Eve got Adam to sample the original forbidden fruit and as a result their landlord sent them packing. Similarly, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Rover is, for Americans at least, about as forbiddingly fruity as they come, but does its price speak of forbidden pleasures as well?
If your pleasure includes rotary-powered Vegas then you probably liked yesterday’s 13B-rocking hatch. Sadly for the seller, 65% of you didn’t find his nearly ten-large price to be all that pleasing. On the plus side however, it was nice to see a Vega once again.
You know what else is a rare sight in the eyeballs of most Americans? Yep, that’s right, non-scandal plagued politicians, they’re seemingly rarer than hens teeth these days. Oh yeah, and Rovers too, they’re also pretty rare here.
Just not today.
This 1993 Rover 216 SR is quite possibly the only one legally registered here in 'Murica, having been originally bought in Italy (hence LHD) by a U.S. serviceman who then rotated both himself and the car stateside. That's the story in the ad, and it's sticking to it.
Let’s first get the whole rarity doesn’t equate to desirability bit out of the way because that’s just plain hogwash. And if you’ve never been to a pure hogwash I heartily recommend you do so soon as they are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Come to think of it, a barrel of monkeys would probably make a hogwash even better, so keep that in mind.
Where was I? Ah yes.
Look, according to my junior college econ 101 teacher, supply and demand are directly related to value, and a swing one way or the other can drive prices up and down faster than a sweaty fat kid on a rocket pop. As such, the fact that this is probably the only Rover 216 SR that Americans can easily buy right now, the supply does not meet demand and hence it can command a relatively high price.
That is, unless of course no one wants it.
But who wouldn’t want so exclusive a coupe? Especially one with the bona fides that its Honda underpinnings provide. That’s right, the 200-series Rovers, and their 400-series siblings, come from the era when Rover collectively threw up their hands and said eff-it, we can’t make cars worth a crap, lets just re-badge some Japanese shit and hope nobody notices.
Okay, so that’s an overly simplistic and possibly litigious encapsulation of the events that took place, but we’re not here to talk about my potential legal troubles, we want to give this 216 a once over.
Rocking midnight blue metallic paint over a fifty shades of grey cloth interior, this little Rover’s Honda roots are not hard to discern. The seller describes the 62K car as a targa roof and unlike its Honda (or Acura here in the States) cousins, almost the entire roof pops up or pops out.
That, along with the angular ‘90s styling sets this Rover apart from the similarly sized and kitted Acura Integra of the era. Under the Rover’s hood however things start to look more familiar. There you’ll find Honda’s DOHC D16A8 1.6-litre four. That 120-horse mill was never sold here in the States, but other derivations of the D-series were and seriously, who doesn’t want the D? A five-speed stick send power to the front wheels.
Other considerations are the note in the ad that the timing belt has been recently refreshed, possibly countered by the other admission that cabin cooling is limited to the 2-55 variety. The seller also claims that there is no “significant damage to the body.” Hmmm.
Aside from that this seems like a cool opportunity to own something that’s fairly easy to maintain while still being slightly weird enough to be interesting. Instead of JDM it’s GBDM, and that’s close enough to BDSM to get me excited.
The clean Minnesota title also should go a long way to keep owning it from becoming a masochist’s dream. Still, those in places like California may want to confirm relations with your Oregon friends if you want to call the car your own.
So, what do you think about this veddy British coupe with a hint of Japanese underneath? More importantly, what do you think about its $4,995 price in light of the fact that it’s potentially the only legal one in the States for sale right now? Is that a sweet deal? Or, is this a Rover whose price means it should just keep on roving?
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