Our Cars : Project 75 – Play Misty for me

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Its only taken five months of ownership, but Mike Humble finally puts the last of the project 75 running faults to bed and is highly receptive of the improvements!

Not a bad place to be - And now fault free for the time being at least!

Having just spent a moment thumbing through the paperwork for my mobile drawing room – the project 75, some very interesting facts have come to light. Firstly – I have owned Eddie the Rover for more than a few days, which is getting close for a record, and secondly, the damn MoT is nearly due – deep joy.

All in all, it’s been a good machine offering credible refinement, economy and driving pleasure along with a charm and level of ability which is both retro and competent. I am quite happy to say on record that the 75 has been the most enjoyable and comfy large barge I have owned this side of a SAAB 9000 – the love affair deepens.

The bug seems to be infectious too, my close friend since school days and former 214 / 25 owner Dylan Gradwell, is toying with the idea of a 75 Tourer or ZT-T to use as a dog taxi, while another chum and former 420 owner, Spencer J Payne, is looking to purchase the same for a similar reason. It seems then, that the 75 has animal appeal partly confirmed by our workshop supervisor – Stella the Cat taking every opportunity to jump in and sleep on the parcel shelf. My next door neighbour recently told me that the damn cat does the same thing with their 25 Impression S – she not only enjoys tinned Tuna, but also fine cars too!

Until recently, this was the efficiency of the project 75 heated rear screen.

I will confess, I avoid electrical work on cars almost as much as watching reality TV shows or visiting nearby Crawley, and as previously mentioned, the heated rear screen had never worked on the Rover but owing to a proficient heater and aircon system, this had never been high on the ‘to do’ list of priorities. Well, after some fiddling around it turned out to be a reasonably simple task, but one that requires some patience & care. The heated rear screen also doubles as the aerial for the wireless and the electrical filter which lives behind the rear trim panel had well and truly burnt out along with a few of the elements on the rear window.

After few cups of tea, a replacement filter module and some conductive paint, the rear de-mister works again and the wireless picks up VHF stations better than ever. Previously, I could not have heard the surreal yet brilliant nonsense of Danny Baker – The Candy Man on BBC London 94.9 on the 75’s wireless receiver even if I had crashed through the studio foyer – it was that bad, even struggling sometimes with our local stations BBC Slurry & Sussex. So now my rear screen shows a clear view behind me on these damp mornings and I can enjoy the local radio hot phone in debate on Corn plasters or the disgraceful rise in the cost of supermarket carrier bags!

Also of note, the damaged NSR lamp cluster has been swapped over, though not before removing the years of grime, mud and prehistoric dead spiders. So now I seem to be left with the task of getting the car in shape for the MOT and in some sort of visual order for the Pride of Longbridge gathering on the Saturday the 14th of April.

But just to close, AROnline has decided to add a section called ‘Technicians Update’ named in tribute to those legendary Rover Group service bulletins and VHS videos, featuring some funny tales from the toolbox (following reader requests) along with some easy ‘how to’ articles for the budding DIY driver – we do hope you enjoy them.

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

9 Comments

  1. Tonight, I’m communicating with AROnline via my own laptop & e-mail address for the first time! Yee ha!!!!

    Mike, I’m starting to envy your 75. Whereas mine is just well serviced yours seems close to perfection. Mine is just in good order. Yours, however, seems closer to a show car.
    I’m afraid I don’t have the necessary knowledge to maintain & repair the car myself, not much beyond fluid checks & polishing anyway.

    Mine is due it’s fortnightly wash & wax this weekend. Unfortunately, the rear apron has had two or three slight car park scrapes. One which had appeared on my return to the car. Another was my fault weekend just gone. When reversing, I used the six foot wall as reference and didn’t notice the isolated bollard a few inches in front of it. Ouch! The marks are not huge by any means but the touch up stick hardly leaves a showroom finish. Any tips for acheiving a better result, buffing the blobs of touch up paint?

    Hope your MOT is trouble free. Mine is due again in July. Last year my 75 sailed through. Nothing but the test fee to pay and no ‘advises’ either, although the track rod ends were replaced 4 or 5 months later.

  2. BSD

    Mike and David – i envy you both!

    Although i do not own a Rover (i wish i could own one…), unfortunately,here in Israel Rover was always considered as Honda’s poor cousin…

    Even when new,only enthusiasts boght Rover.

    And today,since there is no importer (Rover’s previous importer still imports Landrover&Rangerover-and it started also to import… GreatWall pick-ps from China-Oh My!!!,and even when he was Rover’s importer he was known for being overpriced and underqualified-which ruined rover’s name)because Rover went bust,and the prices of used Rovers are vey very low,many Rovers are owned today by people without a lot of money that think “well,it has Honda engine,so,let’s put Honda OEM plugs and filters and if we will need other parts,we can always go to the nearest scrap yard…”.

    It hurts,it realy hurts!

    It hurts to see a Rover 75,all scrached&crumpled,with oil leaking everywhere and rust points all over…

    and older Rovers are mostly in worse condition!

    I am not saying that there are no mint conditioned Rovers,but to find them is like finding a needle in a hay stack…

    I wish Rover was treated and respected here i Israel as it is in the UK…

  3. Love these articles, Mike. As for Danny Baker, I could not abide him on telly. Tuned in to him by accident a few years ago on bbc 94.9 and was hooked. A wonderful and informed broadcaster covering the wiedest of subjects. He’s not bad Saturday mornings on 5live either. Had to buy a Digital/Internet radio so as to hear him in North Yorks.

  4. The Cavaliers’ heated rear screen has three elements that have failed over the years (right in the middle of course) – I must admit I’ve never heard of conductive paint before… I take it it’s a common motor factors job to attain some? Long weekend coming up so some car fettling beckons, including a smashed rear lamp cluster, that I managed to break by simply closing the boot…

  5. I have to say that every time I see a picture of a Rover 75’s interior it makes me want to sit in it and just cruise in comfort to the continent. I know it’s been said (several times) before, but I’ll say it again – the 75 was such a lost opportunity, although at least Rover bowed out with a world-class product.

  6. I’ve never had a car that has a fully working hand walmer or aircon for that matter. And my current steed is the first with 4 matching wheel trims.

  7. Was out on the drive washing, waxing my 75 again yesterday.

    When down the local later on, my neighbour commented – ” Saw you before. Mind, it’s a beautiful car. Looked inside when it was out on the road. It’s like a Jag inside.

    Not many £2500 used car purchases get this kind of praise.

    Was admiring the car myself this morning. I often do. If I’d bought a Mondeo, or similar, it would soon have become JUST ‘the car’. Nineteen months since purchase and my 75 is still very much the admired, cherished Rover.

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