Rover 75

Nick’s 75’s clutch goes kaput dur­ing a long drive up north. Cue the AA van…

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

De­spite hav­ing re­cently been treated to two new tyres, my Rover 75 de­cided that its clutch should ex­pire on the A1, en route to an as­sign­ment.

There was hardly any warn­ing. I thought I’d de­tected a bit of clutch slip a cou­ple of weeks ear­lier, though it had seemed fine since, and per­formed fault­lessly on a jour­ney of some 150 miles to Don­ing­ton and back.

This time my satchel was packed for a mis­sion in County Durham and I wanted to go and cre­ate havoc at Spurr Clas­sic Cars in Sh­effield on the way back home.

Travelling up the day be­fore turned out to be a wise de­ci­sion – the car started los­ing power at an in­creas­ingly alarm­ing rate shortly after a lunch stop near Gran­tham and the stench of hot, fail­ing clutch per­vaded. I thought I might be able to limp the car home but it and the clutch de­cided that we were go­ing nowhere. I had no op­tion but to call the very nice peo­ple at the AA.

This be­ing a Sun­day teatime, I was ex­pect­ing a long wait and a trailer back, but the yel­low van was there in less than 40 min­utes and, boy, things have changed – it turns out that its Vaux­hall Vi­varo pa­trol vans are now fit­ted with tow­ing frames.

The Rover was at Elling­worth’s Garage in Peterborough within an hour. Colin the AA man, who has been in the job for 41 years, owns a 1969 Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle and well re­mem­bers re­new­ing Austin Al­le­gro front sus­pen­sion ball joints at the side of the road. The worst cars as far as he is con­cerned dur­ing his ca­reer were the Re­liant Robin and ‘any­thing French’.

I grabbed a stray 2001 Nis­san Almera Sport (it’s a long story, but ap­par­ently it’s deeply rare) and ar­rived at my des­ti­na­tion just 90 min­utes later than orig­i­nally planned.

Elling­worth’s had the car back on the road in three days and luck­ily only the clutch had gone – of­ten the so called ‘choco­late’ fly­wheel is taken out too. Oh well, no Club 18-30 hol­i­days in Mar­bella for me un­til the bill is paid.

Re­pairs to the Rover 75 have cost more than the car it­self is worth, but what do you do? I’d have to find and pay for an­other car that wouldn’t have the ca­chet of hav­ing sur­vived be­ing hit by a Stagecoach bus. A good look over the car prior to the work be­ing car­ried sug­gested that ev­ery­thing else is OK, so the Rover lives to fight an­other day. It even made friends with its older broth­ers at the Rover P4 Driv­ers’ Guild AGM, along­side the Gay­don Spring Gath­er­ing at the Bri­tish Mo­tor Mu­seum.

The AA de­liv­ers Nick’s 75 to sal­va­tion at Elling­worth’s Garage. Elling­worth’s gives the Rover a good go­ing over. Rest of it seems okay! The 75’s clutch was toast.

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