Lee Stott gives us a little background on why he has what surely must be the nicest Rover 220 Tomcat left, and what it’s taken to get it into that condition.
Lee works for MG in Longbridge, and it’s great to see his stunning car back home…
Words and photography: Lee Stott
I have been an MG Rover enthusiast for over 30 years and, in that time, I have owned many – probably most – of the range. Over the last 20 years, I don’t think I have been without at least one MG Rover in my possession. I currently work at MG Longbridge in the Vehicle Press Garage – prior to that I worked in Powertrain and before that at Summit Garage MG.
My pride and joy is this wonderful Rover R8. It’s a 1993 K-registered Polynesian Turquoise Rover 220 Coupe. It has covered a genuine 51,000 miles from new, which is fully backed up by a comprehensive service history file. It’s enjoying life in the slow lane now – having covered just 4000 miles in the last 16 years.
It has been fully overhauled due to leaky gaskets, which is a common fault on these T-Series engines. It’s had all the gaskets and seals replaced, including the headgasket, water pump, cambelt and new radiator – and the engine is now oil tight with no leaks. All engine bay bolts have been replaced with new genuine factory original replacements and a new genuine expansion tank.
It has just been fitted with all-new genuine front and rear suspension and new genuine nuts and bolts. It has also had new genuine Lucas brake calipers, carriers and discs all round and is also fitted with new 35mm PI lowering springs. A new genuine factory Unipart backbox and centre section were sourced from Portugal and a factory Unipart chrome tailpipe was sourced from Spain.
Also sourced were a brand new set of 15in Regal alloy wheels, new centre caps and fitted with new 185/55/15 Continental tyres, new genuine wheel nuts and original locking nuts have also been fitted. Also fitted are a new rare Roversport 3 tooth grille, Japanese-spec high level brake light and Rover headlamp protectors.
A full respray was carried out two-and-a-half years ago at a cost of £2500, due to some age related scratches and some very minor dents and then fitted with brand new top tint windscreen. It’s had new genuine arch protectors, windscreen scuttle panel, wiper arms, headlights, front indicators, side indicators, rear lights and Valeo fog lamps. The car hasn’t seen wet weather in the last two years and has always been kept in a heated undercover environment.
The interior is immaculate and fitted with a mint, unmarked half-leather interior, it is also fitted some very rare factory options: a Rover R950 cassette player with under seat CD changer and Rover cassette storage holder. The underneath of the car and wheel arches are superb – they have all been cleaned and treated with Kent Rubberguard – and the car has never been welded.
The car is water tight and does not leak anywhere including the targa tops and inside the boot. It still has the original dealer number plates, rear window sticker, service sticker and tax disc holder, keyring and targa top glass bag. It comes with two keys, two alarm fobs, owners wallet with manuals and original dealer brochure.
The car was first registered by Corby Rover, which owned it for a year, and was then bought by the previous owner, who lived in Huntingdon and owned it for 24 years. I acquired it from a good friend in September 2019 and brought it back to its birthplace in Longbridge.
The car is 28 years old and drives like it just rolled off the production line and is in stunning condition – in my humble opinion, the Tomcat Coupe still looks sleek and modern even today, nearly 30 years later.
I plan to keep the coupe as standard as possible as many others have been modified and you don’t see many now unmolested. My dream drive in it? I would love to drive the coupe to the south of France and take it around the Monaco F1 circuit.
If you would like to see your car featured on AROnline please get in touch with me by any of the channels below. Looking forward to hearing from you!