Car of the Month : March 2008

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Still regarded as Rover’s highest watermark since the P6, the Rover R8 fought a tough battle with the Escort and Astra for sales supremecy in the hatchback market in the UK during the early 1990s. Sadly, that momentum wasn’t maintained with the R8’s replacement… and taking a look at this one shows why – it’s nigh on perfect as compact workforce with a dash of added prestige…

This car, owned by João Paulo Santos Rosa de Carvalho, an admin on the popular Portuguese MG Rover forum, is the nicest example we’ve seen in some time, and a more than worthy benefactor for AROnline’s CoTM this month…

Words and pictures: João Paulo Santos Rosa de Carvalho

Above all…

THIS was my first car, and I’ve been driving it since passing my test and getting my licence a few years ago. Needless to say I love the 1995 214SEi, and won’t be selling it – ever… Despite being 12 years old and with over 90,000 miles on the clock, still looks and feels like a brand new car. In my time, it’s never let me down, nor has it ever had a problem…

I reckon that Rover R8s look really right. I’m not sure what it is that makes them look so good – perhaps its a combination of the classical proportions or the slight wedge shape it has. Either way, it’s a great piece of design, and even today looks good and up to date, in my eyes.

Being an SEi, it has all the nice touches that finish the R8 design – but I’ve added sill skirts from the GTi/GSi model and a centre armrest, and have been deciding whether or not to colour code the mirrors (it has standard black mirrors, however I think some colour coded mirror caps, like 414GSi/SLi and Tomat may work), but we’ll have to see…

The stereo is an aftermarket fitment. It’s a Blaupunkt Daytona MP53, and I chose it because I thought it a much better match with the rest of the car’s interior. I bought it about three years ago, and at the time it was very difficult to find a stereo with black fascia. Nowadays they’re getting again more common… Finally, I reckon that the chrome trim rings around the heating and ventilation controls and enamel Rover badge on the steering wheel centre finish off the interior perfectly…


Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams

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