Auction Watch : Rover 825i (1987)

Rover 825i eBay

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!

See the original sale on eBay

Keith Adams


  1. That looks lovely! I think my days of buying Rovers from ‘down South’ are over, though! Still didn’t stop me looking up the potential train journey required from West Yorkshire!!!

  2. You don’t realize that it’s nearly 35 years since the Rover 800 made it’s debut and that colour suits it very well,the interior still looks really good with those strips of wood veneer that give the car it;s Roverishness I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a V6 800 with a manual box ever before,£2750 seems a pretty reasonable price for such a good example get it while you can

  3. I remember driving an 825i with five on the floor about the time of launch, C327AAC IIRC. I found a large empty roundabout, gave it full beans in second gear, then closed the throttle – it didn’t budge an inch. Better handling than a Sierra or ADO16 then – a truly sorted chassis. OTOH, D340ONY was an auto’ 825i – not as much fun, especially as it was my MD’s company car. I took a passenger with me when I drove that one, as a witness to any potentail incidents!

  4. Less to go wrong as it has fewer toys than a Sterling or SLI, but still a nice car to drive with the smooth Honda V6 and a five speed transmission to make running costs lower than the automatic. Also comes with a typical stereo of the time, digital tuner, plenty of buttons and a chunky looking cassette desk.

  5. Just yesterday I popped my eyes on a fully equipped Sterling of the same vintage. The flat centre console with the T-shaped auto-box selector has a lot of charme. Also the manual temperature and airflow-distribution with the square A/C button next to it. From the exterior the small bumper offer quite a different, more restrained, appearance than the later bigger bumpers.

  6. I had a 1990 827sli MANUAL in opalescent red. It was a terrific car, the best I ever owned. It looked just like the one in the photographs, only a much nicer colour. Steering a tad light, maybe – made you feel it was a bit over-sensitive at 100mph on the Autobahn. But it was smooth, quick and comfortable. under-rated by the world at large.

  7. I still personally prefer the later ‘facelift’ styling, but there’s no doubt that’s a rather lovely thing.

  8. Yes indeed a good looking car from a past era. The fact it’s an entry level spec (despite the 2.5 engine) adds to appeal and rarity. Keenly priced too… £2,750 these days is not a lot of dosh for a traditional Rover saloon.

    Would rather have this than an SUV or crossover.

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