Yorkshire Rover rally returns

By Classic Yorkshire correspondent Tony Lofthouse

As a self confessed Rover enthusiast it was a treat to pop along to the return of the Yorkshire Rover Club show at Oakwell Hall, near Birstall.

Around 50 Rovers lined up on the front lawn of the 16th century manor house – everything from a P4 series Rover 100 from the early 60s to a more modern Rover 75 V6 SE.

After a Covid enforced break, it was great to see crowds enjoy classic examples from the iconic Midlands-based car maker.

They were joined by other vintage British cars including MG, Triumph and a locally-made Jowett.

There were many highlights of the Rovers on display and seeing some fine examples of the P5 series made from 1958 until 1973 was very special.

In their day these three litre and 3.5 litre models oozed elegance with interiors of buckskin leather and wood trim. Under the bonnet the cars came with a six cylinder or Buick V8 engine. This was a car enjoyed by the Queen, the Queen Mother, Prime Ministers and many Cabinet Ministers.

I was particularly struck by a 1967 P5 coupe with full length chrome trim strip incorporating Mark III badging, silver birch roof, original leather upholstery and just 39,500 miles on the clock!

The P5 is a car that is becoming very sought after but prices are yet to rocket.

Moving up a series, a 1975 Rover P6 2200 SC with only two previous owners caught the eye. The artic white model came with velour upholstery and the original factory covers to add to its pristine condition. It was joined by equally impressive 1974 Rover 3500 V8.

The P6 was a complete ‘clean sheet’ design for Rover and notched up huge sales from day one.

Representing the 80s was a SDI 2600 SE, one of two SDIs on show. The SDI was made European Car of the Year in 1977 and by 1986 had passed over 300,000 sales. It would prove the last British Rover badged car to come out of the Solihull plant. Future Rover models would be built at Longbridge and Cowley.

A Rover 216 GTI 16v coupe twin-cam was a good example of the car makers new partnership with Honda. These affordable models are attracting growing interest from collectors. Look out for a convertible for some summer time fun.

Capping off a great day out was seeing a 2002 Rover 75 V6 Connoisseur in zircon silver. Launched in 1999 when BMW were running the Rover Group, the 75 was described in the Italian media as ‘the most beautiful car ever made’.

That may be a bold statement but the 75 is a fabulous car and pre-2004 facelift versions, I’m told, are preferred for their build quality. If you’re in the market for more room look out for a Tourer, described by Auto Express as a ‘stylist load carrier’. Sadly, by the Spring of 2005 the game would be up for the 75 and Rover.

Whisper it, but the 75 range could be a real future classic.

If you’d like to see hundreds more Rovers, make a date to go to the Roverfest 2022 at Weston Underwood, near Milton Keynes on 5-7th August. For more information visit http://www.roverfest.uk

2 thoughts on “Yorkshire Rover rally returns

  1. Good afternoon –

    Many thanks to both of you for the review of the Oakwell Hall rally. It was nice to see my 2002 Connoisseur in the photos. The 75 is fast becoming a modern classic: while many of the less cared for eventually fall to the great scrapyard in the sky, those low mileage cars in excellent condition are becoming sought after. However there does seem to be an increasing number of decent 75s being stolen, mainly to strip them for the spare parts market, so owners beware. The other warning for any modern classic car owner is to beware of photos showing your registration. There is a marked increase in cloning of number plates and owners are unaware that the unscrupulous out there will be happily running around in a similar clone of their car and paying nothing. That is until parking fines, speeding fines and fuel fraud kick in, then sadly the onus is for YOU to prove it wasn’t you. Not always easy. (Thank you too for obscuring my registration)

    Anyway, keep up the good work of Classic Yorkshire! I enjoy the news.

    Kind regards


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many thanks Karl for your great feedback and valuable advice to owners.

    As the owner of a 17 years old 45 – lovely reliable car – and previous Rovers it was a fabulous day out and a real treat to see several decades of Rover models.

    Keep up with the latest classic news from Mike, myself and other contributors and always happy for readers feedback.

    If you hear of local restorations that you think would make a great story for the website please get in touch.

    Thanks again Tony

    Liked by 1 person

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