Car of the Month : April 2006

The Rover R8 is one our readers’ favourite cars, as its high ranking in the 2004’s poll to find the BMC>Rover top ten clearly demonstates…

Here is a particular nice example which proves the R8 is on the verge to getting a collectors car – certainly in mainland Europe, where a car like this is rare enough to turn heads. ALEXANDER BOUCKE visits car mechanic Holger Siemund, from Aachen in Germany, to see his latest purchase.

A future classic…

The 216 and its classic wedge shape.

WHILE polishing the deep red paintwork of his new car – a pretty and rare Rover 216GTi 16V three-door – Holger Siemund tells us all about the history of his latest, and impressive, find. Although it clearly dates from 1990 or 1991, this GTi obviously sat in the dealer network for some time, as it wasn’t officially registered until March 1993. The first owners, Rover Germany, retained the car for two years, and during that time, it was rarely used.

Service stamps show the car had covered less than 8000km before being handed over to its private owner.

Holger has owned plenty of Austin Rover cars; a Metro GTa, a Rover 114GT, and Montego GTi Estate are but a few. A while back he found a cheap, but rather well kept 216GTi in British Racing Green, which serves as his very reliable daily transport. The refinement, style and quality of the R8 impressed Holger so much, he started searching for a well-preserved example to squirrel away as a future classic car.

After a long search, Holger found his car – a small ad on the web offering a low mileage, one-owner GTi with full service history proved worthy of further investigation. When he went to view the car, Holger knew he had to have it. The fetching Cherry-Red paintwork may have been a bit dull in places, but it was nothing a good polish couldn’t cure.

The car still shows less than 70,000km on the clock, and as well as the comprehensive documentation, the stunning condition of this car backs this up.

There’s only one thing keeping Holger from driving the car: “There is no evidence of a cambelt change in the service booklet, so it might well be the first. I just don’t want to take a risk, so it will get changed before I start using the car.”

The colour is another interesting point, since it’s the first three-door GTi we know of in Germany not to be finished in either Red, Black or British Racing Green – So it’s a real first for us…

Let’s hope the weather improves soon, so that Holger can enjoy his new 216GTi in the sunshine…

Another car of the month in the background…

The car’s colour matches the Rover flag on the garage wall perfectly.

Alexander Boucke

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