In the 'end of year tat accounts' thread, I made mention of a 420GSi arriving on the scene (quite unexpectedly I might add). So with nothing much else happening this new year's afternoon, I'll make an introduction...
Anoraks will note the fog lamps indicate this is a Turbo, and the Coventry registration means that it was also a Rover Group Company Vehicles car when new (27th August 1993). I do wonder if anyone ever actually ordered one of these at their Rover dealer, or did all 300 of them have a year with Rover, helping to make the price a bit more down to earth for the first proper owner? 😄 That aside, the first 'proper' owner was Barry - who lives in Eltham - and he took the car on in July 1994, pootling about with it right up until November 2019. Impressive! (Barry has replaced his 420 with a brand new Astra GTC). He wanted a good home for his Rover after all those years, and through various channels we were put in touch. Now, I wasn't really after another car, but some things you really can't pass up. It did mean moving on my Daewoo Espero (happily, now back on the road with its new owner!). A charitable donation was made for the car, and a day out to London planned, which went without a hitch. The drive home was exciting; you can drive it sedately and exactly how you would expect an old Rover to drive - in full-on 'grandad' mode - and it is a comfortable and relaxed thing. Put your foot on the accelerator though - in any gear, it doesn't matter, the response is the same - you are thrown forward with surprising speed. Crazy stuff!
The next week or so saw the car get some regular use to allow us to figure out just what we'd bought. The plus points are that it's quite possibly the only surviving unmolested 420 Turbo, it's all complete with everything working and it comes with twenty five years worth of bills and paperwork. The downsides are that despite Barry's admirable and generous spending on it over the years, it's not really been 'looked after' (if that makes sense). It's hardly been washed, the inside is a health hazard, and all the muck in the back arches means it'll require a date with the welder in the next year. Still, it has an MoT until August 2020 and is in fine mechanical form.
So, what next?
The first job made itself known quite quickly; It had spent all its life being parked on a steep driveway, pointing up hill. It now lives on a flat driveway in a part of the world that is nearly always raining, thus it's now soaked inside. Actually with the amount of water in the rear seat base and under the carpets, it has been leaking for some considerable time. It has just become more obvious now.
So out came the headlining and in went the dehumidifier!
It's taken a few days to clear the condensation from the roof panel, and thankfully the weather has been dry. I've taken the opportunity to cut some new gaskets for the rear lamp units, so I've eliminated one known water ingress point. Things are dry enough inside the car now to pinpoint the exact points where the water is coming in the next time we get some rain. Sunroof is an obvious suspect, and also the top of the rear screen due to the corrosion there.
There's also a lot of silicone sealant around the top of the front screen, which is unsightly but must be doing something to help currently.
So the current state of play; I've got some black tape stuck across the top of the rear screen to try and keep the worst of the rain out. The dehumidifier is still doing it's thing, filling up every second day! I await further rain so I can investigate the sunroof some more. Either the seal against the roof panel or the drain tubes, I reckon.
Medium term plans are to clean up the interior and get some mechanical work done such as cam belt, water pump and a general service. Hopefully we can keep the worst of the weather out and be able to enjoy taking it to a few shows when the spring and summer arrive. There's an Astra in bits in the garage at the moment, so there's now some impetus to get that project completed so that the 420 can take its place later this year. In many ways the fact that it has come with such a long MoT takes the pressure off a bit, and I don't feel that I've just added an unusable wreck to the fleet. It'll be nice to show it off in its 'as found' state!