It`s not all my fault! I partly blame Keith Adams for my change of mindset, I babysat and carried out some minor work on his Alfa 156 while he visited Southern France recently, and I fell in love with it. Following an enjoyable two weeks burning an offensive amount of petrol driving around West Sussex and Surrey in a car powered by one of the sweetest V6 engines ever built, I have decided I want an Alfa 156. Reading this back to myself, I almost think I must be mad to part with my rare 420 – powered by the best 4 pot that Rover made in recent years – the 16 valve T series.
The Honda based solid body engineering, its agreeable build quality, its ability to cruise effortlessly at high speed lashings of dark burr walnut, splashes of chrome brightwork and sumptuous green leather with cream piping all add up to a pocket sized Jaguar, truly is a pleasant way of travelling. Compared to our other cars, a brand new Golf TDi & a Civic SE iCDTi, the 420 is serene and wafty compared to the Golf’s firm ride or the Honda’s urgency. So why part with the car after the effort and time spent?
The answer is simple, the Alfa Romeo is oddly alive, communicating to you via its mechanical voice and extra sensory steering and road manners. The Alfa 156 has released those endorphines and sensory parts in my brain that have laid dormant for so many years – a result of running company cars for some time now. My long suffering partner Jacky also professes to adore the 156 in nearly every way, and considering we both achieve a combined mileage of over 60’000 miles per year, we love driving and my partner previously has had access to cars including Lotus Elans & Excels, Land Rover Discovery TD5 and Freelander and myself having owned a trio of Saab Turbos along with an immaculate 620Ti.
We need a spare car to call upon in times when we yearn for something more than a bland faceless diesel hatchback, the Rover is a grand car but lacks that spirit and feeling of excitement I seem to now require since spending a fortnight with a Latin Lover – the Alfa 156. So after much deliberation and the suprise blessing from the missus; I offer a lovely a 5 door Rover 420iL for sale.
The car is a 1999 model based on the HH-R 5 door body and is the run out limited edition model called the “iL”. Paintwork is in a special shade of pearlescent British Racing Green called “heritage”. Rover only produced a few hundred of these cars and is fitted with seats trimmed in “County Green Piped Leather” with contrasting sandstone trim, cut pile carpets with tailor made sandstone wool floor mats with “Rover” branding. Other features include Air Conditioning – Anti Lock Brakes – Electric Windows – Remote Locking – Alarm & Imobiliser – 15″ Alloy Wheels & the excellent Rover / BMW “business” RDS Radio/CD player.
The car also comes with a comprehensive service history in the wallet with all the codes – spare keys – 2x working alarm fobs – even the Rover warranty card still lives in its original tax disc holder. Mileage is a genuine 54’000 miles with one previous owner from 1999, and before him, the car was a dealer demonstrator in Nottinghamshire. The interior is pristine and has a fantastic smell of carpet and leather. Its exterior is very nice indeed with none of the usual raggy rusty wheel arches. All the tools in the boot are unused and present.
The timing belt was changed fairly recently and since I have owned the car it’s had new front pads & discs – centre and rear silencer – all the filters changed – fresh oil and new coolant, I also fitted a Rover 45 walnut ashtray / cigar lighter and had a work collegue re gas the aircon. All the tyres are excellent – it’s not a concourse car, but I challenge anyone to find me a model that drives as well as this one – ask Keith Adams!
The price? £750 or very near offer, for which you pick up a superb rare example Rover 420 with 6 months RFL & 10 months MOT ready to enjoy with no lurking horrors.
Good quality photo’s are available here: http://rover420.webs.com
Contact me [email protected] or call me on Horsham (01403) 255767 or 07904 456043
- Essays : Selling the brand - 18 November 2023
- Review : Land Rover Discovery – first off the line - 15 September 2023
- Events : Leyland National 51 gathering, Whitehaven 29-30 April - 5 April 2023