I may have mentioned this before but, when I purchased the Rover 75, I never intended to keep it as a long-term smoker. The purchase price was so cheap considering the mileage that the original battle plan was to iron out the wrinkles, polish a bit of value into it, then sell it on for a tickle and move on to something else.
However, to concur with old Blue Eyes Mr Sinatra, it’s got right under my skin and deep in the heart of me. Never tiring of the swoops and curves, always appreciating that genuine feeling of rock solid structural engineering, I have not enjoyed Bangernomics so much in years.
It’s my four-wheeled automotive night nurse if you will – regardless of how bad a day you may have encountered, the journey home takes on an eerie soft focus. Sitting behind the wheel of a Rover 75 in comfort not unlike your living room, you never suffer from road rage or any other form of motoring anxiety – only a Saab has a similar effect for similar money. Even the clocks on the walnut dash seem to be calibrated akin to an old barometer, meaning that, whatever is going on in world outside, everything on this inside reads ‘fine’ – and I kind of like that… quite a lot.
The car has certainly earned its corn too – Eddie, as I call it, has now racked up a credible 14,500 miles since my ownership and 14,000 of those since I performed open heart surgery by means of fitting an upgraded head gasket and related components just after purchase opting to prevent rather than cure.
Well, I’m pleased to say that, with the exception of a minor ignition problem partly caused by a previous garage bodge, Eddie just keeps on providing reliable, comfortable and enjoyable transport allied to fairly decent fuel consumption too in the region of the high 30s.
Anyway, as we all know, Keith moved on from his own 75 recently, citing its leisurely performance as the main reason for doing so and I kind of agree with that. However, for me, the car is not about whiz-bang performance or pin-sharp road manners, though I am certain that, had his example been a ZT160 or 75 turbo, he would still be in the club.My fitting of 18in wheels has indeed sharpened up the cornering with virtually no side effects on ride comfort, but as for performance? Well, let’s say that for car that weighs what it does, it’s adequate. To counteract this, I simply leave a few minutes earlier and enjoy the journey.
What about running costs over the past year excluding fuel, insurance and the usual donation to the Chancellor? Well, not a great deal has been required to keep the old fella trundling along. Running repairs consist of replacing the valve cover owing to a stripped thread in the cam sensor, one faulty spark plug and the battery which died without warning. The wheel upgrade was a direct swap that cost nothing, though I did have to purchase three tyres in order to stay legal. The ‘Hairpin’ rims could do with a refurb but, take five paces backwards, and they look fine while filling out the wheel arch spaces a treat.
Running Costs and expenditure over 14,000 miles excluding fuel and legals
- Battery(second hand) – £18
- NGK Iridium spark plug – £4.98
- Front brake pads – £24.51
- Valve Cover with cam sensor – Donated FOC via life expired car
- 2x Headlamp dip beam bulbs – £7.86
- Oil Consumption – ½ litre
- Coolant Consumption – Zero
There you have it, then – living proof that Bangernomics does work. Don’t believe the hype that a Rover 75 is an expensive car to run. The 1.8 and turbo offer a staggering amount of value, style and substance that rivals could not even come close to matching while a few dollars more will get you into the CDT model for those miserly drivers.
However, for those who wish to run a 75 and carry out their own tinkering and upgrades, the 1.8 Rover 75 or MG ZT are so DIY friendly and the only versions that won’t empty your wallet when it comes to routine servicing/repairs.