Thinking of getting a Rover 75......

#1
....and I don't mean the P4 either.

As I have drastically reduced my daily commute (from 50 miles to 6 miles), I am now looking to rid myself of my horrible mark 6 diesel Golf and finally scratch an itch regarding the Rover 75.

I would like the V6 version and pre-Project Drive would be nice as I want the proper wooden dash etc.

Any thoughts or recommendations?
 
#3
Young Frazzle is your man for 75 info! If you haven't already check the 75 & ZT owners forum. A very friendly bunch and theirs an excellent buying guide on there as well.
My 75 is a diesel so don't know to much about the V6's but they are very cheap for what you get and main issue is the belts and the cost of changing them so a definite consideration when buying!
There was a short couple of minute review of the 75 on last night's 5th Gear which was fairly positive :D
www.the75andztclub.co.uk/forum/
 
#4
Well, as moderns go, I do like 75s a lot. I prefer the P6, but I've done a serious number of miles in 75s and ZTs.
The 75 I've done most miles in is my 2.0 V6 Club SE, which I run on LPG. I've found that 75s are pretty reliable things, for the most part, but, they're not the cheapest cars in the world to repair. V6s are my preference as I've no interest in running the underpowered 1.8, the chronically unreliable 1.8T, and I don't like diesels. If you're looking at 75s, the V6 is available in 2.0, or 2.5 form, with manual or automatic gearboxes available in both. The 2.0 auto is pretty lethargic, based on trying a couple. The 2.0 manual isn't too bad, but somewhat lacking in torque, meaning that you'll find yourself changing gear more often than perhaps you'd like. 2.5 manuals are pretty quick, but I reckon the 2.5 auto would be my choice, in an ideal world, having owned a 2.5 Connoisseur SE Auto, and a ZT180+ Automatic.
The V6 is a pretty reliable engine, for the most part, and my 2.0 has done 40,000 miles in the two and a half years since I bought it first. Cambelts are a bit of a pain on the V6, with there being three of them, and you want the water pump changed at the same time. Budget around £500 for this work if it hasn't been done. Thermostat housings can, and do, crack so look for coolant in the vee of the engine, and watch for coolant loss. The cooling fan needs to be working, but often fails. It can be checked easily, if you turn the car on, and switch on the demist setting on the climate control. If the fan doesn't kick-in at this point, it will often just need a new resistor, for around £15, but, in some cases, the entire fan can need replaced. If there's a rattling noise while the V6 is running, it'll often be the inlet manifold which is the source. The V6s have a VTEC-style system, where there's quite a kick at around 3000 rpm. This is controlled by a pair of VIS motors, which do fail, but can be refurbished at modest cost. You'll notice a big improvement if they're working properly!

In terms of the rest of the car, watch for knocks from the suspension at the front, which can be caused by drop links, wishbones, etc. Nothing outstandingly expensive, but, at the age the cars are at, budget for wear and tear items. Rear springs can crack, and you can only definitively check by getting the car up in the air. Generally, the car will sit a bit low if they are cracked, at the rear. The rear suspension arms can rot pretty alarmingly in some examples too, so worth getting underneath prospective purchases. Exhaust systems will need replaced on a lot of examples. Cheap exhausts are very boomy, and unpleasant. Fit an OEM one, or something from the likes of Bosal, and you'll be fine. I've found 75s aren't very sore on tyres at all, and I drive mine fairly hard. Handbrakes will often be useless, but this is easily sorted by replacing the compensator.
Other things to check, are for a swimming pool in the spare wheel well (the majority will have been like this at some point or other), easy to solve by sorting the rear light seals, in the majority of cases. Watch for damp carpets too, particularly in the front. These are usually caused by blocked plenums, which are in front of the bulkhead, and the drains need to be kept clear. Easy to do with a drain cleaning tool, to drop down the drain every couple of months.

Bodily, they don't rust much. I'd be inclined to avoid Cowley-built cars (black sills, and black trim on the bottom of front and rear bumpers), as I've viewed quite a few which have the beginnings of sill rot, and they just don't seem half as well rust-proofed as Longbridge built ones. Front mud flaps can cause rust on the front wings, and I've seen quite a few with rust on the leading edge of the bonnet, rotting from the inside out. Any other rust can only be attributed to very poor accident damage. I've seen quite a few Tourers with rust on the rear wings, where I reckon they've had accident damage.
Interiors wear well, but the plastic trims above the kick plates can fall off regularly unless you replace the clips. Just watch for the airbag light. It's common for it to appear, and more often than not, it's a poor connection under one of the front seats.

In terms of models, you have a bewildering range of choices; Classic, Classic SE, Club, Club SE, Connoisseur, Connoisseur SE in mark 1s. (I won't bother with mark 2s, as I assume you're after a mark 1)
As such, I would go for a Club SE, or better, spec-wise. Club SE has climate control, 16 inch 'Union' alloy wheels, four electric windows, Velour upholstery, fog lights, etc.
Connoisseur gives you electric leather, and heated seats, as well as chrome mirrors.
Connoisseur SE has a lot of toys, including a better radio, electric rear sun blind (always amused passengers 8) ), cruise control, memory on the driver's electric seat, etc.
Options that people like include electric folding mirrors (pointless to my mind), larger wheels (Connoisseurs and Connoisseur SEs only have 15" wheels as standard), sat nav (useless, to my mind, and more often than not, the module is damaged by water ingress into the boot), walnut steering wheels, and any additional chrome are selling points to many.

I would avoid buying a Cowley car, personally, as I think the rust-proofing is very poor, compared to Longbridge ones, though they are marginally quieter, and are all pre-project drive. An early Longbridge one would be my first choice, ideally a 2.5 Auto Connoisseur SE.
Here are photos of the two 75s, and the ZT I have owned. I'm a regional secretary for the Rover 75 Club, so if you want to know anything further, I'll do my best to help.
My daily 75, which covers a lot of miles, often in a rush, and never complains.



ZT; Now sold. Bought for £270 with a water leak, which cost £20 to sort. Covered 5000 miles in it over the summer, and it caused no issues. Sold to my mother.


Very early T-reg 75 Connoisseur SE, bought for £350, with almost a year's tax. Had the highest spec I've ever seen, and amazing history. Unfortunately, the chap I sold it to decided he'd break it. :roll:

 
#6
Frazzle, a very comprehensive write up, i would expect nothing less! II have 3x 75s (1.8t lpg, 1.8 lpg now retired, 2.5 v6) and echo everything said already. Early Cowley cars do tend to rust a little more ,especially in the sills. I have a dealer lauch version. It's not the best example (bit of a sympathetic resto planned ) but completely rot free and they have a certain purity. Don't dismiss the 1.8 as the general downer that people have on them means there's some serious bargains about. Most people seem to want a connesseuir se CDTi whereas a same spec, same condition 1.8 will be half the price. The 1.8 is lethargic but it depends what you want it for. I got 176,000 miles out of my 1.8 with minimal repairs beyond servicing. I only retired it as i fancied a change, theres still nothing wrong with it! The turbo 1.8 goes surprisingly well with uprated pistons etc to cope with the power and will outrun a 2.0 v6 from the lights with around 4mpg gain overall. The head gasket thing is a concern although this just can be done, and done properly with a multi layer gasket for little over £400 - cheaper than a v6 cambelt change.
I will post some pictures of mine later.
 
#8
Thanks for the stunningly comprehensive write-up Fraser. Amazing job.

Interesting what you both say regarding the Cowley built ones rusting, as these are the ones I've been looking at so far to avoid any of the Project Drive silliness.

I went to look at a grey 2001 X-reg 2.0 Auto Classic SE (it's still on Autotrader). Seemingly abandoned out the back of the dealer along with a load of other down-at-heel looking cars, including three other tatty 75's, it obviously hadn't been used in yonks as the tax disc ran out in September 2012 and the tyres were well on the way towards pancakes. The car was unlocked but had no battery so was able to tell that interior was nice enough (apart from the detachable passenger electric window switch) but I think there is better out there. I'll keep an eye out for Longbridge early cars with the proper dash and report back.
 
#11
You don't think I haven't thought about the V8?! Especially since I first saw the supercharged one with 385hp.

No, I shall stick to the V6 version. I went to look at another one yesterday which is local to me. One owner with 47k on the clock and FSH, in theory a nice car. No evidence of cambelt change, signs of wetness down in the vee and some very challenging area of paintwork, especially round the door handles where it looks like some sort of tiger has been getting in and out. Is it so hard to grab a door handle without scuffing the paint? Tiny bits of rust coming through on the rear arches and sills too.

The search continues.
 
#12
The Rover 600 range seems to be both forgotten and under-rated . The one my friend had was mid-range but a really nice car .Probably not many left now
 

harveyp6

Well-Known Member
#13
DaveHerns said:
The Rover 600 range seems to be both forgotten and under-rated . The one my friend had was mid-range but a really nice car .Probably not many left now
There's at least two left, as Mrs H and I have one each. Plus I sold one to Vaultsman a few years back which I believe is still about although he no longer owns it.

Dreadful cars though.










(I don't want people knowing how good they are in case I fancy another one).
 

WarrenL

Active Member
#15
I loved my 75 Connoisseur 2.5 V6 auto. Had to pass it on due to lack of funds to maintain both it and Brown Rover (why, oh why! did I get married and have children?), but it is still in the family, so to speak. It even lives at my house so I get to drive it when I want to!

Based on sampling other forms of 75, and my own preferences, I wouldn't bother with anything other than the 2.5 V6, and even then the power is adequate rather than excessive, but it is a beautifully comfortable cruising machine. Over the course of 2 years Black Rover has proved to be as reliable as any other car I've owned or known intimately, with just the following required (bear in mind the car has now covered 176,000 kms):

- New lower front suspension bushes (the 75 chews these ones out by this sort of mileage).
- New rear shock absorbers.
- New battery.
- Replacement bonnet switch for the security system (caused by water getting in, thanks to some muppet who must have knocked the rubber gaitor off then never put it back on properly).

The car has otherwise performed faultlessly, and still feels solidly screwed together and tight to drive. Certain interior fittings are a little less than stellar quality, but for the most part that cabin is a wonderful place to sit in for long periods, and you will almost certainly experience water getting into the boot (but if you get that far any 75 nut will be able to help you sort that).

If you traded in a Toyonda Camcord you might find the 75 slightly fragile by comparison, but as a Rover man I doubt you'd regret the purchase of a good one.
 
#16
Just driven my first 2.5 V6 auto and now REALLY want one.

Not sure if I want this one yet though. See what you think: 2001 Cowley car in Club spec with heated leather seats with nice rad metallic paint. Showing 58k with history and a receipt for cambelts and thermostat in 2009. MoT until March. No rot on door bottoms or sills that I could see. Odd dampness in boot on left hand side (lights were dry and no sunroof - weird), broken-off passenger door mirror. Windows and lights work as does the fan when the demist button pressed. No rattling noises from top of engine and it restarts promptly when hot. Both keys.

Brakes noisy and pull to left when slowing, but the thing has been standing a while so I imagine they're rusty. Steering wheel not on straight and a slight rattle from the front left when going over a bump. Gearbox seemed to change well. Airbag light came on after idiot salesman through the driver's seat right back.

Worth a punt? Price is only £995
 

WarrenL

Active Member
#18
The 75 is notorious for boot leakage. There are three main sources of water getting in: you've covered the first two so now you need to check the holes in which the side trims are mounted. I had to pop mine out and apply a little dollop of sealant to every clip to cure the problem. The rattle in the front might be the rear lower bush on that side. The 75 chews them out, and mine manifested as a clonk that was especially noticeable going over a speed bump. They're not expensive to buy, and you can replace them yourself if you're reasonably keen. The official cambelt interval is 90,000 miles (not kilometres) so it's interesting that they've been done already at 58,000.

Otherwise it sounds OK to me. Most 75s appear to have both mirrors but only one key fob: a new mirror is the cheaper and easier of the two. I can't comment on prices in the UK second hand market, but if the car is otherwise in good shape, it would be a total bargain here at approximately NZ$2000. I'd expect to pay NZ$6000-10000 for a good V6.

And aren't they lovely? I simply loved the 75 from the moment I got behind the wheel of one for the first time. But the V6 growl played its part in the overall sense of Rover 75-ness, so I wouldn't care for a 1.8 or a diesel.
 
#19
Johnny E said:
Just driven my first 2.5 V6 auto and now REALLY want one.

Not sure if I want this one yet though. See what you think: 2001 Cowley car in Club spec with heated leather seats with nice rad metallic paint. Showing 58k with history and a receipt for cambelts and thermostat in 2009. MoT until March. No rot on door bottoms or sills that I could see. Odd dampness in boot on left hand side (lights were dry and no sunroof - weird), broken-off passenger door mirror. Windows and lights work as does the fan when the demist button pressed. No rattling noises from top of engine and it restarts promptly when hot. Both keys.

Brakes noisy and pull to left when slowing, but the thing has been standing a while so I imagine they're rusty. Steering wheel not on straight and a slight rattle from the front left when going over a bump. Gearbox seemed to change well. Airbag light came on after idiot salesman through the driver's seat right back.

Worth a punt? Price is only £995
If it's the car I think it is, then it's a stunning colour called Dorchester Red? Was it like a Dark Purple? There are lots of 2001 registered Clubs with that odd spec of leather, and various other toys, but no electric seats, which I believe were part of a consignment of cars destined for Japan, but returned to the UK when BMW pulled out of Rover. The dampness in the boot is very common on these, so I wouldn't worry. Generally taking the rear lights out, and replacing them with new seals from the owners' club will solve the problem. If not, then it'll be the vent behind the bumper, but again, an easy fix.
In the car's favour, the mileage, and fact that the belts have been done, along with that colour,which some enthusiasts will pay a small premium for.
Sounds like it could need new discs, so, budget for those, and the noise from the front left is probably a wishbone knocking, or a drop link. The airbag light is easy enough to extinguish, but it's a good bargaining point. Assuming that the car is taxed, and has a full year's MOT, I'd offer £750, if it's perfect other than the issues you describe.

There are lots of nice ones about at the moment. This one, in Preston would be on my shopping list, were I looking for one. Connoisseur SE spec, with high line sat nav, and the highly desirable, and coveted power fold mirrors. Worth a look, I'd say.
http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ?logcode=p

2.5 V6 auto is definitely the ultimate way to enjoy a 75. For the sort of money they command, I can't think of anything more accomplished. The V6 is so smooth, and sounds utterly delightful. The auto is a brilliant 'box too, and it's just generally a lovely car to drive. They're surprisingly good when you drive in a distinctly un-Rover-like manner too. :oops:
 
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