News : Unused 1988 Rover 213 sells for £5000

Original Story: John Coles – Sun on Sunday

Parked in the garage since 1988, this ‘as new’ 213 has found a new owner

Rover’s little feel good saloon as we all know, was a massive success for the Austin Rover Group from 1984 through to 1990. The first of the proper collaborations between ARG and Honda, the 200 range not only looked posh, but for the first time in a long time had customers queuing at the showroom doors – tales of three month waiting lists were not uncommon.

The bite sized luxury saloon went onto to embarrass the Maestro and Montego in the sales charts, and these once regarded cars are now a very rare sight indeed. The Rover 200 back in the 80`s was very much the car should you wish to be Keeping up appearances.

The one shown above comes with a sad story, which we broke back in May. The original owner bought the car new from Central Garages in Torbay in 1988 only to fall seriously ill and pass on just after taking delivery and never had the opportunity to drive it. His widow rather than sell it onwards, kept the car their Garage unused for a staggering 24 years, but she too has now sadly passed away.

Showing just its delivery mileage of only 14 miles, the Silver Rover 213S has been sold at the request of the family for the princely sum of £5000 to a private buyer. Even the original tax disc that expired in `88 was still showing in the corner of the screen!

After being wheeled out in the Devon sunshine, the car amazingly ran with everything inside and out looking like brand new with everything working as it should right down to the Philips branded FM radio / cassette player. Quoting in the Sun newspaper vendor David Roberts said: ‘nobody could quite believe the condition of the car… it was like it had just left the showroom’

[Source: Sun online]

Vendor David Roberts said “it was like the car had just left the showroom”
Mike Humble


  1. well done had a 216 vandenplas many years ago lovely comfy car all round… this one is cheaper than buying new and will not depreciate as much i wouldnt have thought..

  2. Central Garages of Torbay are still trading as an MG Rover Group specialist, as well as now having a Mazda franchise operating from the same site.

    I hope this Rover has been bought by someone who will cherish it, even if that means it rarely turns a wheel as it is almost certainly the lowest mileage example in existence. A real shame the Heritage Motor Centre sold off the last SD3 back 2003. Perhaps the owner of this example might loan it to them?

  3. This car is one of the later improved versions with colour coded grille and boot to bumper level opening. I attended the press launch of the 200 series in Northumberland in 1984 and always felt it would be a success as they marketed it as a Rover rather than Triumph or Austin.

    Harold Musgrove said it was aimed at a younger market who’s careers were blossoming and who wanted a Rover… but not a large one. Welcome the 200. I gather its sales were better than the Montego.

  4. A very nice car, but I disagree that it belongs in a museum- it’s a car not the Mona Lisa. And although a nice car, it isn’t a vintage Bugatti, and even though now rare, it is a bit too mundane to cross much beyond the periphery of classic car territory.

    Ideally it should go to someone who will drive and enjoy it, but not as a ‘daily driver’.

  5. i wouldnt museum it, but i wouldnt daily drive it either. I would show it, possibly drive to the shows rather than trailer it.

  6. Forgive my ignorance, but can someone enlighten me as to what “WHS” means, beyond being the name of a High Street retailer? Sorry, but I am not that conversant with acronyms, only Hyacinth Buckett standards of English.

  7. What does SWMBO and HTH mean?

    I’m not very good with new media acronyms either. And I hate texting and don’t do Facebook. And I certainly don’t Tweet!

    I usually need to find a 12 year old to tell me how basic functions on my mobile phone work…

  8. @12

    Actually it’s been going on for much longer than 10 years, people were using “LOL” and “ROTFL” (as well as “smilies” 🙂 on Usenet back in the early 1980s.

  9. Right, that car has been sat idle in a garage for 20-odd years, and the engine had 20 odd year old oil in, and 20-odd year old coolant, and 20-odd year old brake fluid. Just think about that for a minute, and just think about all the rubber components on the car. A full strip down will probably be needed really, and every seal and rubber hose replaced. Modern cars do not like standing, even for a short length of time.

  10. Good points Yorkie & Spud. I know brake fluid is recommended to be replaced every 2-3 years. I get mine changed at those intervals, but I wonder how many other motorists do?

  11. Can’t remember when I last saw one out on the road. However, a car enthusiast I know down the pub recently showed me a newspaper clipping describing what may be ANOTHER similarly low mileage 213.

  12. Amazing milelage where has it been all this time,Iknow already been mentioned one in Keeping up Apearences,and also Father Ted,I fancy a Vanden Plas or Vittesse model.
    Regards Mark

  13. Amazing to think it was allowed to simply sit in the garage for 24 years. You’d think that after a few months a relative would have suggested selling it, if the lady herself hadn’t already thought similar.
    Can’t believe it’s so long since these were a common sight. Don’t think I’ve spotted one for years. Given the kind of buyer they very often attracted you’d think you may still spot the odd one – low miles, same owner for years but now with a new keeper and in more frequent use – similar to the above, if not quite as extreme!

  14. I used to have an early 213 base that was passed down to me as the new boy in a firm of estate agents ( they all had a Golf fixation and no one wanted it ).The previous ( female )driver had abused the hell out of it , and had coked it up by constantly running it on the choke , but I took it to an AR dealer in Willesden /Acton and had them give it a thorough service and de-coke .
    After that , it ran like clockwork and never let me down .
    Fuel efficiency was very good too .
    I also used to car jockey for a car rental company that had several 216’s on the fleet , and they rarely gave trouble despite all the bad press the K series engine got .
    All in all , a very good car , and I am glad this pristine one has surfaced .

  15. Lovely. Look after it! My dad’s one was sold on with rust (possible starting to hit the pillars) years ago.

    I’ve running a 1994 414 which is tucked away in the garage while I treat some rust areas (clean to metal, oxide primer and recoat).

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