RE: Rover 200 BRM | Spotted

RE: Rover 200 BRM | Spotted

Wednesday 3rd March

Rover 200 BRM | Spotted

With very few ever made and just a handful left, there won't be many BRMs as good as this



Remember that odd lull for hot hatches in the late nineties? Insurance premiums had killed off the icons from Ford, Renault and Vauxhall, and it was just before the Clio 172 and first Civic Type R signaled a renaissance. It was an era defined by the Civic VTI, Bravo HGT and Almera GTI - not exactly pocket rocket legends. The Peugeot 306 GTI-6 could have been half as brilliant as it was and still would have been the cream of the crop.

Nevertheless, one or two interesting cars did emerge in the period. Though only the most dedicated Roverist might remember the 200Vi, which mated the most potent 1.8 K Series to the rather dowdy 200 body, the BRM was always a car that lingered longer in the memory. And not just for the leather...

Though seen by some as a slightly cynical marketing ploy to sell more 200s - cashing in on motorsport heritage is not a new tactic - the BRM was at least treated to some worthwhile upgrades in addition to the orange BRM bits. The engine remained standard, but its 145hp now powered through close ratio gears and a limited-slip differential. The suspension was lower and stiffer, too, giving the 200 a much needed shot in the arm dynamically. Auto Express declared the BRM had "all the talents of the Vi but crucially a far sharper feel."

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But a lot of that was lost on the buying public, the 797 UK cars of the 1109 produced not finding homes all that quickly. Some of it was likely due to the BRM heritage probably not striking the right chord with the right customer - but mostly it was due to the price: ยฃ18k in 1998 was a lot of money. Rover dropped it to ยฃ16,995, then ยฃ13,495 in an attempt to flog them - apparently the last BRM wasn't registered until April 2002. The AROnline story about the BRM's troubled time is well worth reading - see it here.

The 200 BRM went on to do what a lot of Rovers - indeed a lot of cars - from that time did: it depreciated to a point where it was barely worth anything (one made it to Shed of the Week 10 years ago), and many were scrapped when the opportunity arose. Now there are thought to be fewer than 100 of the UK cars still taxed, which of course means they've reacquired some value - and there can't be many better than this one. It's covered just 38,000 miles since 1999, with a recommission of the K Series engine - yes, including a new gasket - having taken place a year ago. There is a gap in the service history when the car was presumably in storage - "the car had reportedly not seen sunlight between 2012 and May 2020", says the ad - but then such a low mileage would be impossible in a 22-year-old car without some period of inactivity. The attention it's been show before and after that time suggests careful ownership; the condition of the 200 both inside and out (including the Rover teddy bears!) implies it's lived a good life.

It'd be a shame for the BRM not to accrue a few more miles in the coming years, given the love it's seemingly been shown since the last century and the low mileage recorded. It's for sale at ยฃ10,990, which is probably the most asked for one since the early 2000s. But in a world of 205s, Clios and 5s for sale at megabucks, it's not unexpected. And while nobody is going to suggest the BRM has the iconic status of those cars, it isn't hard to see why a fervent enthusiast might be willing to part with their money for this one - it really does look lovely. Just be sure to look after that leather...


SPECIFICATION | ROVER 200 BRM

Engine: 1,796cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive, limited-slip diff
Power (hp): 145@6,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 128@4,000rpm
MPG: 36
CO2: N/A
Year registered: 1999
Recorded mileage: 38,000
Price new: ยฃ18,000
Yours for: ยฃ10,990

See the original advert here.









Author
Discussion

Jon_S_Rally

Original Poster:

961 posts

52 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Was the 306 really twice as good as its rivals? The Almera GTI, while not the best looker, was a cracking car, so I think the opening paragraph is perhaps being a bit harsh on the Pug's rivals.

I remember these BRMs being launched. I liked the combination of green paint and red interior. Didn't some dealers paint the grill surround silver in an attempt to tone it down a bit?

I don't think it will ever reach big values, but it's an interesting curio, and was actually a pretty decent car. The regular Vi got decent reviews at the time too. I think, for me, it would be hard to buy one over an MG ZR (if I wanted something like this at least). Shame most people will probably slate it anyway, just because it's a Rover.

Jam_s160

29 posts

186 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
its definitely not aged well... Id rather an old school 3 door 1992 Rover 220 Gti (or 216 twin cam with honda engine)

emperorburger

790 posts

30 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
11 grand rofl

Makes the 205 GTI featured a few days ago at £13k look an even bigger bargain.

s m

20,635 posts

167 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
Was the 306 really twice as good as its rivals? The Almera GTI, while not the best looker, was a cracking car, so I think the opening paragraph is perhaps being a bit harsh on the Pug's rivals.
I think it’s one of those cars that has become better and better in the minds of some over the intervening 2 decades

Truth be told, it’s little brother, the 106, was cheaper and just as quick on most occasions ...certainly on a track

Rod200SX

7,733 posts

140 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Definitely an acquired taste but these are very well regarded. I know a couple folk that have used them as hillclimb cars and they are surprisingly competent 'out the box'.

The looks haven't aged well, ironically as I think the 25, ZR, 75, ZT etc have aged quite well hehe

FPC

25 posts

15 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Oh god Rover haters incoming...

"Take a zero off the price and it would still be a pile of junk" etc etc...

Head gasket issues aside the K series is the loveliest in-line 4 I've ever driven, so smooth. I like this, bet it's a good drive.

Podie

46,237 posts

239 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Drove one of these in 2000 for a week as a courtesy car. Was actually pretty good and thoroughly enjoyed hoofing it about hehe

thelostboy

4,025 posts

189 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Its all about nostalgia, and hoping there's that one person out there who really wants to re-live their youth. Obviously, a lot less were sold in period, so therefore the seller's pool of potential customers is far smaller - there were thousands of people in Saxo VTSs, Clio 172s etc.

Cylon2007

376 posts

42 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
I saw one out on the road yesterday, not seen one for years.

ch37

7,171 posts

185 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
£18k in 1998? Strong money! Consider the Clio 172 was £15,995 a couple of years later.

DanielSan

16,061 posts

131 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
I've never been a Rover fan, but there's something about the 200 BRM I really really love. This one is just fantastic.

s m

20,635 posts

167 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Jam_s160 said:
its definitely not aged well... Id rather an old school 3 door 1992 Rover 220 Gti (or 216 twin cam with honda engine)
I wouldn’t mind a 220Gsi Turbo - can’t be many left of those

Fastest of them all and quite a sleeper

thelostboy

4,025 posts

189 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
s m said:
I wouldn’t mind a 220Gsi Turbo - can’t be many left of those

Fastest of them all and quite a sleeper
Wasn't this the fastest accelerating FWD car for ages? Was it called a Tomcat or was that just a nickname?

s m

20,635 posts

167 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
thelostboy said:
s m said:
I wouldn’t mind a 220Gsi Turbo - can’t be many left of those

Fastest of them all and quite a sleeper
Wasn't this the fastest accelerating FWD car for ages? Was it called a Tomcat or was that just a nickname?
I think the Tomcat was the Coupe body

AlexIT

745 posts

102 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
s m said:
I think the Tomcat was the Coupe body
Yep, correct.

Funny as I stumbled just this morning upon a picture of mine back in 2001... I must say it has aged well.

Chris-hmb0p

3 posts

26 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
The worst kind of brand devaluation - "MG" plus "BRM".

Titivating a green grandad's shopping car with orange bits from the corner top gear accessory shop does not make it Top Gear.

And I never thought I'd read a quote from Auto Express on here - another pile of manufacturer manipulating crap.

These car dealers have clearly been attending the new online "I saw you coming" marketing courses that have sprung up while they haven't been able to attend the car auctions - Item 1: There are idiots out there with more money than sense.

AMGSee55

393 posts

66 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Nice looking car the BRM. I think the shape has aged well and the green suits it perfectly. You’d have to seriously want it for £11K though, bearing in mind sensible mileage ZRs change hands for £2-3K.

Wheel_Turned_Out

321 posts

2 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
I really like these, but the money they want for this is a little mental, though these are no doubt very capable little cars.

I've been seeing this advert cropping up in the classifieds for months now, can't see it shifting any time soon at this price.

ch37

7,171 posts

185 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
s m said:
I think the Tomcat was the Coupe body
Yes there is one that has been racing at Castle Combe for many years (probably with about 3x the power mind) and they always refer to it as a Rover Tomcat, fantastic looking thing.

Turbobanana

2,942 posts

165 months

Wednesday 3rd March
quotequote all
Chris-hmb0p said:

Titivating a green grandad's shopping car with orange bits from the corner top gear accessory shop does not make it Top Gear.
Is that an aspiration? Sounds more like a punishment.