AS many of you may be aware, I also have a day job writing about cars. Over on Practical Classics magazine, I have a very different perspective on motoring, the scene, and driving in general. Dealing with the heaps I generally do, it pays to have a sense of humour (and despite rumours to the contrary, this dour Northern bugger has been known to crack a smile once in a while), even if some of the car capers I find myself on would test the patience of a saint.
I sometimes pen pieces for an ongoing PC series known as Endangered Species in which we highlight models which are on the brink of extinction according to registration information supplied by the SMMT. I mention this because I am genuinely beginning to worry about the medium term future of K-Series powered Rovers and MGs.
Five years from now will there be any left?
Perhaps the only way our granchildren will see these cars is on the pages of websites like this…
I reckon that, with falling residual values, a headgasket repair of £400-800 now no longer makes economic sense (for those who judge cars in merely fiscal terms) for all but the nicest cars. Maybe the credit crunch will persuade people to hold onto their old cars for longer but skimped servicing could lead to the inevitable tragedies and, when something significant goes wrong, it’ll be a case of ‘typical bloody Rover.’
However, I hear you say, the KV6 Rover 75 and MG ZTs are mighty nice, less bothersome and more dependable than their cylinder brethren. This may well be the case but, unfortunately, their days must surely be numbered in the current climate. Why? Well, fuel at over £1.20 per litre isn’t nice when your car will only do 22mpg and, once the government railroads through its plans to cripple all post-2001 in the top CO2 band with a £950 per year tax bill, you can kiss goodbye your £1500’s worth of Longbridge execu-barge. And if you’ve recovered from that, don’t ask your garage to change the belts at 100K – not unless you have a stack of money put aside in the bank.
And that’s a real shame.
MG and Rover fans are therefore going to be in for a rough ride in the next few years, as numbers thin out radically. Will any survive? I reckon some MGFs and TFs might stand a chance, and a few cherished cars whose owners are a dab hand at DIY. As for the rest, the outlook looks grim, and perhaps the only way our granchildren will see these cars is on the pages of websites like this.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.