Rover 25 : An unfortunate end

Mike Humble 

The Rover 25 unexpectedly suffers a trauma and, sadly, has to go.

She's done me proud but, sadly... has to go!

They say things happen in threes: firstly my computer printer gives up the ghost after six solid years of commendable service, then the portable TV in the spare bedroom went kaput and then, this afternoon, something truly horrible happened. My ’til now solid and dependable Rover 25 died with a teeth grinding clatter. 

Recently, I went back into the dirty, seedy world of vehicle sales, namely buses and coaches. Upon taking this role, I was given a company car – a Honda Civic i-CDTi which, for the record, is a truly brilliant bit of kit and totally assembled here in Blighty too. We decided to clear out the spare bedroom in the hope of making some space for a home office and, as the car sitting outside along with Mr Adams’ Polski-Rover SD1 had been unused for over a week, I opted to do the tip run in the little ol’ 25. 

I can’t have got more than half a mile away from home, when – with no warning at all – the steering pulled hard towards the right feeling just like a puncture. Thankfully, I was only doing around 20 mph at the time, so pulling over to stop I got out of the silver bullet only to find the tyres perfectly inflated – not good! 

Moving away, I was greeted with a nasty clunk and a clatter with a regular clicking noise. Stopping again, the gearbox decided to dump all of its oil onto the road….. my heart sank. In a nutshell, it looks very much like something in the final drive/differential has gone West. I currently have three other cars at my disposal and so have decided to let the old girl go. Sadly, I simply have neither the time nor any real inclination to replace the gearbox. 

Such a shame, as I was going to do the Longbridge Rally this year and, in the longer term, also intended to mothball the car and really get it looking 110%. The thick of the work had already been done, cylinder head, part exhaust, full service and a whole host of betterment items… but now it’s all academic really. 

The car is offered for sale, spares or repair and is also listed on a leading auction website. However, if anyone would like a seriously cheap little five-door car with everything working (inc. the aircon) please get in touch – I would love it to go to another enthusiast. For the full details email via the Contact Us tab or call +44 (0)7713 110241

Mike Humble


  1. Bad news, but at least it happened at low speed and close to home. I’ve got to say, I’ve never had any trouble from the R65 box although some say otherwise. Whatever, getting a good used box will be cheap and easy while fitting them is very straight forward thanks to easy access and an aluminium casing.

  2. That’s what happens when you fix one problem – it tends to cause another one shortly afterwards. I’m glad the 25’s gone to a good home though.

    It’s a good thing that you were going at a slow speed. I once had a blow out at 90mph whilst on the A14 in a Renault 25 – not a nice experience to go through.

  3. Hi, next time you or anyone has a problem like this, give me a call. I have over 500 of these gearboxes in stock as CORE units. We use a lot of the internals on the late shape MINIs.

    I could have had this unit rebuilt for you for £125!! The 0800 number is on the Mini Gearboxes website!!

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