Our Cars : Mike’s Rover 214 GSi – Tried and tested

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Mike Humble

The project 214 passes its MOT with a couple of minor advisory items.
The project 214 passes its MOT with a couple of minor advisory items.

Well, after the Gaydon celebration of the Rover 200, there has not been much to report on the old girl lately. Work has been busy and some car reviewing has taken place on my own site so the recently acquired 214 GSi has been parked up in a quiet corner of the office car park having a well-deserved sleep. Just the other day, I was filing some paperwork on the car only discover the MoT was running out this October and whilst rolling around underneath it when fitting a new middle and back box, the opportunity to have a good look underneath took place.

As suspected, nothing seemed to worry me too much so after investing in a set of new wiper blades and some new bulbs to replace the blackened ones in the rear light clusters, I casually spent a little while going over the car doing the usual checks on seat belts and the like. Just around the corner on my industrial estate I work on there is a little garage who’s bread and butter is MoT testing – I’ve had to find a new chap since my regular guy (Steve Anderson) has now retired. It’s always a gut-wrenching experience entrusting your car into the hands of someone new owing to the fact it takes a while to build up that special rapport with a garage – especially if they know you do 90% of the work yourself.

I shall miss Steve as an MoT tester, some of you will know he MoT’d the former Editor – Keith Adams’ Rover 3500 and many of my own project motors including the 75 and my previous G plate 214. He became a good friend over the years too and he reads the site so Steve – enjoy your well-deserved retirement. Anyway, back to the future – my new local tester took the keys off me first thing and said they would endeavour to undertake the test by 1:00pm – which is a whole new experience to me as I was not able to watch the test being completed. Instead, I had to saunter to the office and patiently wait.

The 1.4 K16 is gradually coming back to life and has responded well to a thorough fuel treatment and filter change, its currently averaging almost 40mpg on a run.
The 1.4 K16 is gradually coming back to life and has responded well to a thorough fuel treatment and filter change, it’s currently averaging almost 40mpg on a run

It’s a horrible experience not being present to see your car poked, prodded and performance tested on the brake rollers, my usual routine is to pace the floor chain smoking myself into an early grave. But, instead, work ran its course and I forgot all about the car. Just a couple of hours later, my little silver car swings into the car park and a fitter hops out, removes the plastic seat cover and comes into reception. Our admin lady spots this but she’s too late… I’m already at the counter to greet him. Another pass I am pleased to report, a couple of very minor advisory matters and the mention of a brake imbalance on the rear axle of 28% but a pass is a pass… is a pass!

So it looks like the rear drums are coming off once the rain stops and the weekend comes round – at the very worst it will be a slightly weeping rear wheel cylinder and at the very least I’ll bet a quick session with some Emmery cloth and a wire brush will be needed. And apart from that there is nothing to report on my 32.000 mile 214 GSi that’s happily averaging around 40mpg and has used barely a quarter of a pint of oil in 1600 miles driving. The engine is loosening up nicely and responding to a very thorough fuel treatment which has shown in the Co2 reading that has fallen an exact 1% since the last MOT – even the PPM of hydrocarbon shows a credible 312 – the limit is 1200.

Happiness is.... a fresh and creamy years right to trudge the Highways and Byways bangernomic style!
Happiness is…. another year’s right to trudge the Highways and Byways bangernomic style!

The Project GSi lives to fight another year looking resplendent with its GTi rear spoiler. Oh, and by the way, if anyone has a period fully-working Philips R681 wireless or R960 with changer going surplus to requirements please get in touch and I’ll buy it from you!

Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

7 Comments

  1. This is great news, not a bad result for a 22 year old car,it never caused me any issues come mot time the past 2 years, apart from head lamp alignment.
    My usual mot tester is not around this year so much gut wrenching will ensue come mot time.

  2. Yes, good news for an ageing (but still nice)car. My 4 year old Focus has passed its second MOT with no advisorys, but that’s how it should be on newer cars. The spoiler on Mike’s 214 looks smart.

  3. Looks very tidy indeed in the above photo, engine bay beautifully clean.

    Ahh, the satisfaction when your old car passes its MOT!

  4. A well loved car in its early nineties heyday and nice to see one of these going strong. A far more satisfying older car than its rivals to drive and even now, 40 mpg is nothing to be ashamed of and makes it good for longer journeys.

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