News : New Rover 800 club launched


Fans of the Rover 800 are coming together with the aim of forming a new owners’ club. The Rover 800 Owners’ Club will cater for all variants of what was once the country’s best-selling executive car, including MkI (XX) and MkII (R17) variants. The club’s purpose is to ensure the survival and continued enjoyment of all versions of 800.

The club has come together through an online network of 800 owners, contributing to popular forums and also to a Facebook group. The step towards forming an official club has come about to better represent the car at shows and within the classic media, as well as to ensure the model’s 30th anniversary is celebrated in a befitting manner.

A number of events are being planned for 2016 to mark the model’s 30th birthday, including one event specially dedicated to the 800 and its followers. More information will follow after the club is officially formed. The new club aims to work closely with existing clubs and forums, including those supporting other Rover models and associated brands. The 30th anniversary is the perfect platform to do this, and to provide 800s and their owners with the support that a dedicated owners club can afford.

Anyone wishing to be involved with the club, or interested in becoming a member, is invited to an initial meeting, during which plans for the club’s official formation will be announced . The event takes place on Sunday, 4 October 2015, at 1.00pm at the MINI factory in Cowley, where 800 production began almost 30 years ago.

However, in the meantime, any AROnline readers wishing to obtain more information should send an email to



Keith Adams


  1. Nearly 30 years since the 800 was launched… how time flies. I remember the launch photos of the “800 Sterling”, vividly. Despite the affection afforded to the SD1, the Rover / Honda car was a brave replacement and deserves to have a club like this. I wish them well.

    • Could not have put it better myself.

      All good wishes to this new club and I hope to see you at other organised events, whether Rover or non-Rover related.

  2. I had a White 800i saloon Aug 1990 face lift Mk1 H653 LOG I bought it in August 1991 and kept it until 2000 when I sadly bought a new car
    The Rover 800 was my favourite car and I have fond memories ( and the original Radio Cassette in my loft)

    • my coworker had the same exact car with virtually that same reg number, just a couple digits out. Very very nice car but jinxed. Lost a headlight after being showered with rocks from a dirt lorry, then crashed into a stone wall.

  3. I’ve had 2 Mk1 827 Vitesses and had lots of miles out of them for little more than the cost of keeping them in consumables. Very underated cars in terms of reliability and performance. I was toying with the idea of buying another but I hate working on transverse engines these days. If I change my mind and nostalgia gets the better of me I’ll be joining I guess.


  4. I’ve heard some work they might need can be tricky, such as changing the steering rack as they wear out around the 100k mark.

    Also the cambelts on the 4 cylinder are very hard for DIY mechanics to work on.

      • Agreed. The 800 is a joy to work on, a huge engine bay gives plenty of room to work and the cars are quite simple mechanically and therefore quite reliable. It’s the slightly over ambitious electrics that can be a PITA, but there are some well established easy fixes for these too which transform the usual issues of flashing dashboards, non operating windows and doors that lock themselves with the keys in the ignition.

  5. They deserve to be saved, as there aren’t many around now. Once the quality issues were quickly solved, the 800 was the last British made executive car on the market and sold well during its 12 year life.

    • I remember with fondness the transformation that occurred with the 200Ps Vitesse Sport model in 1994. Featuring thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, sports suspension lowered by 20mm, torque sensing traction control and 17-inch alloy wheels, the Vitesse Sport signalled the long awaited return to the dynamic excitement and eager performance last seen in the iconic SD1 Vitesse.

      As Autocar & Motor aptly concluded in their road-test of the Vitesse Sport published in July 1994: “Rover has made a winner out of the car that carries its most evocative mantle”. Since then many of them have sadly been abused, trashed and even modified in the most tasteless manner.

      This means finding a good, unmolested example is proving more difficult these days.

      Such a club working with other Rover clubs could mean the 800 Series in all its guises won’t become a forgotten or minority member of the Modern Classics car scene in years to come.

      • Glad you mentioned other Rover clubs – might I point out that there is already a Rover Club that welcomes Rover 800s and indeed all Rovers from cycles to R40 – the Rover Sports Register, established in 1953 and therefore the daddy of all the National Rover clubs. Events are much more interesting with an array of 1884-2005 models than just one model range, too. See

  6. The nightfire coupe is real car porn. Always longed for one, is the Vitesse suspension much stiffer than the KV6 model? A friend had a 827 Fastback Vitesse, as a passenger it was very cosseting but not wallowy, I only drove it once, the auto box seemed a bit lazy but it was handling really well. Better as a mile muncher on the m’way (felt like on rails) than on twisty b roads though. who knows, one day…

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