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Car Of The Month :
February 2015

'Midnight Express' by rich17865

I was very happy owning my Rover 75 1.8 manual tourer, I had been through it repairing plus replacing anything and everything until it felt like new. It was lovely, I was content; it wanted for nothing and ran beautifully.

But after my first Rover 75, a diesel automatic, I had always wanted another auto, the manual box just didnít do it for me. Before long, that far too familiar feeling crept over me, I had to search for another. It had to be everything I wanted, but as I was in no rush, I could find just what I was looking for, my ideal combination.

I searched for many months, it seemed like there were hardly any examples like the one I desired and I started to wonder if any were even made. I was looking for a low mileage Rover 75 Tourer, Mk1, Connoisseur SE with the 1.8 Turbo engine and an automatic gearbox. Eventually I spotted a small number of 1.8T auto tourers for sale, they were either in colours I didnít like, or trim levels below what I desired or more often than not, both.

The same cars chewed over and over on Auto Trader and eBay, I still was most happy with my current 75, so I just waited. A new member advertised their Rover 75 for sale on the forum, it was the exact specification I wanted with a rather major exclusion, and it was a saloon.

I posted on his thread that his car was a stunning example and that if it was a tourer, I would have bought it without doubt. Later on that day a different member sent me a message, telling me that he had seen my post and he had a car exactly the same as the one for sale, and that he would be selling it in the not too distant future and it was a tourer.

A little giddy with excitement, I had asked for some photos and a little more information which was emailed to me. The car was just what I had in my specification requirements. It was finished in Midnight Blue with a Sandstone Beige interior; full service history including a recent head gasket, 1 previous owner and just a smidge over 27,000 miles. Without going to see the car, I agreed to buy it. Most pleased with my decision I had to wait. The car was on a private plate and the owner wanted to keep the registration.

A number of weeks later, the car was returned to its original number plate and was ready for collection. I had arranged a convenient day and roped a friend into driving me the 250 miles to get there. I pulled up and saw the car, a wonderful deep blue in the bright sun. I started looking over the car and quickly came to the conclusion that it was indeed what I was looking for.

A few checks to make sure there were no hidden bodywork nasties and it soon became apparent that the car was as straight as the day it was made. As an owner of a 1.8, the final check, coolant and oil was the most important, finger in the coolant header tank and, it was full of oil.

Part of me wanted to stop there and walk away, I got back in my friendís car and was prepared to leave. I mulled it over for a few minutes, and with some words of persuasion and advice from friends, I took another look at the car. It was clear the head gasket had failed again, even though the car was running perfectly. I agreed a revised price for the car and happy that I had found the car I had long searched for started the 250 mile drive home.

Without a single call to the RAC, I arrived at my house, very happy with the car, but with still an amount of disappointment about the head gasket. I had sold my existing Rover 75 to another member and was ready to start work on my new one.

The car was stripped, the head gasket replaced along with anything else that was broken, missing or worn out. Age had not been kind to the rubber mountings and bushes and it seemed that the low use of the car had accelerated wear on certain items. With everything fixed I wanted to keep the car as original as possible, the only non original additions are a coolant level sensor and a coolant temperature display.

Once reassembled, cleaned and polished, the car purred beautifully, it looked, handled and felt like new. Everything tight and just how I suppose a new car would have been. I was smitten, it was just how I had imagined it to be, perfect. The smooth and quiet engine, seamless gear changes, firmness in the seats, the whisper quietness while driving along, I could have asked for no more. There is a kind of relaxing happiness driving it, car euphoria...

Article written by member rich17865

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