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Car Of The Month :
March 2015

'Reflections On A Lagoon' by Teflon

I first encountered a Rover 75 at the Woking Classic Car show. The model had just been launched and our local main dealer had one of the now infamous launch cars on display. I well remember sitting in the car and thinking “One day….”

Roll forward to the summer of 2006. MG Rover had gone to the wall, and I was idly browsing used car web sites when it dawned on me what amazing value the 75 now was. I decided then and there that I must have one, and I knew exactly what it would be: a dark blue diesel with cream leather – nothing else would do.

A day or so later, my wife spotted an ad for what appeared to be a blue 75 at a local dealership. As it was only 3 or 4 miles away, I popped over for a look and found a very smart V6, with green paintwork and Ash Grey leather interior. “Close enough” I thought! It had one previous owner, full history, and with only 19K from new and lots of toys, it seemed a bargain at £8.5K, so after the briefest of test drives, it was mine.

At the time, the owners club as we now know it didn’t exist, so I signed up at MG-Rover.Org with the aim of finding out more about my latest toy. Shortly after signing up, I received a PM from some bloke calling himself “Reebs” (I often wonder what happened to him?).

It transpired that he also had a 75 in the same colour and thus I learned that, purely by chance, I had become the owner of a monogram car, finished in Lagoon Supertallic. Better still, it was the fourth of only 6 Rover 75 saloons finished in Lagoon, and the only RHD 2.0 V6 variant. Happy days!

Of course, as most of you will know, the fun doesn’t stop there. The Rover 75 casts a spell over its owners like no other car, and once smitten, the spending starts. First up for me was to pay a visit to Rustmaster for full underbody rust protection. This was followed by (in no particular order), a brand new set of Meteor alloys, real walnut dash, chrome bullet mirrors, double din sat nav with reversing camera, full chrome grill (which now only goes on the car on special occasions), chrome door finishers, bespoke car mats, lashings of extra walnut from Bulgaria, and a few other minor additions to reverse good old Project Drive.

Oh, and not forgetting my Meguires G220 electric polisher, associated pads, polishes and waxes etc. I can honestly say that, in all my years, I have never lavished so much attention (or money!!) on a car. Surely the novelty will wear off soon?

Then, one fine summer morning, I made a fatal mistake - I polished my air con pipes! “Ooh, they look good, wonder what else I can polish up” Before I knew it I was taking out the battery box, air cleaner etc. just so I could reach all those hard to get to places. Then it’s out with the paint can to touch up the inner wings, upholstery cleaner on the sound proofing, new stainless steel bolts all round, and still there’s more to do.

I even joined the ranks of those who have painted their engine covers, but in my case, I painted mine satin black. A brushed stainless steel fuse box cover was the finishing touch, with the cars build data laser etched for posterity. Did I say finishing touch? – I bet it’s not!

It’s all worth it though, and for me, my proudest moment came at the Owners Club National meet at Calne in 2011 when I was fortunate enough to win the Gryphon Trophy – the perfect end to a great day out.

A very different experience was had in October 2013, when, whilst sitting in a queue of traffic, I spotted a Ford Transit in my rear view mirror and I just knew he wasn’t going to stop. He “rear ended” me, and shunted me into the car in front, wrecking my rear bumper, rear panel, boot lid, front bumper, both crash beams, front grill, and a few other bits, I knew the car would be considered a write off, so, armed with the build info kindly supplied by Reebs (that name keeps cropping up) and a stack of other evidence including my much loved Gryphon Trophy, I went into battle.

After much tense negotiation, a settlement was agreed in the form of cash in lieu of repair, thereby avoiding write off action, and I was able to send my baby off to my preferred body shop for repairs. After a nervous week of waiting, she was finally returned to me looking even better than when I first bought her. The body shop did a first rate job, and I have since returned her to them for some additional work to correct a few minor blemishes that had been niggling me for some time.

I will no doubt be visiting them again sometime this year to have the alloy wheels re-finished. They’re not too bad, but they have picked up the odd stone chip here and there and would benefit from a refresh. Then, of course, there’s the belts and water pump that will be due in April. More expense, but a good opportunity to polish some engine parts whilst they are off the car!

I’ve now owned my 75 for over 8 years, and can honestly say that it still feels special. I still insist on parking as far away from other cars as possible, still look back at her after parking up, and still enjoy the whole process of washing, claying, polishing, waxing etc. There really is no hope for me.

Oh, and that bloke called Reebs? Turns out he now owns 3 Lagoon beauties, so perhaps I should count my blessings.

Article written by member Teflon

The Rover 75 & MG ZT Owners Club Ltd 2006-2023