SOTW: Rover 200 BRM


For those who need reminding, Rover was once a marque that did some pretty cool things. Like teaming up with BRM in the 1960s to create a gas-turbine Le Mans racer.

Sadly, finding a Rover-BRM in Shed territory is not going to mean you've stumbled across a hitherto-unknown example of the car that took Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart to tenth place in the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours (the best-placed British car).

No, the far more likely Shed of the Week is going to be the other Rover-BRM. The one that was actually a Rover 200.

But before you throw your laptop out of the window, angrily crying 'SOTW ain't what it used to be', bear with us. Because, although the 1990s-era Rover 200 was hardly a cool car, the BRM version was by most accounts a pretty decent motor.


It was based on the 200vi, so provided peppy performance from its 143bhp variable valve timing K-series, and Rover lowered the ride height, sharpened up the dampers, fitted a close ratio gearbox and dropped in a Torsen diff from the 220 Turbo.

The BRM was visually enlivened, meanwhile, with Brooklands Green paint and a bright orange grille (a homage to the trademark orange noses of the 1960s BRM F1 cars). Inside there was quilted red leather, red carpets, and turned aluminium trim.

The result is an odd mix of conservatism and flamboyance but, while the ignorant may think you a bit of a chav, the cognoscenti will realise that you have obtained one of the most underrated performance hatches of the 90s. It's rare, too, with fewer than 800 cars made for sale in the UK.

This particular example has done a moderately average 72k miles, comes with some service history, plenty of MOT left, and is in allegedly good condition inside and out.


However, it also comes with that notoriously flaky K-series motor, so we'd recommend checking through that service history carefully. Having said that, the K-series is often unfairly maligned and, properly looked after, should give you no undue trouble.

So, provided you can bear the occasional accusation of chavviness, and can put up with all those bores who insist your engine will implode every time you drive to the shops, you could have a BRM on your drive for less than a grand. You'll just have to pretend it's a 1960s F1 car...

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Advert is reproduced below

RARE Rover BRM Limited Edition (1 Of Only 700 In The UK) (1999)
71,648 miles £995

ROVER 200 B.R.M LIMITED EDITION
3 DOOR HATCHBACK
1.8 VVT 16v TWIN CAM ENGINE

BROOKLANDS GREEN
POWER STEERING
ELECTRIC WINDOWS
ELECTRIC MIRRORS
ELECTRIC SUNROOF
REMOTE CENTRAL LOCKING
ALARM/IMMOBILSER
JVC CD PLAYER

FULL RED QUILTED DIAMOND STITCHED LEATHER INTERIOR 
RED CARPETS
FULL CHROME TRIM INSIDE & OUT
ORIGINAL B.R.M 16" SIX SPOKE ALLOYS
GOOD TYRES ALL AROUND
ORIGINAL RED AND BLACK SPORT STEERING WHEEL
FRONT FOG LIGHTS
CHROME GRILL
VERY GOOD CONDITION INSIDE

147 BHP
LIMITED EDITION
ONLY 700 WERE SOLD IN THE UK

LOW MILEAGE
SERVICE HISTORY PRINTOUT

12 MONTHS MOT
5 MONTHS TAX

NEW DISCS AND PADS
NEW WHEEL BEARING

DRIVES BRILLIANT

BODYWORK IS GOOD FOR ITS AGE
NO DENTS

 

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (343) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ToothbrushMan 05 Feb 2014

    oh dear......did the carrera guy even know he was in any "race" with a BRM at all ? More likely he was about 80 and didnt give a hoot or was caught napping and driving lazily in a high gear before he realised he had a Rover trying to give him large! It might have been quickest over a very short burst - Carrera guy was probably just feathering the loud pedal. Theres a reason why the 200BRM is called a hot hatch and the Carrera a super car otherwise every journo would be doing comparisons between similar ends of the scale and bulling up the capabilities of what is clearly the slowest cars.

  • J4CKO 05 Feb 2014

    markfear13 said:
    Has anyone mentioned that you can insure a 200 BRM for about 200 quid a year?
    Find a cheap 1, and insure it for under a grand!
    Now what car would you pick instead?
    I'll be buying the next 1 I see for 700 quid! N I own 2 already!
    If you ain't drove 1, you can't comment!
    Saxos, golfs, pugs..... I done em all!
    I stuck to a Porsche carrera n the guy almost pissed himself when I told him the BRM only had a 1.8, n cost me 700..... I think he added another 0 to his car! N lost out on half the fun!!!!!!
    I had a BRM, and have had a 944 S2, the Porsche was quicker and a Carrera quicker still, assume it was a 996 you had a go with, they do 100 in 11 and a bit seconds, the BRM takes 20 ish based on that road test. I liked my BRM and they are better than their reputation, the handling of all the Bubble shaped 200s was really quite good and the VVC engine was nice, gearbox the best bit. the seats didnt support so you moved around too much, but keeping up with 911s ? must have been an old one with a poor driver.

    My uncle still has a BRM, I would have kept mine longer but the engine screwed up as they are apt to do, tried a HG but it was sunken liners, sold it and it ended up with a 2.0 Turbo in it.

  • M3DGE 05 Feb 2014

    markfear13 said:
    Vince70 said:
    suffolk009 said:
    I don't know about values going up, that's anyones guess - but I can't work out why they are so much cheaper than both the MG Rovers (thousands made), or even the ordinary shopping granny versions. There are only a about 300 left in Britain, the colour's great, the gearbox has the same ratios as the Elise 135, and it has a VVC engine.

    I paid £500 for mine, with a year's mot on it. Brilliant.

    I'd been looking for a 106 Rallye for over a year, but with three children to get in the back it was never going to work - and the prices seem to be above £2000 for a decent original car now (if you can find one). A Renault 5 Turbo or Willys Clio will be just as much. Can't understand the BRM's lack of following.
    I guess the prices are rock bottom because the manufacturer no longer exists its the same with Saab as they also can be picked up for the price of a curly whirly and 10 B&H lol.
    I know it doesn't make much difference as parts will be plentiful for years to come but your average joe public who doesn't have an idea about cars doesn't see it that way.
    Also it's like any car once it gets a bad reputation it can never get over it hence all the head gasket jokes on here rightly or wrongly the k series is always thought of as an engine with head issues so it scares people away unless your good with spanners.
    Plus the car was never really rust proofed to well so there are quite a few doggy ones about with rotten wheel arches etc.
    It's a shame really as if the car had been given a bit of zinc coating and rover had spent time sorting out cheap head gasket problems during manufacture the car could have sold as well as the golf or focus or 306.

    Edited by Vince70 on Saturday 2nd June 15:25
    Even as a firm fan! I don't think it would have sold!
    The issues you talk of, surface later!?
    BMW owned rover, rover was outselling bmw, all over Europe!?!
    Bmw did an st job! Think about it
    BMWs best selling car, is the mini!!!!!!!!!
    Think about!!
    What happened to our industry???????
    Rover 200 BRM is, the best ever British, born n bred hot hatch ever built.
    Let's not get into another BL good/shxte thread again, we'll get jumped on by the bores.

    IMO this is an interesting and rare car. Looking at the test above, one of its main problems may have been £18k in 1999.

    To put the rarity factor into numbers, there are 233 on the road and 146 SORN....

  • RacingBlue 05 Feb 2014

    markfear13 said:
    Please tell me you don't drive an MX 5!!!!!????


    Should a got an mgf
    Any more cliches you want to roll out? I'm not even pretending my MX-5 can 'stick' to anything.

    And to be completely honest, I couldn't give a st.

  • markfear13 05 Feb 2014

    Vince70 said:
    suffolk009 said:
    I don't know about values going up, that's anyones guess - but I can't work out why they are so much cheaper than both the MG Rovers (thousands made), or even the ordinary shopping granny versions. There are only a about 300 left in Britain, the colour's great, the gearbox has the same ratios as the Elise 135, and it has a VVC engine.

    I paid £500 for mine, with a year's mot on it. Brilliant.

    I'd been looking for a 106 Rallye for over a year, but with three children to get in the back it was never going to work - and the prices seem to be above £2000 for a decent original car now (if you can find one). A Renault 5 Turbo or Willys Clio will be just as much. Can't understand the BRM's lack of following.
    I guess the prices are rock bottom because the manufacturer no longer exists its the same with Saab as they also can be picked up for the price of a curly whirly and 10 B&H lol.
    I know it doesn't make much difference as parts will be plentiful for years to come but your average joe public who doesn't have an idea about cars doesn't see it that way.
    Also it's like any car once it gets a bad reputation it can never get over it hence all the head gasket jokes on here rightly or wrongly the k series is always thought of as an engine with head issues so it scares people away unless your good with spanners.
    Plus the car was never really rust proofed to well so there are quite a few doggy ones about with rotten wheel arches etc.
    It's a shame really as if the car had been given a bit of zinc coating and rover had spent time sorting out cheap head gasket problems during manufacture the car could have sold as well as the golf or focus or 306.

    Edited by Vince70 on Saturday 2nd June 15:25
    Even as a firm fan! I don't think it would have sold!
    The issues you talk of, surface later!?
    BMW owned rover, rover was outselling bmw, all over Europe!?!
    Bmw did an st job! Think about it
    BMWs best selling car, is the mini!!!!!!!!!
    Think about!!
    What happened to our industry???????
    Rover 200 BRM is, the best ever British, born n bred hot hatch ever built.
    But it was never going to sell with no marketing!




    Edited by markfear13 on Wednesday 5th February 12:32

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