One of the less pleasant aspects of finding a car for £100 is the dreaded jaunt to the car auctions. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy auctions as much as the next petrolhead, but the problem lies with restraining myself. You see, once those cars start rolling through, I am bound to want more than one, and hey – look at that, what a bargain! Even if it cost more and was much newer than what I was looking for. So, there was a bit of apprehension that I would go looking for a £100 Maestro and come back loaded with £1000-worth of Rover 800 Coupe. Much to the consternation of she-who-must-be-obeyed…
Then there is the car trade’s seedy underbelly: the bombsite lot that sells nothing but cheap heaps. Again, I love them all… the exaggerated claims by pitch owners, as well as a cornucopia of old-aged cars, which to my eyes, should all find good homes, makes for wonderful entertainment. Citroen BXes, Volvo 440s and old Escorts are the bread-and-butter of these places, but the Rover R8 is getting there now, and would have been my place to go looking.
However, thanks to the unprecedented generosity of Rover 800 Tickford owner, Scott Woodcock, we don’t need to go on such potentially heartbreaking ventures. You see, Scott’s one-and-only car-love is his 800, and that means that his original car, a Rover 216GTi 16V, is now surplus to requirements. Having spotted my plea for a cheap car, he immediately got in touch, “How does a free 216GTi (twin cam 5dr) sound? I’m terrible at selling cars, and I kept this one for ages, and I’m not ever really going to use it (decided to get the 820 Tickford up as soon as poss), and rather than try and sell it (which is beyond my usual level of effort), I could let it go to you since its for a good cause…”
Talk about understatement! Do I want it? Oh yes please! How could I possibily refuse? After all, it now looks like we will be able to get back from Naples (as well as get there in the first place) thanks to that lovely, strong, reliable and unbreakable Honda engine.
|1990 Rover 216GTi 16VEngine: 1590cc, DOHC, 128bhp
Performance: 135mph (wind-assisted), 0-60 in not many seconds
Fuel consumption: 20-25mpg
Total cost: £0.00 Kindly donated by Scott Woodcock.
Scott, we salute you… once the clutch is sorted, and some sponsors logos afixed, I reckon we are not just in with a chance of completing the event, but also of winning it (you can cover a lot of ground with 128bhp). And the better we do, the more money we can raise for charity.
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.