The Rover’s still piling on the miles and recently met up with an interesting blue three-wheeler (no, not that one)
Rover 216 Coupé
CHRIS HOPE News that the Reliant Robin has returned to the road seems to have reached our trusty Rover 216, because after registering a number of running issues, it seems to have unexpectedly rallied all of a sudden. Its recent trip to Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire for the venue’s Pistons and Props celebration of air- and land-based historic vehicles passed without any issues whatsoever.
Just before our Tomcat learned that its £1k Challenge compatriot had passed its MoT and would imminently be driving back to Peterborough, it decided to throw a new fault into the mix. Staffer Charlie Calderwood was treated to less than smooth cruising on the A14 courtesy of the 216’s Honda D-series engine on his way to the British Motor Museum to meet with archivist Gillian Bardsley (who’d offered to help him with his feature earlier in this issue marking 30 years since the passing of Alec Issigonis).
In top gear, lifting off the throttle momentarily resulted in the engine developing an unevenness as the revs fell away, rather than a smooth and consistent drop as would be expected. Applying throttle caused the problem to disappear, and it didn’t happen every time on the overrun, but often enough to cause concern.
The Rover must have taken a dislike to our Charlie because problems only really seem to occur when he’s behind the wheel – no idea why, because he’s one of the few people on the CCW team who drives it with any mechanical sympathy! It was during his drive it to the Goodwood Revival that its uneven idle returned – severe enough at one point to result in it stalling in traffic, in fact – resulting in a rather nervous, if incident-free, drive back to Peterborough.
I took the Tomcat to Sywell a few days after Charlie’s visit to Gaydon, fully expecting the worst, but rather puzzingly, it didn’t falter once during the 80-mile round trip.
I had promised that the Tomcat’s issues would be investigated, however moments of rest were few and far between, given that it was the only vehicle available for CCW duties at the time. I treated it to a new rotor arm, ignition leads and coil pack in August, will be checking for vacuum leaks and intend to replace the ignition module, while at the same time cleaning out the idle control valve.
If I find no leaks and a new ignitor doesn’t solve the problem, then John Batchelor of the Rover 200 and 400 Owners’ Club suggests that I replace the fuel relay, coolant temperature sensor and lamba sensor.
For now, though, while its running problems are only ever intermittent, the Tomcat continues to work hard for its living. It’s last trip out, in fact, was to meet a certain tiny little blue three-wheeler. No, not the Reliant, but something much rarer and even more diminutive – a Scootacar, no less.
Speaking of the Robin, our pair of £1k cars were scheduled to meet for the very first time, recently – I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the little blue horror made it to the rendezvous without succumbing to some drama or other.
‘I took the Tomcat to Sywell, fully expecting the worst’ soluptatur, eaque que et enihilia conestrum que sequodis si utatia ‘It’s most recent trip out was to meet up with a tiny Scootacar’
The Tomcat ran out of patience waiting to meet our reliant robin, so it went off and found another three-wheeler instead.
1959 Hunslet scootacar won chris over. Fancy swapping the robin for it, David?
stuck with the moderns at sywell as it’s too new to go in the pre-’88 area.