I was too late to help save MG Rover. It was about two or three years after they’d gone, and even though the internet was (and still is) regurgitating endless piffle about head gaskets and John Towers, I found a new MG Rover I actually wanted to buy. The 75 platform was a decent design and in estate form looked good too, but the one I wanted was the one they never got round to making; The 75 Coupe. Just one was made for a motor show before it all imploded and it sits in the Octagon display room at Longbridge to this day (unless the Chinese have snaffled it) where I took these particularly bad photographs.

It sits over an oil drip tray, on slightly flat tyres, and no-one knows what to make of it. The grill has a recess a Rover badge, but the longship had sailed by then, so it gets an MG sticker. Some of the trim inside is a bit iffy. It’s a prototype, of course, but the potential is there. I was at Longbridge to look at the utterly dismal MG6, but left wanting this Coupe instead. The Chinese have quietly pulled all ‘production’ from Longbridge now, not even the knock-down kits arrive from China any more. And now I miss them. There, I’ve said it.

A big coupe is a brave shape to make but the 75 carries it off. It was never an overly aggressive design and the transition from four doors to two looks graceful. It sits in that spot where Rovers always should, sort of above the mainstream choices (BMW, Audi, that means you nowadays) but just below the slightly pricier Jaguars with their trying-too-hard-to-be-sportiness. The details are a smidge heavy-handed inside; Bright wood and quilted leather, for example, but it wouldn’t have been a big job to press a few two door shells and decorate it with standard 75 bits, mark it up and sell to misty-eyed Anglophiles, would it?

If they had made the Coupe, with the KV6 engine and a little turbo for shove or perhaps that Mustang sourced V8, I would have bought one with my own actual money. And if you agree with my typings, perhaps a few of you would have too. Together, we could have saved MG Rover.

Happy New year, by the way.

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

2 Responses

  1. Joe Boison

    I have a Rover 75 v8 4.6L
    And I need the headlight?
    Am in Ghana

    Reply

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