Living with a Rover 2000

Rovers are reputed to be quality cars, so I was very interested to see if readers found them so, especially I have just bought a secondhand 2000 myself. Well in fact your replies certainly justified Rover´s reputation for comfort, quietness and so on – but they also showed up some common faults which potential owners would do well to bear in mind. For the full facts read on.

It was rather interesting that of your replies the majority were from owners of 1967 or earlier models (85 per cent actually). Also 85 per cent of replies were SC models, bearing in mind the TC wasn´t introduced until late 1966 anyway. There were no letters from owners of automatic models and only one letter mentioned the 3500 model and then only in passing.

Eighty per cent of you still own your car and of the other 15 per cent nearly half have bought another 2000 anyway. Only 15 per cent bought their cars from new and of those all still own them and are well pleased with the car.

Now of all the letters I received only one came down heavily against the car. This was from Mr. P.R. Harvey of Woking who described his 1964 model as “By far the most unreliable car I have ever had the misfortune to own”. Mr. Harvey had to replace or repair door sills, aprons, bumper, doors, front wing, door locks, gearbox. starter, exhaust, ball joints, rear hubs, brakes and diff in the 32.000 miles he covered between 1968 and 1971. He also says “I found the car very pleasant to drive, and it handled very well, but I thought it rather small inside... My main criticism of the car was lack of spares.” (25 per cent of all replies made this point)

Now Mr. Harvey was not the only one to have trouble, but most of the other owners felt the car´s advantages outweighed the problems. For instance, the highest mileage recorded was 125.000 on the 1964 model owned by Mr. B. Lambert of Rugby. He bought the car for only £150 last September, but the engine needed a full overhaul and also required were new gear selectors, calipers, one u/j, one wing, door locks and a front silencer box. Mr. Lambert has just had it through it´s MOT successfully and is so pleased with the car that he says “It´s the type of car you could drive all day with fatugue... It´s obvious that a lot of thought has gone into this car in comfort, instrument layout and workability.” Mr. G. Hone of Ilford also praises the design after two years with a 1965 model. He says “The car is comfortable to drive and good for touring... I have just recently bought another Rover 2000 but this one is a TC... I like the car most of all for it´s safety features.”

Another owner with a lot of trouble yet a lot of praise is Mr. K.D. Jopp of Blandford Forum who is one of the few who bought his car new in 1966. He´s now done 47.000 miles and his overall average fuel consumption is a remarkable 28/32 mpg. He´s had trouble with radiator leaks, brakes, pedal squeal, diff leak, silencer, washers and panel dimmer – all these being repaired under guarantee. After that he had trouble with the exhaust system (30 per cent of replies did also), valves, u/js, fan belt, first gear selection and brake calipers, servo and master cylinder (30 per cent also had caliper trouble).

Despite this Mr. Jopp writes “This car was bought mainly for its comfort, performance and road-holding and I doubt if it can be bettered even today... During my fairly long life I have owned fourteen motorcycles and sixteen cars – without doubt the Rover is the best and, in fairness, the most expensive.”

Mr. Jopp was also one of the few readers to have modified his car with a Kenlowe fan, q.i. headlamps, a tachometer and Konis all round. He also tried a sound-proofing kit which gave no noticeable improvement and a Fish carb which gave good performance but froze up in cool weather.

Mr. E.J. Fisher of Dundee has had his 1967 TC for three years and has had no faults at all which must be something of a record. He has also made an interesting mod by fitting grease nipples to the caliper swivel pins (special rubber grease must be used). He has also fitted ABV bleed valves to the rear brakes and suggests that access to these could easily provided through the boot or under the rear seat – a good point that. He says “...a car difficult to surpass, and most certainly in its class not by a British manufacturer... Body design still acceptable after almost ten years production and safety features still not incorporated in some other manufacturers models recently gone into production. A truly good car, long may it remain in production!!” A very satisfied customer there obviously.

Perhaps the most disturbing letter comes from Mr. R.W. Dainton of Borehamwood who mentioned no troubles with his 1966 SC which he has just sold, but he does say “The most annoying thing I found with this car was... the extreme difficulty I found in getting spares, even the most mundane parts were like gold dust. Also very annoying was the general couldn´t care less attitude of the dealers, again not a fault in the car, but something I would think about carefully before buying another.”

UK 1973