I don’t know about you guys but, when it comes to the annual MoT test on my cars, I always feel a great sense of dread on their approach – as the day nears, I start screwing myself up wondering what on earth is going to fail and how much is it going to cost. With the Rover SD1, I had few worries – but worries nevertheless. After all, I am a glass half-empty kind of person.
Thanks to Richard Kilpatrick, the car had been safely stored while he did a few jobs on it during the winter lay-up. Most importantly, they included getting the battery properly clamped in and the starter relay replaced. Also, he fixed the clock on the dashboard and made the cassette player, er, play tapes again. So, a worthwhile few months safely parked up in the dry for the Rover.
In the run-up to the test’s due date, I got in touch with Adrian Fell – long time BL/BMC/Rover fan – and owner of AJF Engineering, based near Aylesbury – and asked him if he fancied testing my SD1. After all, Mike Humble’s hands are full with his Project Rover 75 and I want to meet as many of the British car specialists out there – and few come as committed to the cause as Adrian.
Anyway, when the big day came, I drove up to Richard’s place in Leicestershire, picked up the SD1 and drove it down for the test. And as journeys go, it was as relaxing as they come, helped massively by the SD1’s easy torque delivered by that lovely V8 and driven through long-legged gearing. On the motorway, it’s masterful (wind noise and lack of legroom aside), and it seems as though other drivers respect it enough to give it space on the road and not ride its back bumper. A refreshing change…
By the time I’d arrived at AJF, I was relaxed and hopeful about the MoT. After all, it stops, steers and drives as it should. And thanks to the efforts of Mike and Richard, everything electrical works as it should.
Adrian smiled when he saw the car and soon we were chewing the fat about all things British and car related. His passion for the cars stems back to the cars his parents owned back in the day – that led to his first car, an Allegro, and from there, a lifelong obsession followed. The SD1 looked magnificent on the ramps, too, and within the hour, I was in possession of a fresh MoT and a couple of easily sortable advisories. His business is based on an old military base and that meant he could have a quick test run without any traffic worries. His smile widened at that…
He’s got plenty of his own toys too. His yard is literally rammed with with MG Rover’s finest. And he already has me thinking in terms of buying another Rover 75. ‘Not enough people are patriotic any more,’ Adrian says. ‘It’s sad what happened to MG Rover but, with a proper maintenance, these cars can run reliably for years to come.’
I hope so. My SD1’s future is secure if Adrian is right. Now… to enjoy it for another year.
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.