When it comes to cars, everyone wants a bargain. And with cars getting more reliable, more durable and more rot-free than ever they have been, paying pocket money for an older machine need not be a total restoration job.
In other words, old cars have never been such a good buy -- you get a lot of car for your money, and £1,000 is still throwaway money when it comes to cars.
So in the spirit of aiming for fun, low-cost motoring, here's our regular weekly slot following a trawl of Auto Trader's depths to find a drive-away bargain.
1999 T Reg Rover Sterling 820 Automatic. 5 Doors, Automatic, Fastback, Petrol, 91,000 miles, Metallic Red, MOT-11-2007. New MOT, Full service history, Air conditioning, Alloy wheels, Anti theft system, CD Multichanger, Driver airbag, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Electric sunroof, Electrically adjustable seats, Heated seats, Leather upholstery, Passenger airbag, Power assisted steering, Remote locking, Radio/Cassette, Rear headrests, Wood/wood effect trim. This Rover Sterling is quite simply in superb condition throughout.It has been fastidiously looked after,has a years MOT and full service history and really must be seen at only £995
I've just read this last page, but why are we arguing about rovers on a gold SOTW. Handbags out chaps.... And that serves me right, its a nice old SOTW, sorry chaps!
Edited by rockinatmidnight on Saturday 30th May 11:28
BlueRover30 May 2009
My 800i has 303,000 miles on the original engine and never has had a headgasket changed. She idles perfectly at 800rpm and will still do 120mph. Unfortunately, bad cars do damage a reputation so I can understand why the comments are made. For a large car she handles ok.
cyberface09 Jan 2007
I've got a MG ZT saloon, with 390 bhp and 430 lb ft torque, feels nice and solid, drives well, handles brilliantly, cost me £22k all in brand new.
I'd honestly say this is a Pistonhead type of car.
All the idiots who can *only* see the obvious failures in Rover's long and tortured history need to realise that Rover had a lot of Britain's most talented engineers, hobbled by incompetent management and further ed up by government / trade union / nationalisation interference. Most of Rover's problems were political.
As a result a lot of shite cars got out - it's difficult to maintain a motivated assembly force if government / unions are ing up the company - but British engineers ARE damn good engineers on the whole and some pretty damn good cars did pop up now and then.
When I was at Oxford one of my mates (engineering student) was doing a secondment at Rover and helping with the VVC system. He brought back a demo camshaft and showed me how the cam timing was changed just by oil pressure on the end of the assembly - a pretty clever design that looked uncomplicated and reliable. I don't know the history as to who got the best VVC system first - all major manufacturers do now, but this was around 12 years ago. There were definitely bright, passionate engineers working there.
I think all the Rover 75s are good cars actually, and given the bust status of Rover, they are incredibly good value for money now. The V8 is bloody good fun, but has appalling fuel consumption, so not really recommended for reps
10 Pence Short09 Jan 2007
I'd say the main problem was the fact that the product line up, with a bit of an exception for the 75, was far too aged. People aren't prepared to pay fairly high prices for 15 year old car designs with a new dashboard and a few spoilers tacked on.
Granted Rover did very well in 'MGing' some of the models, but without the cash to develop a new model, the writing was on the wall.
Constant rumours of meltdown in the final years only accelerated people's movements away from Rover, with the thought of missing warranties in peoples minds.
ohopkins09 Jan 2007
From Relibility index :
For the 800 =
Reliability Index 157.57 ( very poor ) Average Age 5.126325088
Average Mileage 54251.41343 Time off the Road 3.505381382
Average Repair Cost £336.44 Air Conditioning 3.03%
Axle & Suspension 17.27% Braking System 8.48%
Cooling and Heating System 10.00% Electrical 25.76%
Engine 21.21% Fuel System 1.52%
Compared to the Honda engined 600 :
Reliability Index 93.21 ( ok ) Average Age 4.756624826
Average Mileage 50749.93249 Time off the Road 2.16240052
Average Repair Cost £284.64 Air Conditioning 0.90%
Axle & Suspension 14.86% Braking System 11.71%
Cooling and Heating System 13.51% Electrical 31.53%
Engine 10.36% Fuel System -
so the Honda engined 600 is about 2-3 times more reliable engine wise. And the Rober 800 is no paragon of virtue, the commments about comparisons to jap cars have me rolling around on the floor.
Faults with T - Series engine :
Overflow cooling pipe badly placed above manifold, could spilt and then alloy head block would warp on the steel block.
Head gasket *still* an issue with T-series. Not confused with K series.
Gearbox was Honda PG1 and not suited to torque of T series, nylon bearing cage would fail causing gearbox to self destruct if not attended too. Replacement with steel cage bearings solves.
Oil would weep from front gasket face due to poor design.
Alternator prone to failure and fry electics.
MEMS engine managemnt system a total pain to diagnose and fix, not OBD compliant. Don't think I have seen a MEMS car with a proper idle after 100,000 miles yet.