By the early 1990s the Rover Group sales were on the up. Their relationship with Honda had produced the success of the Rover 200, the flagship Rover 800 and the company was now in the hands of British Aerospace
Unfortunately the world"s economy was not strong, with the world"s markets for both cars and planes, commercial and military, falling.
It is in these times that the SK3 project started, stalled and was reborn as the R3 Rover 200. It has been called 'The last all-British, volume car' but that's not true...
It is a story worth telling and now has been told by many of those involved at the time. They have revisited distant areas of their memories, their lofts and drawers to recover lost parts of a fascinating story. Versions have been told before, but they are based on facts released at the time, and are therefore only partially complete.
The story covers the the genesis of the car, Honda's involvement, the switch to being a Rover-only project, the design and engineering, marketing and launch of, in Quentin Willson's words of the time, "This little Burster"!
The Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club has compiled their stories into this 80-page full cover book.
I recently reviewed the book and found the accuracy and detailed information to be of the highest quality.
Having owned and operated an MG Rover garage for many years, my involvement with these cars during the period before and after administration, was based on mutual respect to both the cars and the owners. It was easy to see why these cars had an appeal to a specific market, unfortunately though not to the mass market due to media reviews of poor substance (Top Gear springs to mind) and the British public never really warmed to the brand as they should have done.
I personally owned several 200 models, diesel, petrol and my particular favourite the 200 LE 'BRM' which was a superb car in every respect.
Head Gasket failure was an issue but once the revised polyelastimer gasket of more substantial quality was fitted (without skimming the head) it resolved the issue and we never had one returned.
Overall, it was a quality small car which should have enjoyed more success than it did and definitely deserves its place in British automotive history.
Thanks to this very well written publication, the cars' history lives on and those lucky few to have owned one should enjoy reading this book which delivers plenty of factual and historic information. Enjoy!