We have our own Project Rover 75, but the bug has been caught elsewhere in the country.
Mike Humble returns to Tilbury to find out more…
The Essex King of Bangernomics
Regular site readers will know about my contact Tony Gothard and his ever-expanding fleet of now famous Leyland Trucks. Soon to be featuring on the silver screen – the trucks that is – his properties both private and business are littered with all things to do with transport. Even though on the surface his passions are WW2 aeroplanes, motorcycles and firearms – I love the last one – it transpires he’s a bit of a petrolhead too. But you do have to dig a little deeper to find out.
When I use the phrase contact of mine it would be more fitting to say good mate. Over the past few years we have built up a solid rapport and friendship. He’s laugh a minute company and, if he could tone down his colourful language, would make a killing on the after-dinner speech circuit. Tony is the sort of chap who calls a spade a big tool if you get my meaning. Every ‘phone call or face-to-face meeting ends up with both of us coughing our gizzards up from laughing.
Anyway, he called me up recently to tell me proudly of his latest purchase. Now normally this would be and piece of machinery or vintage lorry but this time he really did surprise me. Tony is now the custodian of an early Rover 75 2.0 V6 auto – arguably not the best drive-line from the R40 portfolio, but an interesting one. A short whizz around the bottom section of the M25 was called for to see just what he had sitting in one of his barns.
Can’t help but be jealous!
He’s fully up to speed with my own 75 experiences, but I had to admit I did have a twinge of jealousy when I saw it slumbering. Purchased by his son from a local car auction sat a Connoisseur SE with personal line interior. It’s a little bit giffered around the edges, but is otherwise in fine mechanical fettle. No death rattle from the inlet manifold, working dual zone climate and cruise control, electric rear sunblind – the whole nine yards. All this for next to nothing and just 22,000 miles on the clock.
‘I put off buying one until now because I like a bargain and besides, I was waiting for the depreciation to settle down a bit.’ – Tony Gothard
I asked him how come its taken so long to buy one, especially after he’d mentioned it was a car he always admired. In typically Tony style, he remarked: ‘I put off buying one until now because I like a bargain and besides, I was waiting for the depreciation to settle down a bit‘. My other half and his wife Diane just slowly shook their heads at his kitchen table as he said it. There’s never a dull moment when you are in his company.
We took it for a decent drive around the Essex countryside and I can confirm it’s a good one – in fact, better than that, it’s a bloody good one. The previous owner from new was an elderly gentleman who over time has pranged and marked pretty much every panel but plans are afoot to get the bodywork in good order once more. All I need to do now is to finish the final touches on my own 75 and arrange a summertime photo opportunity.
We’ll keep you posted on Tony’s new toy.
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
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