"How I was bitten by the Rover Bug"

Personal Profile of Nicholas Rogers
August 2000

I purchased my first Rover in 1982. It was a P5 3 Litre Mk 3 Saloon of 1966 vintage. It was a proper Rover with a real starting handle, complete with glorious red leather seats and the rear bucket seat/picnic tray option. I chanced upon it at the Newmarket Car Fair when I should have been selling my sister's Riley Elf.

The engine fumed so much that a length of garden hose was run from the engine breather, underneath the car to vent at the rear bumper. Still it got me to Mt Ruapehu and back in superb comfort. The Rover P5 for me reproduces exactly the sensation of driving around in the living room furniture. 3 Litres are wonderful to drive on metal roads.

The total Rovers I have owned over the years are: 2x P5's; 2x P5B's; lx P5B Coupe; 4x SD1's; lxP6 2000 TC; lx 825-I; a total of eleven.

My first experience of a Rover V8 was in 1983, a Zircon Blue P5B Saloon. In it I made an epic tour to the Kaimanawa Forest Park, then back via East Cape. Epic in that the Borg Warner 35 Automatic transmission cracked it's casing. I had to feed it increasing amounts of automatic transmission fluid. I briefly considered a gravity fed supply from a drum on the roof!

Another P5B took me to Alexandra for some Halley's Comet spotting. It suffered a broken windshield at Lawrence, but was repaired in Christchurch. Help from the Rover Car Club of Canterbury was most appreciated.

The best V8 cruising was in our current SD 1 Vitesse on the long straights in the Manawatu. Turn off State Highway 1 at Vinegar Hill onto State Highway 54 to Fielding. Engage warp-drive gently…

A Rover SD 1 Vanden Plas shared our honeymoon. Indeed the Roverdom Editor sold this Rover to me. Perhaps one day, Kevin will have recovered his sense of humour enough to tell of his adventures with an SD 1 fitted with the five-speed gearbox, on the Brynderwyn Hill!

Soon after meeting my sweetheart Joy, she had talked me into selling my two SDl's, which were all of the Rovers I then owned. Such is the power of love! However instead of replacement by a small sensible' vehicle, a P5 3 Litre and an SD 1 Vitesse materialized, Later an 825-I joined the throng.

On our wedding day we were chauffeured to and from the church in the greatest of style - a trio of P4 Rovers - including an 80, 90 and a 110.

For a millennium project I have secured a 'Free for Removal' P6 2000 TC. As I have never owned a Rover P6 before, I am very much looking forward to getting this machine back on the road.