Keith Adams hasn’t had a Rover 75 since his misadventure in a rather ropey 1.8 almost a decade ago. But he’s back in this Copperleaf Rover 75 Tourer – the AROnline team is therefore now well and truly back in the R40 camp.
There are a few bits and pieces to do on this one, though.
Rover 75: seeking out new estates
Talk about happenstance. Literally days after Mike Humble gets his new and rather nice Rover 75 Connoisseur, I find myself with a very similar-looking car on my driveway. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and, given I’d concluded that after my last Rover 75, I’d steer clear for a while… but, hey, that was 2012 and the world’s moved on somewhat since then.
How I came across it seems to be rather typical of how my car purchasing has gone in 2020 and 2021 – it came to me, and I wasn’t really looking for it. Long-time friend of AROnline, former British Leyland and Rover Group Public Relations Officer, Ian Elliott dropped me a line recently on an unrelated matter, signing off with a throwaway ‘I’m thinking of selling my Rover 75’ comment…
Emails went backwards and forwards, the car was thoroughly described and, in the end, we struck a deal on his pride and joy. I should say that I’ve known this car a very long time – I remember seeing it at the Austin Centenary parade in Birmingham in 2005, and also at various shows along the way. It was a handsome beast then and, in my head, and after Ian’s very honest run-down of its faults, I knew that it could well be a great AROnline project car for the coming months.
As well as this fine car, I also picked up a spare set of 17-inch alloys, a new Kenlowe fan (more of that in a moment) and its extremely thorough service history. Being a Connoisseur SE, it comes pretty well equipped. There’s an electric sunroof, heated seats, parking radar, cruise control, leather interior, sat-nav and much, much more. In addition, there are a few options, including remote-controlled pre-heater for the engine, an MG Rover-branded towbar and a fairly lively remap, care of Superchips.
Picking up the car from Ian’s house, I was very aware of just how long he’d had this car and how much it meant to him. After a long and very thorough handover with Ian and his wife, I gingerly piloted it off his driveway with a bit of a lump in the throat. I suspect Ian and Dotty might well have had tears in their eyes, too…
On the drive home, it was lovely to be reacquainted with its snug and cosy interior, and those restful-looking backlit instruments. It took a while to dial in to the automatic diesel’s engine characteristics, but once rolling and used to it, I found it perfectly quick enough to mix it with today’s overly aggressive drivers, while settling down to a relaxed 2000rpm canter on the motorway. And that ride quality… sublime!
There are a few faults that need attending to (listed below), but all-in all, I’m very impressed, and I hope that I end up giving it the good home it so richly deserves. The coming months are going to be very interesting in this fine car that seems to be ageing very well indeed.
- Refit interior driver’s door handle – to do
- Investigate damp carpet in passenger footwell – to do
- Refit passenger carpet trim – to do
- Investigate current drain from sat-nav system – to do
- Reset sat-nav to UK location (currently this thinks that the car is in Prague) – to do
- Investigate oil smoke from engine pre-heater – to do
- Investigate door mirrors that won’t adjust – to do
- Refit surround for rain-sensing wiper unit – to do
- Investigate non-working cooling fan and fit new Kenlowe – to do
- All the cars I’ve owned : Austin Allegro 1500 Super - 7 June 2021
- Car of the Month : June 2021 – Stephen Wright’s Rover 75 Tourer - 3 June 2021
- Concepts and prototypes : BMC 10X (1968) - 1 June 2021