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A Grand Monday: Rover 75

Published 09 January 2017

If ever there was a car that has become the epitome of an up-and-coming classic, the Rover 75 is it. Unveiled with much pomp and ceremony at the 1998 British International Motor Show and introduced a few months later, the first (and last) Rover to be developed wholly under BMW ownership is also a candidate for consideration as the company's best ever car - though in terms of innovation, the P6 may still take that crown.

Nevertheless, the 75 was - and still is - a mightily fine car, and one for which there is a rapidly growing following. Beautifully styled, exquisitely well made (certainly at launch, before MG Rover's accountants sank their teeth into it) and surprisingly agile, the 75 raised many an eyebrow when it was new. 

Suddenly, those eyebrows are starting to rise again, as the 75 has gone from being part of Britain's street furniture to being an increasingly rare sight on our roads. Since 2011, the number of 75s currently registered has dropped by more than half, and natural attrition will mean a good many of the survivors fall by the wayside over the next couple of years.

But there's also good news. Already, there's a strong following among classic enthusiasts and the 75 and ZT Owners Club is thriving, as one of the fastest growing car clubs in the UK. 

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Now, then, is the time to strike, while there is still a strong supply of above average examples left, especially if you can find an early Cowley-built car, identifiable by their matt black sills.

This Rover 75 2.0 V6 Club SE is a great example of what can be found for extremely sensible money. Dating from the first year of production, it isn't the best engine, gearbox or specification combo, but that keeps it affordable. a 2.5 auto Connoisseur with similar provenance would be two or three times the price.

The spec is still quite nice, too - air con, electric windows, a CD player and an electric sunroof are desirable features, but this car's real selling point is its colour and trim combination of Arran White (a creamy hue better known as Old English White) and 'Personal Line' Neptune Blue upholstery and interior highlights. There may not be any leather in there, but just look at that cabin...

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At £825, and with less than 100k on the clock and two documented cambelt changes, this is a lovely car for the money. Buy one this year, you won't regret it.

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Chris C    on 9 January 2017

Nice car but the MOT history isn't great, eg advisories repeatedly not attended to, dodgy numberplates, etc. I agree about 75's, and ZT's, being at bargain level - there's a 57k miles silver 75 automatic near here for £350...

   on 9 January 2017

I had a 1964 P5 Coupe as my first car and loved it.

I have had several Rover 75 diesel estates which remind me of the quality and styling features of the P5.
Reliable, superb comfort, looks great, economical, full of character, no depreciation. 14 years old and when I give people a lift they are impressed by the quality of ride.

I have had Mercedes and BMW estates, prefer my 75 any day.

martin richmond    on 9 January 2017

I have had my eye on this one for nearly 2 years!!. Everytime I get a bit of money saved up, a bill comes in and that's that. I know it's small money, but unless I get a sudden influx of cash, I can't buy it. So frustrating. Someone's gonna get a bargain. I think this car is a stunner, can it really be in that great condition?.. it looks showroom to me on here. Just thinking, if I had not been chasing that lottery jackpot in the sky all this time, I would have had enough to pay for it!!.

   on 9 January 2017

The CDTI diesel with the BMW M47 engine is so good and reliable and mpg is good too, around 48mpg not only that but the club has some brilliant experts in it, like marinabrian Phil T4 who are true technicians, parts can also easily be sourced through the club by the likes of Mickyboy and Tom holland who have plenty of spares and expert knowledge, these cars are so good I wish I had purchased mine years ago

Michael Bicknell    on 10 January 2017

I have a rover 75 X registration year 2000 one of the first of the production line it has only 8000 miles on the clock radio cassettee wind up windows in the back walnut steering wheel and factory fitted low profile wheels and I love it ! But it would be nice to find out its true worth !

bob redhead    on 10 January 2017

Good examples of these cars are getting harder to find as people have just been looking for a cheap car then scraping it when something needs repairing and are fast becoming a classic so if you have one look after it

   on 10 January 2017

I've had my diesel R75 for over nine years now.

Except for the normal consumables. Oil, filters, tyres etc There have been only TWO faults. One headlight bulb and one stop light bulb. Nothing else has been replaced on it.
Every other part is original and fitted from new.

Best and most reliable and comfortable car I have ever owned.

Always runs between 45 and 50 mpg depending on the time of year.

Jan Chilton    on 27 February 2017

I have had two Rover 75 Diesels over last 13 years, (wrote the first one off in snow). My current one has clocked up 135,000 miles and is still running like a new car. I am a care worker in the hills of Mid Wales so currently clocking up a lot of miles in all conditions and terrains. It had a new clutch plate a year ago and just had track rod ends done last month, even with these expenses it is still a cheap car to run. This car is a workhorse for me and visibly shows the signs of such use on the outside and in. I do want another when this has had its day. because the engine and its handling are just just fab. Never need to sit behind tourists as can accelerate past 5 at a time when needed and safe to do so. I just love it. Finding one with low enough mileage to deal with my work miles is becoming increasingly difficult. There is no way I could ever afford to drive a car of similar quality in another make. Jan Chilton

Stephen Mills    on 12 November 2017

i have been the happy owner of four rover 75 models 3 estates and 1 saloon
only had minor problems with ecu mainly never been left stranded by any of them,
they seem to have a knack of warning you when something needs attention,
seems most of them only fail because of sheer neglect.
a much maligned car savaged by the idiot press in the motoring world for their own perverted satisfaction,very few of them had the courage to write a favourable report because Rover bashing was the trend at the time anyone who had good words for the company was considered crazy.
Well i consider myself among those who have had the last laugh courtesy of the press having owned and enjoyed all 4 motors the latest an Aaron white CDTI Saloon another little Gem
In conclusion I dont think i have met an unhappy 75 owner to date

   on 10 July 2020

I bought a new club 1.8se from virgin cars in 2004 for £10.500 I ran it for 13 years I got rid of it as it started to get a few electrical problems plus it needed new discs all round I felt it wasn't worth spending several hundred pounds on it. The mileage when I sold it was about 112.000 apart from the head gasket leaking at 54.000 miles which is a common fault with the 1.8 it was trouble free. I can honestly say it was the most comfortable reliable car I have ever owned. I changed the oil from new every 6 months and think that this helped with the reliability of the car looking back now I really miss it.

   on 12 August 2020

I have a 52 plate, non-running Rover 75 that I need to sell. It has immense sentimental value, so I don't want it to be scrapped or sold for parts. Best way to sell? Details can obviously be provided on request.

   on 23 March 2021

my name is james scott

address 1962 // 1968
salome lodge farm
lieghten bromswold huntingdon shire

i see a 1948 rover 75 on the internet rego 5395-dg in the early photos the left side doors looked marked i think i owned this car for about two years the it has the AA badge taken off the radiator
this is nostalgia only if i can contact the owner for a chat it would make me very happy
i am now 76 and live in australia wagga wagga NSW 0475792158

tahank you all very much jim

Sandra Reynolds    on 29 May 2021

I have a 2003 18i Connoiseur automatic with 80,000 on her clock. I have had Rosie for aboit 6 years and she had a cam belt and new head gasket fitted and passed her MOT Sept 2020 with no advisories, she has new tyres all round and I love her BUT due to Rheumatoid arthritis I can no longer get in or out as she is too low. She has had everything needed to keep her well and this old lady is heartbroken to have to say goodbye to that old lady. I don't need to sell her and would rather keep her and look after her than sell her to somebody to run into the ground. She deserves more respect I think.

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