Words and photography: Alexander Boucke
In January 2017 I wrote about the accident which put our trusty Rover Tourer’s fate on trial. Yes, that was quite a while ago but, to cut a long story short, the Rover is back – well, actually, since June 2017.
Looking at the picture above, it did look bleak for the nearly 20-year old Rover. However, a closer examination revealed that not all was lost: apart from the headlamp frame, all the damage was to bolt on panels and parts. Unfortunately, not all the parts needed were available new and so the hunt was on…
With a lot of help from my good friend Holger, not so much help from the insurance company (who needed help from a lawyer) and a few lucky buys off the Internet, the work finally started. While I tried to piece together most of the front end (bonnet, bumper, front panel, headlamps, grille, A/C condenser and pipes, radiator and fan and quite a bit more), the fight with the insurance company started. Their assessor claimed the car was a write-off, but deviated only a very few Euros from the repair estimate. Anyway, to cut a long story short, a persistant lawyer helped me to get a pay-out for the total cost of the repairs – only, though, after some months and an exchange of several dozens of letters. Finding all the parts used or new (where available) was actually less painful and much quicker.
I was determined not to let go of the Tourer just short of its 20th birthday and after completing 300,000 kms, so the repair work continued to a finally rather reasonable result. Only our modified Mk1 front could not yet be replicated, as I was not able to source an early bonnet at the time.
Before heading for the bi-annual re-test, we decided that it was about time to change the rubbers and dampers on the rear suspension for the first time. Every single bolt as well as the bushings put up a real fight trying to be freed from their place after so many miles.
In the end, the test was passed with flying colours – and, with the A/C recharged as the final measure, the car is back in (occasional) service. Now to get that counter over the 300k kms mark…