I'm selling my Sterling. It's Woodcote Green with Osprey Grey leather, it’s done just shy of 112000 miles and I’ve known the car since about 80000. I had this from Partridge about 3 or 4 months ago, but realistically with the fleet I have and the P6 coming, I'm not going to get this sorted and I'd rather it went to someone who'll use and enjoy it. The car is MoTed until 7/2/2017, with advisories on an exhaust blow and play in the steering – more on those below.
Cosmetically it’s not perfect but it does clean up well – it’s a rare colour and one which in my opinion suits the shape, especially with the Vitesse Sport wheels and the slightly lower suspension. There’s minor surface rust on the front arches, more serious looking rust on the offside rear arch (though it passes the screwdriver test, so it’s solid), some lacquer peel on the top of the nearside front door and the nearside A pillar is painted body colour rather than the correct black. Inside, the seats and carpets are in good condition, as are the door cards. The dashboard has done the usual 800 thing of lifting and splitting – I know they can be glued back down over the binnacle but in light of the splits I'd suggest the buyer source a replacement if it can't be lived with.
Rover 800s have suspect electrics as a rule, caused by dry joints on the fusebox and on circuit boards. As far as I can establish everything on this car works except the electric mirrors, which I’ve not had chance to investigate. I haven’t checked whether the sunroof works recently, because it doesn’t leak, it’s still winter and I don’t want to tempt fate! All the lights work as intended, as do the heated seats, windows and wipers. The radio is an aftermarket replacement JVC CD player, and there are large aftermarket speaker sets mounted on the parcel shelf. I believe these were fitted in 2012, though I’ve no paperwork to back this up.
Three of its previous owners have been long term Rover 800 enthusiasts and collectors, and the history file shows a car which has had a lot of time and money spent on it in the past. The cambelt was last changed in March 2011 at 79988 miles, it had a set of Vitesse Sport wheels fitted in June 2011, new radiator in October 2011, new shocks and springs from Motobuild in January 2012, new water pump in December 2013, and new rear discs and pads in January 2014.
A word on the Motobuild suspension upgrades. I like my cars to be comfortable, supple barges – I own a pair of Montegos, a Rover 75 and a Citroen XM among other toys. As such, lower and stiffer suspension (35mm at the nose and 10mm at the tail) doesn’t usually appeal to me, but in this instance it works. The average Rover 800 MK2 (R17) doesn’t ride or corner particularly well in my view – it’s floaty but crashy over bumps. This car is far firmer than a standard R17 820 and is a touch lower than I’d have chosen to do, but it jolts less over bumps and it corners significantly better than a standard car. Opinions vary and if anyone's unsure, come and try it for yourself.
What’s left to do to it? It’s got warped front discs, so while they’re more than up to MoT standard there’s a bit of pulsing back through the pedal which isn’t particularly pleasant. There’s a blow in the exhaust manifold and one at the back of the silencer in the centre box – the latter has been repaired but ideally wants replacing. The kickdown cable has been repaired but not correctly adjusted, so under gentle throttle it slurs the up-changes a bit much. I’d recommend a new cable. There’s a small issue with a track control arm – the steering works, but while everything is fine going left there’s a little wooliness going right. It’s not unsafe, just not quite right. It needs the cosmetic bits sorting out, and a good service. As with almost all 800s the header tank is weak, and has been reinforced – in this instance with GRP and silicon. It’s not ideal and is leaking again through the silicon – the accepted solution is to fit a Volvo 850 unit. I was going to source one, but frankly I've too many cars on the go and I'm now thinning my fleet down to concentrate on the ones I want to keep long term.
It's a great, distinctive example and in an ideal world I'd keep it, but with a fleet of 8 at present and the P6 coming soon either I'll end up neglecting them all or I need to thin it down and focus on the long term keepers.
Rover 800s are getting noticed now, especially as this is the first official year of the Rover 800 Club, the model is now thirty years old and the facelifted MK2 is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Values are increasing as a result and I feel I’ve priced my car fairly.
I'd like £595, though I'm open to offers. If I get enough interest I may consider a raffle but I'd rather sell it outright if I'm honest. It's at my house about halfway between Peterborough and Huntingdon.