Blogs : 75’s back and bouncing

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

I didn't know you could still get these new!
I didn't know you could still get these new!

You’ve got to hand it to Direct Line. As insurance claims go, this one has been very painless indeed. Regular readers might recall a careless young lady ran into the AROnline Rover 75 and drove off without stopping. Slightly annoyed, I reported this and told my insurers. The next day, they took the car away, and in its place arrived a shiny new Vauxhall… then I waited, and waited, expected to hear that the 75 had been written off.

So imagine my surprise in hearing a ‘phone message yesterday saying my car was ready, and can it be dropped off. A call was made, my excess paid, and today, I came home to see the 75 outside my house again, mirror, wing and door fixed. Remarkable. While it was away I was already in that state of mind that I needed to find a new car, but this news changed everything. And thanks to the repair, combined with a brief run in Mike Humble’s 75 (below) on Sunday, I’d been convinced that fully sorted, my 75 will be just the relaxing chariot I need in my life right now. So it stays.

Okay, it’s still going to need a full service and headgasket change, but sitting in it again, settling in to those big comfortable seats, and enjoying the ambiance convinced me I’m happy to continue with what I think will be an excellent project.

It just shows, too, that old Rovers are far too good to be written off without good reason.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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23 Comments

  1. Glad to see that the 75 is fighting fit again! I have to say that I’m surprised, I expected them to write it off. Good that they didn’t though.

  2. This has surprised me, as I’ve seen 75’s in the breakers with very little damage like a whole door just dented.

    But good to see there are sensible insurance company’s out there.

  3. Good news!

    Even if Direct Line had written it off financially speaking surely you’d have saved it Keith?!

  4. I am suprised – I’m sat here clutching a cheque for a 3 year old Vectra (or for it’s replacement). Good news Keith!

  5. Why does it need a head gasket change? Has it failed? If not just fit the PRT, it should be fine then

  6. Good job done Keith.

    My own experience of Direct Line when my ’75 got banged into was also a painless affair (new front bumper required).

    Car was picked up from the house and dropped back on completion. no hassle, no fuss.

    Now get that gasket done!

  7. It’s amazing what some ins companies will pay for. Last year someone drove into the back of my 140k 2002 Ford Focus, bashing in the rear bumper and bending the boot floor. Cost to repair just over £2000 before hire cars etc. Car was valued by ins company at £1700 and by me at £1200. They repaired it to my surprise.

  8. I had a similar experience when my 75 CDTi stopped on the motorway with a high-pressure fuel pump failure. After a week of mucking around the clueless garage I’d had it taken to proposed to charge me £1600 and said the part would have to be specially made. By the time they had eventually managed to fix it by shipping it on to a diesel specialist, who managed to sort it for about half that price (still a lot, but “phew!”), I’d already started looking around for another car and decided that the only thing I could bear to buy would be … another 75!!

    Needless to say I was delighted to get mine back.

  9. Don’t forget betterment (I think?). The Insurance company will pay up to a certain value for the repairs and you have an option to contribute to ‘top up’ and keep it on the road.

    I did this to save my beloved Granada Cosworth – better to do this and keep the car you know and love than get a few hundred pounds and start the hunt again.

    Insurance is often a logical process when you break it down and the majority, in my experience, are reasonable if you treat them in the same way.

    Glad your 75 was saved.

  10. If anyone’s interested, a small country garage near Shrewsbury has had a 51 reg V6 75 in silver with only 50k claimed miles for £995 for some time now. Cloth interior and passenger door needs realigning.

  11. John: Betterment is where they’ll argue about the repair not for economic value, but to justify repair rather than replacement. I got into an argument with mine once about that – my 1994 Seat Terra van got rear-ended in Edinburgh around 1996, causing damage to both rear doors as well as the bumper, The garage were instructed to “make good” the existing doors, i.e. pull the dents out and shove filler in – I argued that replacement doors would return the car to the pre-accident condition, they said that would be betterment as I’d have two brand new doors instead of two 2 year old ones (my point being that two doors full of filler would not be ‘returning to pre-accident condition’ either).

    I now can’t remember if I won the argument or not. I think I did.

  12. As far as Direct Line I would not trust them as far as I could kick them. We were the victims of a rear end shunt, the fault of a direct line customer. We had bought the car back, to transfer its number plate, and they refused to pay up the excess, saying that they could not as their engineer had not seen it. Had to get them to our yard to look at the car and it took 9 months and threats of legal action to get them to pay up £300.
    They are all crooks, you just got lucky this time. Or (conspiracy theory coming up…) they know who you are and wanted some good mentions for the price of a second hand mirror!
    Cynical rant over.

  13. You guys are making me sick, all of these cheap 75’s Somehow they hold their prices too much here in Spain. I have even thought about importing one from The Netherlands ( I speak a little Dutch) but the prices are still relatively high there too.

  14. I think it’s time that the term ‘write-off’ was redefined to stop all these stupid stories about 2mph shunts writing off a Mercedes 230. Or my dad’s car which received 3 lots of ‘write-off’ damage and could still be driven.

  15. Write of simply means more than the car is worth to repair it. Simple as. Cars have a book market value, and if the cost of repair is over 50% of that nowadays, insurance companies normally declare it a write off, pay up, and dispose of it to salvage auctions. And to the person wondering why Keith is getting the HG done, well, they are well known to be crap, and prone to popping, especially on 1.8’s, which could easily lunch the engine. Mike will fit the uprated kit, which Rover should have fitted in the first place. And the person saying Direct Line are crooks. WRONG. Your insurance company acted wrongly. Direct Line wanted to check your car over, to make sure they weren’t being ripped off with a fraudulent claim.

  16. @13 Quite right – thank you I remember now.

    My Granada had (very) slightly ropey rear arches which would have to be replaced as part of the repair, and the company argued over this offering partial contribution.

    It was also beyond economical repair (not a structural write-off) but I elected to pay the extra to keep the car on the road.

  17. @18
    there is actually NOTHING wrong with the K series HG, its the cooling systems oddities that are at fault. Its only the lack of any enginering knowledge at all among the motor trade at large that has lead to this widespread myth that the HG is weak. It’s not in fact it’s more tolerant that the much touted ‘Land Rover’ MLS item. The reason they go pop is the curious cooling system dumping large amounts of cold water into a hot engine, leading to the block contracting slightly faster than the head this then ultimatly leads to HG. Fit the PRT and this does not happen, even the original HG will not fail (depending on how much damage has been done already of course)

  18. @12
    If it was a W reg or earlier I’d have it tomorrow, unfortunatly soon post march 2001 75’V6 cars won’t be worth the tax disc

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