The Rover 200 ‘R8’ was the British company’s high watermark – the peak of a collaboration with Honda that lasted from 1981 to 1994 and saw Rover’s classy styling and excellent dynamic abilities matched to Japanese build quality and manufacturing standards.
It’s no surprise, then, that when it appeared in 1989 the R8 was a multiple award winner, raised for its styling, clever multi-link rear suspension and quality cabin.
It soon became a common sight across suburban Britain, but as numbers have declined in recent years the once ubiquitous Rover has become a rare car, and the early examples are becoming increasingly collectable.
This one ticks all the boxes – top spec, and full of desirable extras including multi-spoke ‘lattice’ alloys and tan leather upholstery.
Supplied new by the Henly’s dealership in West London in June 1990, G733 OGT remained in the same family until 2019.
It was kept immaculate by its original owner until he sadly passed away in 2016, then was owned by his widow until 2019. She decided to give it up in 2019 and sourced a new owner for it through the Rover 200/400 Owners Club, who put it back on the road and looked after it. In 2020, it was bought by a fellow club member, who treated the car to a full upper body respray and repairs to the lower rear wheel arches.
The current owner acquired it at the start of this year and has used it as a show car, thanks to its outstanding condition. He had no plans to sell it, but has been given an opportunity to buy a car he has always wanted, so the Rover has to go to make room for the new addition. He describes the sale as ‘extremely reluctant’.
The service history with this car is incredible. Included in a large folder supplied with it are almost every bill and receipt from the date was first registered in June 1990 along with a selection of old MOTs and tax discs and even the original old style V5 registration document.
Recent work documented includes the upper half respray along with a recent major service and cam belt, meaning it is ready for its next owner to jump in and enjoy.
This is almost certainly the best colour for a Rover R8 - Pearlescent Cherry Red over Tempest Grey, a colour scheme that is set off beautifully by the multi-spoke lattice alloys.
The recent upper body respray he's a superb quality and gives the car a really deep and glossy shine. At the same time as the upper body was painted some localised repairs were carried out to the trailing edges of both sills, which are a common corrosion area on these Rover 200s. the repairs have been carried out to a very high standard and are almost impossible to spot.
The car appears to be extremely solid underneath and all of the external trim is present, correct and in good order.
One thing that makes this car really special is its full leather interior, which was an expensive option when the car was new and is rarely seen today, especially in this dark tan colour scheme.
The seats, carpets and over mats are all in superb condition, with minimal wear. The same can be said of the dashboard, which exhibits minimal wear around the coin holder but is otherwise in superb condition.
One area that will require future attention is the headlining, which has dropped slightly at the rear - a very common fault with these cars and one that should be easy enough to rectify if it concerns you. There’s also some peeling to the veneer on the wooden dashboard inserts.
It's a very well equipped car for its day, with an automatic gearbox, electric windows, electric sunroof and a Philips radio cassette, all of which came with options list bragging rights in the early 1990s.
This example is fitted with Honda's 1590cc D16 engine, a 16-valve unit developing 109 brake horse power.
It's an engine renowned for its reliability and it works perfectly in tandem with the four speed automatic transmission, which was an expensive optional extra back in the day.
The car starts and runs beautifully and its reliability was proven recently when the owner took it on a 500 mile round trip from Teesside to the British Motor Show in Farnborough, Hampshire. He reports that the car ran absolutely faultlessly both there and back.
All four tyres are in excellent order and the car has the added benefit of an MOT certificate valid until July 2022 for which the only advisory notice was for a binding brake calliper, which has since been stripped down, cleaned and freed off.
The Rover R8 is one of the most popular and well liked cars of the 1990s - an era that is rapidly growing in popularity on the classic scene.
This one is a top spec example in the very best colour and it comes with an incredible history file. It's also in excellent condition, while the lattice alloys and that gorgeous leather interior are further strong selling points.
This is an incredible car that is in truly magnificent and well-preserved order. As Nineties cars get ever more popular, it's bound to appreciate in value. It's one of the best of its kind.
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