Rover 2000

Nick’s Rovers move to a new home – but only one of them man­ages to get there un­scathed

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - NICK LARKIN ED­I­TOR-AT-LARGE

Many a clas­sic car owner winces ev­ery time it rains – and their car is out there, fac­ing the el­e­ments. Rain run­ning across those lovely flanks and down the win­dow chan­nels ready to col­lect and rot out door bot­toms, bak­ing sun­light at­tack­ing in­te­ri­ors and the joy of re­triev­ing car cov­ers from halfway up the street in high winds.

Long-term out­door stor­age of clas­sics isn’t re­ally an op­tion and is prob­a­bly the big­gest rea­son for the demise of old cars nowa­days. Cars de­te­ri­o­rate rapidly while their own­ers con­vince them­selves that they will re­store them some­day. I hold my hands up as one such of­fender.

Loss of other stor­age had meant that my 1963 Rover 95 – bought to save it from a grisly banger rac­ing fate – has spent time lan­guish­ing out­side Larkin Tow­ers, mak­ing me feel very guilty.

A fur­ther pro­ject – a 1964 Rover 2000 – hogged the garage, but with the im­mi­nent ar­rival of my 1960 Austin Cam­bridge, it too faced be­ing ousted out into ev­ery­thing the chang­ing sea­sons could throw at it. I had al­ways wanted a pre-suf­fix Rover 2000 and 475 VHN is my ab­so­lute dream car, but it needs quite a bit of work and as with other projects, pro­longed out­door stor­age would soon rot the body­work. The prob­lem – and no-one knows this bet­ter than me – is that months and years have a habit of slip­ping by while noth­ing hap­pens.

So there I was with two of my all-time favourite clas­sics and nowhere to keep them. My beloved col­leagues on

Clas­sic Car Weekly and its sis­ter ti­tles also have clas­sics in need of stor­age, so a search be­gan.

I won’t name our saviour – it would re­veal the lo­ca­tion – but he is a big clas­sic car fan who runs a farm and has a newly-re­stored and cladded build­ing that could ac­com­mo­date 12 cars at a push.

My two Rovers will be the first to move in, but have been al­lowed to live in a barn on the same site while their new home is read­ied.

I was very happy to see both cars de­part on a trailer for their new home, but then fol­lowed an anx­ious phone call. Un­for­tu­nately, while ne­go­ti­at­ing a sharp turn, the P 6’s wing had been dam­aged and the side­light/in­di­ca­tor glass smashed.

Just one of those things I sup­pose. I’ve used this par­tic­u­lar re­cov­ery firm sev­eral times be­fore for lo­cal moves and noth­ing like this has ever hap­pened be­fore. Its team was ab­so­lutely hor­ri­fied, too.

Oh well, I’m sure a good panel beater can sort it out and worse things hap­pen at sea.

Though I do won­der about the wis­dom of hav­ing projects in stor­age long-term I am hop­ing that one day an im­mac­u­late P6 will be the re­sult.

I have been tempted to find an on the road early P6 or even ( kneel down and pray in front of ve­hi­cle) ar­guably the ul­ti­mate fan­tasy P6, an early V8 in Tar­tan or Brigade red!

To be hon­est, most cars I have looked at do need some work, and at least the base unit on my car is rea­son­ably sound.

There’s a re­ally good cor­rect spec early in­te­rior and even the door shuts are painted black rather than body colour, as was the case with early P6s.

The car runs well, apart from its ten­dency to splut­ter to a halt when hot, and it can legally go for lit­tle drives on the nearby farm tracks.

I’ve set my­self a strict dead­line for ac­tion on the P6 to be­gin. It’ll all be over by Chris­mas, I’m sure…

In­ter­ested in shar­ing some stor­age with Nick? Drop us an email at ed­i­to­rial@clas­s­ic­car­

OWNED SINCE June 2010 MILEAGE SINCE LAST RE­PORT Nil TO­TAL MILEAGE 74,805 LASTEST COSTS Nil ‘There I was with two of my favourite cars, and nowhere to keep them’

The new home for clas­sics nears com­ple­tion. Larkin’s Rover P4 and 2000 lux­u­ri­ate in the dry and will soon be joined by other clas­sics.

Ouch. Rover P6 took a hit en route to its new home.

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