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Car Of The Month :
September 2012

'My Seafrost Beauty' by vindaloo

I first took an interest in the 75 in 2002 when an ex-colleague started a new job and we met up for a coffee and I noticed the new company had given him a 1.8 75 as his company chariot. I remember remarking on the quality and opulence of the interior and went for a quick spin and was staggered at the ride quality. The only Rover I had ever driven for any length of time was my company 600 which I had for over 3 years and drove 106,000 fairly trouble free miles.

My next encounter was when I met up with a forum member about 2 years ago and again I was struck by the sheer quality of the car, so much so that I decided I had to have one and a rapid search of all the usual web sites turned up a very low mileage 1.8T Connie about 60 miles away in Sheffield. Arrangements were made to view and I set off on my trip. A gentleman in his 80’s who unfortunately had to give up driving for medical reasons owned the car, he had bought the car new in January 2004 from the then local MGR dealer in Sheffield. The car with a mileage just under 10,000 miles (September 2010) showed absolutely no sign of wear to the interior but both front and rear bumpers were scuffed and it had suffered a couple of trolley dings, the original head gasket was still in place and there was full service history. A price was agreed and I collected the car a few days later.

I started my ownership on 1st. October 2010 and with it being a 1.8T I was well aware of the possible HGF problem. I asked for advice from the forum whether or not I should take the precaution of replacing the head gasket with an MLS version before the original failed, the consensus was to leave well alone which I did and still have. I decided the best course of action was to take every precaution I could to maintain and monitor the coolant system to avoid problems arising from coolant loss. Over the past 2 years I have fitted a coolant level sensor, a ‘Gerry Tee’, an alloy inlet manifold and a digital coolant temperature display. The car continues to perform faultlessly with its original head gasket 2 years on, the mileage now standing at 17,400 miles.

The coolant level sensor and digital coolant temperature display have been made available to members of the forum and many have taken the opportunity to safeguard their own cars.

I have made many upgrades to the car over the past 2 years and where possible I have used original MGR parts the only exterior visual exception being the MG7 rear lights. Other changes and additions include:
Projector headlights
Meteor Alloys
Lots of pre-Project drive additions
Electric rear blind
Walnut handbrake
Double Din radio/ satnav unit
MGR full chrome grille
Simon’s walnut kit
160PS upgrade

I do my best to keep the car in tip-top condition both visually and mechanically and it’s generally only used on high days and holidays but it does live outside so lots of time is spent cleaning!

I am a staunch supporter of the ‘K’ series and have been extremely happy with it’s reliability, smoothness and performance and I think a lot of the bad press it gets is unjustified and in many cases caused by poor owner maintenance and inept repairs.

The 1.8T has now been joined by a CDT Tourer and this will become my everyday car so my 1.8T’s mileage will likely only increase by about 3k miles per year. I can’t see me ever wanting to part with my 1.8 as it makes me smile every time I drive her, it is such a wonderful car…………an executive limousine for bargin money!

Article written by member vindaloo

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