi200dt.html )

  5. Have always had a soft spot for the 827 Vitesse after my dad took delivery of a 1991 Model Year 827 Sterling which was fitted with the optional TWR Exclusive Body Styling Enhancement Pack. The 2.7-litre Honda V6 was a lovely engine that was happy to rev and delivered good performance. Admittedly I always preferred the Vitesse model because of its sleeker looking bodystyle when compared to the Sterling saloon while the former also had slightly firmer suspension so felt more planted.

    That is a lovely position to be in – a rare 827 Vitesse and of course the bruising, iconic SD1 Vitesse. A very lucky family!

    I also like the ‘inner city’ location for the photos.

  6. Some beautiful cars there. I an ex Rover man these days sadly, but have had a 2600s, and a 800 Sterling fasback (R17 type) in the past

  7. Great way to get to ‘own’ all your favourite cars – get your family members to buy them! (and then share?!)

    • Hahaha true indeed! Too bad we are out of family members now (at least the ones with a drivinglicense).

      So now we are looking to adopt wealthy petrolheads into our family so that the collection can expand 🙂

  8. Love the last photo of the 827. Shows the shared design language with the SD1, with the long sloping tailgate and ribbed tail lights.

  9. Love your families taste in cars. I have a 1994 Rover 800 Coupe in White gold in New Zealand a Lovely car. Have owned 1983 Rover 2600S SD1 , 1987 Rover 825 Sterling Mk1 saloon , 1994 Rover 114GTI , 1993 Rover 220GTI ,1995 Rover 827SLI saloon in the past loved all these cars a part from the 114 maybe that bad a major disaster with a cam belt breaking wbile driving the car.Love the fastback shape of the 800 fastback still looks Great and has aged well. Are there any Rover 800 groups in Scotland as I will be visiting there at the end of July Love to catch up with other fans of these Wonderful cars. Now live in Hong Kong very few Rover products left on the roads here unlike New Zealand think the brand disappeared from this part of the world when BMW pulled out in 1999 .Thanks for posting this article and photos 🙂 .

  10. Thank you all for these hart warming reactions! I have this car because i love it so much but if you get positive reactions from other enthusiasts it is a big compliment, thank you! By the sound of it you guy’s own/owned lovely cars as well!

    We do not share the cars because my brother prefers the SD1, my father his All Capone limo (MK2 827 Si) 😛 and i am still in love with my 827 Vitesse. And the cars are only insured if driven by the registered owner.

    John Fishwick enjoy your TF because it is a very nice sports car as i found out in my friends car ;).

    Andrew Elphick,thank you for you reaction! The Vitesse was around 90 000 guilder and that was about the same as a basic Mercedes 260 or a basic BMW 530i.

    The small plate was there because the car was delivered new in Switzerland and over there they had a small square plate at the back and a wide narrow plate at the front. Indeed it is the same as a US spec rear plate holder. Today the small license plate and US plate holder have been replaced by a normal one because i think the bigger one looks better.

    You are very welcome and hope to meet you in the very near future on a meeting.

  11. Marc’s 827 Vitesse looks great (lovely car) as are the other two. My favourite is probably the SD1 Vitesse because the colour is striking, but all are nice.

    Good to hear this family love their Rover cars and cherish them!

  12. From memory, I think Autocar tested the SD1 at 7.1 seconds 0 – 60 and 135 mph top speed and the 827 at 7.9 seconds and 139 mph. Cant honestly remember the in gear times but Id guess that the SD1 would edge it with more power and torque and similar kerb weight.

  13. 800s aren’t my favourite rover, still looks very good though, your brothers sd1 though, simply stunning!!, if insurance would allow me I’d love to own an sd1, however im looking for either a hobda engined r8 or a bubble atm

  14. I have a 1989 820 Ti , a 1988 525 Sterling, a 1993 827 Ci and a 1999 825 Sterling SE since they were new. I bought these cars at the Rover dealer and on my 820 the badges (Rover and 820 Ti) were fitted about one inch higher than on your Vitesse and so I think they have been wrong fitted as the have resprayed the rear of the car.
    I am sorry, but I will keep many Rover spares from P2 to very late 800 but I have that bumper part only in primed condition, but I do not know what proplem it will be to paint it in the right colour. Every car painter will be able to mix that colour.

  15. Hey Marc, nice cars from Dutch car lovers 🙂 maybe we will meet sometimes in Nederland, i have 220 coupe turbo and 216 coupe from 1993, see MG-R,nl, those dutch guys are fond off their weird english cars… 😉

  16. Some nice motors there! Seeing the SD1 and 800 Vitesse together, you realise how much more stylish the SD1 looks, and how much more road presence it has

  17. i now remember the intro of the new 800 series in NL in 1988??, that was in a hotel somewhere near the pyramide of austerlitz, a well known place here in NL near Utrecht, wow coming out of a rusty metro 1.0L 🙂 into a big V6 then, blasted all cars away there including a policecar 🙂 at the end i think we got kaviar and a nice rover umbrella which i still have, it outlived the rover company unfortunately… 😉

  18. Hey Marcel From Holland,

    Your car’s sound sweet too, a good friend of mine has a stunning 220 coupe and that is a real joy to be a passenger in!

    Correct the fastback intro was in 1988 along with the 2.7 liter (C27A) i would have loved to be there at the intro but i could be there because i wasn’t born 😛

    Your story about the intro sounds familiar, is it possible that we have met at AUTOBEDRIJF KOREE in the past? At that time you may have a ZT diesel? If not than it is coincidence ;).

    Thank you for your reactions and we can meet in June at Waalwijk Autojumble?

    All the best and enjoy your lovely cars!

  19. I was in Amsterdam 14 years ago and Rovers were quite a common sight, as well as British built Toyota Avensises that were used as taxis. Perhaps decades of friendship between our countries means many Dutch buyers, whose car industry is quite small, like British cars.

  20. Marc’s car is a stunning example, familiar to us on the 800 forum, it is a credit to him! Great to see it as the car of the month.

  21. ed io o preso una 827 vitesse cambio automatico e molto probabilmente auto unica in italia super full optional

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