Wednesday, 27 June 2012

How to pick up a classic luxury Rover for peanuts

YOU DON'T park a Rover P6. You dock it, like a luxury liner.

A luxury liner, as it turns out, that my mate's just sailed into port for less than a grand. He was going to buy a brace of Triumph Spitfires long past their sell-by-date as a job lot, but decided at the last minute he'd rather go for the leather-lined barge from the Sixties instead. I don't blame him, because what the old girl lacks in sportiness and open top thrills it makes up for in style and caddish character.

Naturally, at that sort of money it needs a bit of work but it was still in good enough nick for me to take a pew in the leather-lined captain's chair and fire it up, treating both us to one of motoring's greatest soundtracks - the baritone burble of Rover's 3.5 litre V8. The car door Vinnie Jones used to such brutal effect in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels was a P6's, so Guy Ritchie obviously agrees with me that the old Rover's got a geezerish swagger to its style, but that engine note and the laid-back performance it brings is undoubtedly the P6's best feature.

It's also the reason why I wouldn't - no, couldn't - buy one, because one of my all time favourite saloons has also got an unquenchable thirst for the jungle juice. The only P6 I'd ever want is the V8 version, but because I can't afford to run something that struggles to get 15 miles to the gallon the ocean liner Rover is out of the question. Helpfully, the Government's agreed to suspend its plans to raise fuel duty, but for P6 perusers it just isn't enough.

I hopped back into my own Rover, the rather more realistic 200 Series of Hyacinth Bucket vintage, and quickly realised there is a way to blend the reliability (don't laugh) of the later cars, engineered with BMW and Honda help, with the Midsomer Murders looks of the old ones. You might laugh now but the Rover 75 is motoring's bargain of the moment.

It's got all the style and comfort of the old P5s and P6s but thanks to Rover's turbulent tumble towards extinction and the car itself having all the street cred of a pensioner's bus pass good 75s can be readily picked up for less than a grand. Trendy it isn't but it's a lot of car for the money.

More importantly, the 75 is tomorrow's P6 - I'll eat my own shoes if collectors aren't fighting for the good ‘uns in 15 years time. Get yours now while they're still peanuts...

1 comment:

  1. First, great article. This will surely come in handy to all those vintage car lovers out there. Second, please update ASAP.