News : Former AROnline Project R8 now up for sale

Craig Cheetham

25 years after it first left Longbridge, current owner Benny took it back...
25 years after it first left Longbridge, current owner Benny took it back…

One of AROnline’s former ‘Project’ cars is now available for sale. The gold Rover 214 SLi, a very early example of the R8 on a G-plate, was first acquired by AROnline’s Features Editor, Mike Humble, back in 2010 and has been known to the site ever since.

Its current owner, Ben Adams, has reluctantly decided to part with the car to make way for something a little more suitable for his daily motorway commute, meaning the R8 has to go.

At £550, it seems pretty good value for a well-sorted and increasingly rare example of what was arguably Rover’s finest hour – I’ve seen the car myself and, while it isn’t perfect, it’s way, way better than most of its age, especially when you consider it has travelled over 160,000 miles.

A smart R8 for not much cash
A smart R8 for not much cash

It’s based in the Midlands, not far from the M6 and, if you’re interested, you can view it here. We’d love to see it kept in the family…


Craig Cheetham


  1. Nice photos of this tidy car at Longbridge 25 years after it was built there. Its place in history is assured. Perhaps it should be given to a Heritage Centre at some point, to prevent the scenario of damage or scrappage? £550 is not a lot of money for a decent car like this still is

  2. Hi Ben, I’ve just come across this and having been looking for the right r8 for a while now, is it still for sale?? Even though I notice the ad is a week old now, tried texting you to no avail, if you were at pride this year I may have seen it as I was there with my gf’s brother in law who was there with his, the oldest known surviving model (at the time anyway)

  3. I’ve seen this car recently! Has it still got a big crease in the sill or has that been fixed?

    No PAS on the early ones IIRC?

  4. these r8 cars age beautiful… strangely though, probalably because of the clean/simple design, i have 1 220 turbo and 216 coupe, and the tourer version is still nice to see after all these years, rover really did capatalise these model well with tourer, cabrio, coupe, 3d, 4d and 5d…

  5. The sill has a crease in it caused when the wheels were changed on soft ground. It’s not affecting the car in any way and it flew through an MOT in March.

  6. These early ones without PAS are impossibly heavy to steer. I had one new back in the day and Mrs. Tailor refused to drive it.

    I’d also question the sale of a car that leaves out important information like body damage. My experience of damaged sills is that rust isn’t far behind. Add in the high mileage, lack of PAS and damage and that is an expensive £550.

    • I wondered about that. Anyone who’s been reading AR for a while (or done any research) would have known that claim to be false. Has the new AR got some kind of financial interest in this sale?

      • No.

        I love a conspiracy theory, me. Nobody said it was AROnline’s first R8 (Keith was singing their praises long before there was any ‘classic’ interest). But it was Mike’s first AROnline project. And at £550 for a respectable car with a long MoT, nobody’s being greedy (at least not in my wholly independent opinion – if you think that’s a lot for a tidy, road legal motor, you’re entitled to your opinion, too).

        Indeed, I put this up here because I thought that, maybe, a site regular would give it a new home rather than it end up on a banger track, as R8s often do (at least round my way). They’re very quick for a 1,400, see…

        Why do people have to spend their lives thinking other people are on the take all the time? I sell most of my own cars at a loss, but if I’ve enjoyed owning them, I don’t really care!

          • Gotta love someone who uses a self-destruct email address with a public inbox to denigrate other people’s good character. I’m here because I like cars, most AROnline readers are, too. As for your implication that I have a financial interest in the sale of someone else’s car – it’s plain bonkers. And if I was taking a cut of £550, I’d hardly be a rich man… How are you, anyway, chap? Off you trot…

          • Not sure I could be confident in this site not commercially abusing a real email address, given its recent behaviour.

        • I’ve never seen a website ‘behave’, badly or otherwise. But if you’re concerned about commercial intervention, we’d be breaking the law if we started to fire unwanted spam at you without your express permission… So fear not.

          Free speech is valued and important. Questioning people’s ethics with no foundation, substantiation or, indeed, truth behind it, is not.

          I put my name to my own comments because I have nothing to hide, least of all my identity. But then, if you make borderline libellous remarks about folk, probably best to hide behind a robot, yes?

  7. Nice car! A lot of car for the money. Hope it finds a good new home.

    Twice now I’ve spotted an R8 3dr (sportier version I reckon) sat neglected, out of use in a drive way locally. Near Birkenhead if anyone is interested.

  8. These non PAS cars are okay to steer once driving along but can be heavy to park. Oddly old worn tyres can make the steering much heavier, changing them can make it more bearable.

  9. It’s advertised as “Aronline’s original project car” even though several have gone before. It’s also damaged and not repaired. It’s a not got PAS either. Too many inaccuracies in one ad. I notice the seller had dropped the price since it was highlighted as being too high.

    It’s a great pity that this site is turning into a ‘For sale’ site.

  10. Its expensive for a very high mile base model R8, especially a damaged one. Thats a £250 car, tops. Sorry, but it is. If it was a GTi, GSi, or similar top spec, low miles and mint then maybe it would be worth the money and a bit more. The 200 and 400 OC is full of cars for less money and in better condition.

  11. Good to see an early G-Reg R8 still going strong.

    The R8 seems to be stuck in that awkward place that a lot of mass market stuff ends up. Seen as too old by those wanting a cheap car and too young by the classic car crowd. I’ve noticed a couple of excellent examples struggle to sell at decent prices. A shame, as in my opinion these were the last genuinely class leading Rover.

    Good luck with the sale.

    • And still got another 10 years in that place. Maybe now is the time to snap up the low mileage top condition cars (i.e. not this one), hide them away in a climate controlled barn and make your millions when they become bona fide classics.

  12. The R8 is the best Practical Classic on the market at the moment, they are reliable, good to drive and cheap to buy and run and spares are rekativly easy to find. It’s the modern day Morris Minor.

  13. It is somewhat odd that the detractors use ‘disposable’ email addresses whilst the genuine posters use email addresses that they’ve held for some time now.

    The price Craig quoted was an early estimate before final submission, the price is actually £475 and I am happy to confirm that Craig has not asked, nor have I offered, any kind of ‘cut’ from the proceeds. Craig contacted me and kindly offered to write about the sale on here, neither of us are 100% certain about it being the first ever Project Car so the words were carefully chosen. I myself would argue that GDF was more of a rally than project car but ‘you say tomato, I say tomato’. These kind of discussions could go on for years and frankly life is too short!

    Thank you to everyone else for your positive comments and I hope to report back soon that the car has gone to a new enthusiast owner!

    • Good stuff – thanks Benny. Like you, I hope it goes to an R8 fan. And if they discover it through this post, please don’t buy me a pint. I’d be rude to refuse such a gentlemanly gesture, of course, but then the ethics committee might suggest (via an email robot) that such a thing would be a conflict of interests 😉 good luck with the sale.

    • Wasn’t it £650 before it was £550? With huge mileage, bent sills, PASless…

      LOL, as the kids say.

  14. Has the unmentioned damage been repaired yet? It makes you wonder what other issues aren’t being mentioned.

    • Why do you care? Go away.

      Getting fed up with trolls on the site recently (and people with axes to grind about anything Craig posts). I’m sure everything is written in good faith.

      • I’m not sure what your issue is? The ad is on the main page and someone has clearly left out import information like body damage and even recent issues. So it’s not a fair ad to feature here if details are being hidden. A little birdie told me it broke down last week also after the stepper motor failed. But that’s also left out of the ad.

        • My issue is that as a casual fan of the site for many years certain pedants are criticising almost every article at the moment and making the comments section an unpleasant place to visit. It’s starting to seem vexatious.

          Your ‘little birdie’s’ evidence is no more proven true or false than the information in the advertisement. At the end of the day it’s a second hand car. The buyer should look closely and accept the risk involved. Please spare us conspiracy theories.

          • As I’m the first and only person who recognised this as not the original project car and could remember the original from 2004 I think it’s fair to say I’m not a fly by night reader of the site. And yes, I believe users should be aware of all facts and the true condition of the cars being advertised on here. The car did break down and is damaged. You’ll notice the seller hasn’t commented on it as he knows it to be true and can’t defend against it. It’s an important and obvious fact that’s left out. Now if I was making it up don’t you think they’d have said so? Anyway I digress, the site has changed a lot over the past few years. It’s a great pity it’s become a small ads page however. At least on eBay you can report ads for not having factually incorrect information.

  15. What is this lad Tim Tailor’s problem? I bet he’s not evenn old enough to drive. He should just get a picture of it and get YER MA to draw it for you.

    Nice car Benny. Don’t listen to these MOUTH BREATHERS.

  16. Good God! How on earth has a feature about a sound R8 on this web site attracted all the negative comment. All the needless argument over the title “First Project Car”.

    The point is, it’s a good example of one of the firm’s best cars. Something to be ENTHUSIASTIC about. Simple! Well replied, Craig.

  17. I have been actively selling and buying Rover cars for 3 decades now without a break.There are less and less of these cars visibly on the roads now,It would be nice to see it in a showplace like a small motor museum so people could enjoy looking at one of the best cars ever made
    Happy memories,
    All the best,

  18. How much does it cost to advertise on here,i sell a few bangers,this good be a good outlet for me,cheers,regards,chris,xx.

  19. Some of these comment are just unbelievable, I Have seen the car and yes it’s not the best out there but also not the worse, the car is 26 years old and with that comes some unreliability that’s when you get it repaired.
    What difference does it make if the stepper motor was playing up last week, it’s now working again and that’s all that matters.
    If anyone expects to buy a 1089 car and drive it and not have some mechanical or other issues with it then those people need to buy a more modern car.

    And it probably was the first Project car that Mike Humble wrote about meaning that there was an ongoing running report on the day to day use of the car.

    Benny is selling the car and NOT Craig or AR Online, it’d been highlighted here in the hope that one of the regular readers/ enthusiast might be interested in an Ex project car, and if so they could contact the seller, but its obvious that some people just like to whinge and complain just because they have nothing better to do.

  20. I very nearly went and looked at this car, sadly for one reason and another it wasn’t meant to be but, firstly Ben I hope it’s gone to a loving home, secondly what is actually wrong with people on this site, ITS A TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD CAR FOR CHRISTS SAKE, I think you’d be doing very well indeed to buy any 26yr old car that was both mint and unquestionably reliable, £550 as a project car that needs some tinkering and fettling seems reasonable enough to me, and if you were the sort of person who has a single syllable type relationship with er indoors and space in the garage then just imagine what you could make this car into

  21. Great to see the website back in professional hands at last,good luck craig in whatever you choose to do with your idle time,regards.chris.

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