I did a thing
perfect autoshite m8
Not that I particularly disliked it but this is so so much better than the Hyundai.
So, some more backstory now that I have time.
For those of you who don’t know, here’s some key points. MG Rover was an English company that went bust in 2005. Long story short, the Chinese bought the MG brand and Rover went to Ford and then to Tata. Rover was once a very popular brand over here, but towards the end of its life it suffered from a very negative reputation, mostly caused by the motoring press. One of the final nails in the coffin for Rover was the infamous “K-Series” engine, which had a reputation for blowing headgaskets very often and also is, funnily enough, the engine that this car has.
Unfortunately, Rovers still have the same negative reputation today that they did nearly 2 decades ago. They are often perceived as cars for old people, and they are also perceived as being extremely unreliable.
This, however, works in my favor because I couldn’t care less what people think of my car, and I got this car for approximately half of what it should be worth, paying a whopping £400.
Now, about my car. I bought it totally sight unseen off eBay on Wednesday whilst at school, and I had it delivered yesterday. I’ve wanted a Rover for quite some time now, and I was waiting for the right one to come along and upon seeing it for the first time (of course, as it was being delivered), I knew I’d lucked out. It has the original Rover dealership license plates, mats, service book, both original keys and keyfobs, original dealer wallet thing for the service book and other such stuff, original business cards and other weird bits of memorabilia.
The car is a 2003 Rover 25 in “Impression S” trim, finished in Copperleaf Red Pearlescent. The engine is a 1.4L K-Series unit that has already had the headgasket done and the head skimmed, so I don’t really expect HGF for a long time, if at all. It’s a 1 owner from new car and it’s done just 55,000 miles in 14 years. In this trim (going by original book figures), the 1.4 K-Series makes 84PS @ 6000 RPM, however in other trims and in all MG ZRs, the 1.4 makes 105PS @ 6000 RPM. The 84PS unit has plastic bits inside the throttle body, which limits the butterfly valve from opening up all the way (and of course the throttle cable is shorter), so the higher power can be achieved by either removing these plastic bits or by swapping the throttle body over to the derestricted one and by getting the longer cable. Finally, 0-60 for the 84PS unit equipped 25s is 11.8s and 10.2s for the 103PS units. Other engine options for the 25 were the not so popular 1.1, the slightly more popular 1.6, the 1.8 (found in the GTi version) and the 2.0 “L”-Series turbodiesel.
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people seem to think that these cars are for “old people”, which to be honest I find to be complete bollocks. Sure, the looks aren’t everyone’s thing but I think they’ve got a kind of… hidden aggressive tone to them. But, I’m not going to let other people decide what I should and shouldn’t like, so
Faster than the average Corsa and with a bangin Blaupunkt stereo for your tunes, the Rover 25 could’ve and should’ve been more popular among young buyers in my opinion.
Following on from that, this particular car is quite interesting as it seems to have borrowed quite a few bits from 2004’s facelifted version. Two examples you can see in this photo are the radio and the gauges. The radio should’ve been a Phillips unit, not a Blaupunkt one, and the gauges should’ve been the older style black gauges rather than the white ones. It is entirely possible that this car might have even borrowed the whole wiring harness from the facelift 25 before it was even released. British cars, huh?
Anyway, I think that’ll do for now. I’m going to try and give it a properly good clean when I can and I’ll take some more photos after it for anybody who might be interested in this thing.
This looks WAY too good for a sub-$1000 shitbox
IIRC old cars are cheap in the UK. Like, REALLY cheap.
They are, but petrol Rovers tend to take that even further. Regardless of the fact the have the one major issue that is easily rectified, people still see them as being unreliable or old people’s cars as Brad says (BL days man, bad times) and so they’re really, really cheap.
Pretty sure there was that story doing the round a couple of months ago about the guy that bought a perfectly working if a bit tatty Rover 45 1.4 for 3 quid.
I heard some dude bought a working Volvo 760 with MOT for a quid, but that was a decade ago. The scrappage scheme then really fucked banger market up so those aren’t as common as they used to be.
Nice and clean 25. Needs a bit of lowering, just a tiny bit IMHO - it looks like a SUV atm. For that money you did buy good. Don’t ruin it
Wish you a nice and winkle-free ride!
I’d totally drive that.
When I first got this thing and turned it on, I was shocked as to how it sounded. I honestly thought at first that I’d been misled and that I’d bought a diesel rather than a petrol (wouldn’t have been mad, the diesel 25s are brilliant). Turns out that, among other things, the Rover K-Series engines suffer from piston slap just as much as they do noisy tappets when they’ve been used around town a lot without getting the chance to warm up properly. With something like this, there isn’t really much you can do so I just decided to stick some flush in the engine and have the oil drained & replaced and thankfully this made the engine actually sound like a petrol engine again (also had the cooling system drained and put actual coolant in there, some donut decided to fill a K-Series with water).
Here’s a short couple of videos showing the sound before and after (sorry if the notification sound in the first video blows your headphones or speakers up).
While it was up in the air, I had the opportunity to get a good look under it and I have to say, I’m bloody impressed as to how it looks under there for a 14 year old Rover:
And finally, to complete the image spam, here’s a couple random photos. She’ll get a proper clean soon, looks a bit grubby in some lighting conditions:
I wish my Lanos looked that good after cleaning
I do think your car has potential, it just depends how much work you’re willing to put in. A good £20-30 of cleaning products and a few hours of your time could have that thing looking, for what it is, honestly quite good.
Nah, I cleaned it outside and inside already, but on the outside it has scratches, dots without the colour layer of the paint, Korean Boring Green colour, ugly wheels… Although that last one can be cheaply fixed by some nice wheel caps
I might be wrong, but I’ve always believed the wheels were supposed to be on the outside of the car.
Nice observation, I think you might be right!
Anyway yeah I just picked up these 16" MG ZR “Hairpin” alloys. Should look nice with the red on this car. Photos to follow.
Jealous. I wish I could come to the UK to get some Serpent or Union rims for my 75 cause no-one has any Rover rims for sale in Finland.
So, this morning I got my first proper look at the wheels. The ones that were evidently on the front of the previous car are quite tatty, but the rear ones are quite good and the tyres are meh at best. I wasn’t going to, but I decided to just chuck them straight on the car to see what they look like, how they feel etc. They do rub a little bit at full lock, but this can be rectified by fitting 205/45 tyres (currently 205/50/R16). Unfortunately, I don’t really have the money for that right now, and my old wheels have brand new tyres on them, so I’m not sure whether to just continue using these or if I should run my old wheels and fit proper summer tyres on these hairpins when I have the money. Decisions decisions…
Also, I feel like I should comment on the overall reliability of the car thus far. I’ve done about 700 miles in it, mostly around town, and it hasn’t had any real reliability issues. I managed to break a couple of the heater control knobs due to crap plastic and brute force, but they were easy to replace (though they were like £10 each which is ridiculous). The rear arches had a bit of surface rust on them on the insides when I got the car, but they are slowly deteriorating and are starting to crack and will eventually rot through. If I’m keeping the car, I’ll definitely need to get that sorted and I might get the whole chassis undersealed. But besides that, it’s been pretty uneventful. The car’s a blast to drive, the engine is extremely responsive and just likes to rev and rev. For an engine that is choked from the factory to make 84hp, it really does feel quite quick. It handles very well minus a fair bit of body roll, but it has a tendency to start doing one wheel burnouts under semi-hard cornering. I will maintain my opinion that this is a very underrated car.