This fascinating, wonderful and rare beast has just popped up on my eBay feed, and I find myself doing some man maths in order to add it to my collection of unremarkable cars. What makes this one so interesting is that it’s a launch-spec Rover 800, which come up extremely rarely these days.
What caught my eye about this one is that it’s a Honda-powered 825i (basic specification, high powered) and has a manual transmission (very rare!). Looking through its MoT history, it’s covered just 3000 miles in the past 15 years (the total is now 108,000), and looks to have been off the road, resting for the past three years.
As it’s such an early car, you get the benefit of a full-sized trip computer, two-tone steering wheel, manual heating and ventilation and cloth seats, which look to be in excellent condition. The seller’s account goes under the name of ‘Mk1Geoff’, which suggests he could well be an aficionado.
The seller (who I have no links with) says, ‘there hasn’t been another for five years,’ and I’d agree with that. Rover 825s are proper unicorns these days. He adds: ‘It’s been owned for the majority of its life by an elderly couple. I’ve been in contact with someone who remembers the car and confirms it was garaged and used to come out at weekends. Some minor rust to the bodywork, but is a very solid car.’
Okay, it’s up for £2750 or best offer, rather than an auction, but the ‘best offer’ part indicates there’s some wriggle room. What appeals to me is that it’s MoT’d and ready to go and, other than a peppering of minor corrosion-related issues from 2006, it looks reasonably clean and healthy. With new tyres all round, you could safely describe this as a rolling project.
In today’s classic car market, which is seeing some very strong prices for modern classics, this one looks like it’s fairly-valued taking into account the fact there’s some rectification work required for the bodywork. Put it this way, I paid similar money for a non-running five-cylinder Audi 80!