Maybe it’s an age thing, maybe it’s the eBay fuelled ‘barn-find’ phenomenon, but, all of a sudden, there seems to be a huge increase in the number of extremely low-mileage Eighties and Nineties A-R cars on the market.
The reality, alas, is probably tinged with sadness, as a great many of these cars are emerging from the garages of suburban detached houses where the previous owner has either retired from driving, moved into sheltered accommodation or passed away – much in the same way, I guess, that there was a glut of late Seventies and early Eighties low mileage classics on eBay a decade ago.
So, following the interest shown in the Mk1 Rover 820e at Anglia Car Auctions the other week (have we heard the last of that, I wonder?), and the 5,750 mile SD3 I stumbled upon at the Tatton Park Classic Car Show the other week, here are a couple of the latest low mileage finds that have suddenly hit the market…
In Keighley, West Yorkshire, a Mercedes specialist appears to have what must be the lowest mileage remaining 600 – an L-plate 620 GSi with a recorded mileage of just 3,700. He hasn’t mentioned a price yet, and I’m intrigued to know what kind of ‘preparation’ it’s awaiting, though I wouldn’t be surprised if – even with barely any road use – it may need some remedial attention to the rear arches. Or am I being a cynic?
Then there’s good old eBay itself, source of many a dubious advert. These two, though, have really caught my eye…
First up, is this R17 800, which would make the perfect companion to the 38,000-mile XX sold at Anglia the other week, should the owner have the space and funds…
Pretty ordinary in spec terms, and victim of some of Rover’s late model cost-cutting initiatives, but where else are you going to find an 800 Fastback with only 16,000 miles on the clock? Let’s just hope this one finds its way into preservation rather than becoming someone’s cheap transport for a winter or two.
Or what about the Metro Rio featured above?
Round-nose Rover Metros are still seen as disposable by so many, even though interest in the earlier flat fronted Austin and pre K-Series models has perked up somewhat in recent years. It won’t be long, though, before they’re pretty much all gone – indeed, near extinction is already upon them, making this 36,000 mile, garaged-from-new example all the more worthy of salvation. At £650, it’s not a massive investment…
Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled as there’ll be more over the coming weeks, I’m certain. And if you don’t get one now, they’ll all be gone. If you look at how prices of Seventies cars have risen over the past 4-5 years, cheap cars of this era will only be around for a finite amount of time. And I, for one, don’t know what I’ll be into next!
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