This is how my affair with Rovers began

by Mike Jenkins

It started in 1988 in Vancouver Canada where I had been living for the previous 20 years, after emigrating from the U.K as I am English.

I have owned many different vehicles in England and Canada and in 1988 I owned an Austin 1800 MK2.

The person who owned the parts shop for English cars in Vancouver owned a Rover TC2000 and advised me that there was another TC for sale.

I bought this TC and together with three other Rover owners started what is now the Rover Car Club of Canada.

One Saturday morning I was parked in the high street doing some shopping when I spotted a P6B parked on the other side of the road. It looked immaculate, unlike my TC that was being eaten away with a rusty undercarriage. So I decided to wait around for the owner to come by. An elderly gentleman came back to his Rover and we made friends immediately. I asked if I may have a close look at the car and he obliged.

I made the usual important checks eg. Rocker panels, undercarriage, base of trunk (boot) and found no signs of rust, looked as if it had come straight from the factory.

I then looked at the odometer and my heart missed a beat as it read 36,000 miles.

I wanted him to join our Rover club with this fine specimen but he explained to me that he originally bought this car for his wife to drive, but now she is not driving any more due to being an invalid. He also drives very little and was considering selling it before.

I asked him if he would consider selling it to me and he said yes if I gave him $4,000.00

I said that I could not come up with that kind of cash right away but I could make him a interesting proposition. I as a local electronic security business would make his home secure, and enable 24 hour emergency response for him and his invalid wife.

This idea did appeal to him and the deal was made. I fulfilled my commitment for his home and handed him $2,000.00, we were both happy especially him knowing this vehicle will be in good hands.

I also made a promise that each year the Rover will appear in the local All British Field Meet that takes place in Vancouver.

I was pleased to return to him on many occasions bringing with me the plaques won for being judged 1st or 2nd or 3rd in class at these shows.

Vehicle Information:

Rover 3500S

Colour: Blue

Interior: Beige

Serial number: 43300879A

Engine number: 43000776

Original licence date: 9th October 1971

1st plate number by me:  Personalized Plate Number 72P6B

2nd plate number by me: Collector Plate Number B41 215




In 1996 the blue Rover became 25 years of age and in British Columbia a vehicle that is in good and original condition and is not a mass produced car, is eligible for collector status.

Collector plates will allow the owner to drive his car for pleasure purposes only, and to pay approximately 25% of the cost of registration and insurance.

I was very pleased to display my new plates.

In 1997 I attended the annual All British Field Meet as normal in Vancouver. During the day on the grounds, a motor mechanic friend of mine told me about another P6B that has been sitting in a tow yard for the past two years near to our home, and that I should get it for parts.

I made a visit to this yard and sure enough there was a Rover sitting there between many junk cars covered in leaves and dirt. I asked the attendant if I could look at it and he said sure.

To my amazement it seemed intact and nothing missing and upon close inspection the engine compartment was complete and oil in the engine, transmission intact and with fluid and brake fluid in the pots.

I returned to the attendant and asked why this car is here and he advised me that they were given instructions by the dept of transport to remove it from the street as it had no registration and had been abandoned.

I asked the Manager how much it would cost for me to take it away and he said it would cost me close to $1,500.00 as it has two years of storage charges plus the original towing charge.

So I thought very quickly and advised him that I had just inspected it and found the drive shaft cracked, the transmission fluid completely gone, not to mention the engine that could be blown. Of course I believed nothing of the sort has happened to this car, but even if a major component has gone it is still a good parts car for me.

So after this explanation to him I offered him $400.00 to get it off his property as it will be there forever taking valuable space. He then suggested I give him $600.00 and he will include the title of the car in my name and deliver it to my driveway at home, and he would clean it up before I get it.

Well I instantly agreed for that as I figured the parts alone would be well worth it.

So the next day I had another Rover in my driveway, one that I knew nothing about and would probably never run.

So first I must determine if this car will be for parts or can I make it work without a major expense.

First remove the spark plugs and spray oil down each cylinder, let it soak in for a few days.

Remove the road wheels and inspect brake callipers, (not seized)

Next put a good battery in the car and ignition and all electrical is working.

Next check cooling system, no leaks.

Next, after a couple of days, get in the car and see what happens if I try to start it.

Ignition on, starter on, fingers crossed, several turns of the engine and off she goes.

The engine begins to run and within seconds a metallic grinding noise appears.

My hopes fade as I lean and listen against the engine, but the noise is not coming from the engine, it is coming from the water pump bearings, the engine sounds fine.

Next while the engine is running, try the transmission.

In drive it moves forward, in reverse good.

I suspect that the previous owner of this car was not familiar with Rovers and thought that the water pump bearings related to an engine problem.

He then probably though the cost of engine repairs was not worth it for an old car and therefore abandoned it.

The fact is that this car is very workable and because I had very little to do on the Blue Rover, I set myself the task of restoring this car.

Starting with a re-built water pump, all fluids replaced, braked overhauled, electrical overhauled and everything to make this car roadworthy.

It did not take a lot of money to achieve this, as there were no major components to replace, just good maintenance to undertake.

This Rover became my wife’s car which she enjoyed driving. I found this Rover with 69,000 miles on the odometer.

Vehicle Information:

Rover 3500S

Colour: Red

Interior: Beige

Serial Number: 43300792A

Original licence date: 1970

Registered by me in 1997 with personalized plates reading 70P6B




During the years of owning our two Rover hobby cars, we had been making wintertime trips to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico where we owned a condominium.

Each year we would pack up and drive there (approximately 4,000km due South from Vancouver) in our Jeep Cherokee.

After a few years of doing this, we decided to semi retire there and instead of making the drive each time, we would fly to Vancouver and back.

In 1999 we made our summertime flight back to Vancouver to enjoy driving the Rovers again and to attend the car shows.

Having the Rovers there and not with us is a great pity so I got to thinking that why don’t we have one of them with us in Mexico, retired with us?

I could not imagine taking the Blue there and putting it at risk, but the Red? It could be a challenge and fun trying.

So the decision was made, my wife would return on her flight as she was very apprehensive and down right scared to try it, and I would drive the Red Rover back down.

The Blue would be stored with my friend until we return again.

I wrote the following narrative in regards to my journey from Vancouver to San Jose Mexico.





When you consider taking on a 2,500mile journey in a 1970 Rover there is no need to be apprehensive, its not that far anyway, so relax its a Rover.


To prepare for any unforeseen problems I did a routine check of anything that could possibly fail or deteriorate en-route.


Good compression, good oil pressure, quiet, oil always clean. This engine has 85,000 miles on it which I believe to be correct having traced its originality back to the Carter dealership in Vancouver and its three other owners in B.C., the last one and the biggest idiot of all was he who abandoned it in North Vancouver for some bizarre reason.


Recently serviced, not that smooth, but not bad.


Replaced the engine to water-pump hose, close inspection revealed a fine spray mist when the engine was running. I always wondered why I was always topping up the radiator when there was no sign of any leaks. Flush the system and refill.


Checked all calipers, replaced front pads, clean and adjust rear, flush and refill the hydraulic system.


Resonator and muffler not good, if I leave these on they will probably fail deep in the Baja desert, with my luck.

So Speedy Muffler went to work, designed and installed from centre pipe to tail pipe, an impressive after market exhaust set-up which resembles the tone of an Aston Martin only smoother.


Check on the wheel bearings, all o.k. correct the torque on hubs to bearings, It might get rid of the irritating clonk that’s been there ever since I have known the car, no luck.

Replace right side track rod arm, that might get rid of the clonk, no luck although it did feel bad at the steering ball end, and I convinced myself that it could save me from eternity at the bottom of a mountainous ravine.

The irritating clonk will have to stay with me for now, could be a shock absorber but they operate and feel good, so I will have to suspect the lower ball joint which I thought it was from the beginning. This will have to be a future project, never heard of a lower ball coming adrift and I don’t want to know anyway.


Mr. Lucas (prince of darkness) you have never had a good word said about your unique electrical systems, but I am not afraid of you because you have never dealt me any serious blows in all the time I have owned British cars. Maybe it’s because we have had the understanding that if I maintain you and keep you up to scratch ,you will be kind to me.

But nevertheless, to keep our relationship on a solid footing do not ask me to take you for granted, so here goes.

Remove alternator and have it tested, check fan and power belts, lights, ignition, good battery ,make new connections where nessessary, and discover that the brake light switch is intermittent. No chance of getting an original so refit with one of my security switches, seems to work well. Finish with a good all round tune-up. 


Michelin XZ4 near new all round with all reason steel radial spare, I feel confident in holding the road with these on.

O.K. lets get this car organized.

Fit the Thule roof rack, which will hold the car top carrier.

Fit the spare tire on top of the trunk lid as per. Rover touring car, more trunk space to boot (pun intended), load car with junk for Mexico to numerous to list, but many containers of octane booster, spare gas and water.



To arrive at the condo one day after the arrival of my wife, at a late afternoon hour before dark because one does not drive on Mexican country roads at night.

No it’s not the bandidos, it’s the wandering cattle that’s the problem.

Now if I leave on a Sunday morning at try to make Sacramento by Sunday evening, the next days drive should allow me to reach San Diego by late afternoon, gives me time to visit the Baja club for insurance, get some money changed and continue on to the border by I will overnight and be ready to cross the boarder at 6.30am Tues.

I can then with a full days drive reach Mulege, 690 miles south of Tijuana before dark for the last overnighter.

Then from Mulege without rushing to San Jose, and into the arms of my waiting wife by at the latest. All seems reasonable right, so lets vamos.




United states boarder 4.00am.

Where are you from? Vancouver, where are you going? Sacramento, what are you going to do in Sacramento? Sleep in a motel on my way to San Jose Mexico.

Ha, I was there once on holiday great place, I know officer, have a good trip, thanks officer.

9.00am. good morning Portland, must remember this is the state with no self serve gas pumps. So after a short discussion with a pump attendant asking him nicely not to dunk the nozzle and fix it on automatic, he stood there patiently for the longest time until the tank was full, without blowing back any gas over the bodywork, bravo.

I tried to make him feel better by explaining that this weird British car was never designed for the modern high speed gas pumps, I think he understood or at least made me feel better by the slight grin on his face.

God help me when I try to explain this in broken Spanish to a Mexican gas pump attendant.

Up and over the mountains of Grants Pass and Ashland, not even a ping not even a gear changedown, the Jeep would have geared down many times I’m sure, oh! The pleasure of driving a Rover.

Time to hit the rest area for a coffee break close to Mount Shasta, roll to a stop, go to switch off the ignition, wait what’s that noise? Look around nobody, it must be me.

Whine and chirp, whine and chirp, oh no, open the hood and everything looks good.

My ear traces the sound to the alternator, hand on and sure enough I feel the bearing.

So much for my preventative maintenance testing on this baby. Well it’s still charging, car starts and the noise disappears on higher revs, so ignore it.

Good evening Sacramento, I think I will continue on a bit further to Stockton, a bit less driving tomorrow. Another listen to the alternator before I switch off for the night, no noise, the all day run must have done it good.

Before I turn in for the night I will go through my old British car parts finder book just in case. There is a parts place just west of the San Diego freeway just before L.A.


Monday 2.30pm.

Exit the San Diego freeway, stop look at the map and realize this parts place is at least eight miles down this road. Better phone first, O.K. I get a garbled message from a machine, my gut feeling says don’t waste your time unless you want to get into the L.A. rush hours and muck up your master plan.

One more listen to the alternator, spasmodic bearing noise, one more stare at the ammeter, reading normal I don’t have to talk myself back into it, I’m back on that freeway like a rocket.

Monday 4.45pm.

San Diego, I beat the dreaded L.A. rush hour.

Good everything taken care of here, now for a short drive to the boarder to overnight and get an early start in the morning.

Tuesday 6.00am

Approaching the second international boarder, all alone accompanied by the spasmodic screeching of the alternator, which I thought was sure to attract some attention, but the Mexican customs official slumped in the passenger seat of his pick-up, with his feet on the dash would not have been disturbed by another Mexican/American war.

So screeching across the boarder it’s Hola Mexico, through the Tijuana traffic mess and on to the toll road for Ensenada.

Making good time now so let’s have a relaxing breakfast in Ensenada before attempting the two lane transpenninsula highway.

At this point it should be noted that I have not seen a drop of rain since leaving Vancouver, despite the horrors of  El Nino which has been unfolding on California.

My first realization of what the rains have done here is the partial destruction of the road , which is normally good.

The pot holes are large and many and it’s a constant battle trying to steer around them, only to miss one but get the next. The Mexican road repair crews are working constantly

with many hold ups, something like the Squamish highway on a good day, but cannot smooth it out quick enough for me.

Now the road repair crews have long since disappeared so it’s just me and the battle for the road. Then there are the “Vados” a quick downhill and a quick uphill extended dips in the road, normally manageable but now are void of blacktop, where torrents have washed most of it away. Good job I took care of the exhaust system before I left surely would have lost it all by now. The thing about “Vados” is they tend to pull you into them and thrust you out again.

Approximately three hundred miles south of Tijuana there is a “Vado”, an especially nasty “Vado”, in the desert some sixty miles from the last small town. I am entering this

“Vado” a little too fast, it will punish the undercarriage, too late “crunch”, “bang”, “roar”, can’t stop look back, nothing left on the road, make for the flat then stop.

Oh please don’t let it be the manifolds.

Damage assessment on a warm desert highway.

Parts missing assumed lost some time back:

Support bracket for silencer and tail pipe,

Flexible mounting for silencer and tailpipe,

Rubber ring and bump stop rubber,

Tail pipe

Broken, one front exhaust pipe parted at the weld where it joined the neat after market set up which remains intact and hanging from one rubber support ring, is that all?

Nothing to do but drive on slowly and see what’s up ahead.

Within ten minutes appears a small hamlet with two guys changing tires on local trucks.

With the help of my two amigos, a used coffee tin was found and trimmed to shape.

Wrapped with the coffee tin they clamped the pipe together again while I worked on supporting the pipe and units with metal coat hangers.

Now I have lost an hour in driving time, but as luck would have it the bad road came to an end shortly after this incident, which gave me the chance to make some progress, with the car sounding somewhere between the Aston Martin and a Formula One. 

Enter Guerro Negro and time changes to mountain time, gas up and realize that I won’t

make todays destination before dark because daylight will fail earlier, didn’t allow for that “ fool”.

If I keep going now , I can make Santa Rosalia just after dark which will only add forty miles to the next days drive anyway. So, why don’t I go for it?

Sixty miles into this section with seventy to go the daylight is fading rapidly, have to put on the headlights soon, “lights “alternator” holy cow forgot all about that problem with the other distractions.

Switch on the headlights and observe the ammeter, get a sickening feeling in the stomach when the needle settles in the maximum discharge area, oh well keep going.

It’s no good my lights are getting dimmer and dimmer and the battery is draining, better pull off onto the desert and sit there with the lights off, rev the engine and try to get some life back into it. Well I never, all that time it was giving me just enough power to start.

Well it’s no use thinking about my stupidity in not dealing with the alternator, I have to make a decision - now!

So do I switch off, sleep in the car under the stars in the desert and hope it starts in the morning, and if not wait for a passing vehicle for a jump start, or move on again now and see how far I can get before the lights get to dim to see again.

Wait, there’s a light on the horizon, a vehicle coming my way and it’s only 8.00pm might as well try it. Great it’s a truck, let him pass and take off  behind him, he can be my guiding light for as long as it takes.

Here he comes, off I go behind him, I am accelerating but the Rover is decelerating to a crawl, to my horror there is not enough power to ignite the spark plugs or anything else in the ignition system.

There is a Rover “dead” on the transpenninsula highway with a Rover nut standing alongside with flashlight in hand. Well I suppose I can pace up and down and around the car while enjoying the solitude under the stars, but wait, yes headlights approaching on the horizon, try to guide him past with the flashlight, no he is pulling in behind me, what luck. After a very difficult explanation of why I am here and what has happened, and holding a set of jumper cables, the very eager to help Mexican family from the beat-up pick-up truck finally understood.

Now before I could yell “Alto” or “Stop” papa was back in the pick-up driving around to position himself alongside to attach battery cables. No no, I tried to explain about my battery being in the back in this car and that he was fine where he was, and that it would be better if he backed up again.

Another difficult explanation on his part and I finally understand that he has no reverse on the truck.

So with me steering the Rover and the rest of the family pushing, and headlights appearing on the horizon, we managed to return to the previous position with him behind me. Just in time as the semi trailer ground to a halt beside us, taking up every last square inch of the highway. He was promptly waved on by the family who yelled words to the effect that it’s all under control.

O.K. lets apply the jumper cables and get out of here, battery to battery, nothing absolutely nothing “they don’t work” it’s hard to believe that I brought cables with me that are useless .I stare at the family and the family stare at me in disbelief, until papa smiles and goes at the trucks battery with his wrench, I go at my connections with my wrench and hey presto we have a battery exchange.

Now to ensure that exchange is no robbery, papa’s brother rides with me as the family return to the pick-up to follow me. Better not go too far in case they strand themselves, no I can see them chugging along a long distance behind.

They had managed to push start that truck and the battery is holding enough charge to keep them going, just goes to show that my alternator is barely charging at all.

Nevertheless that pick-up is still chugging along behind charging my battery, I hope there is enough juice left in his battery to start him when we finally stop.

Half an hour and we reach the little town of San Ignacio, which is quite well known for it’s ancient mission. Here we will stop, change back the batteries, make sure we can both start and bid our farewells. I hand him some pesos for some treats for the kids who sat through this ordeal very patiently and watch them chug off into the darkness heading for Santa Rosalia, where I was supposed to be this night.

So it’s the local motel for me, no way will I switch on those headlights and go through this again.

Tuesday 5.30am.

To hit the road, which later I discovered was 6.30am because I forgot to advance my watch due to last night’s fiasco. Ignition on, hold breath, “starts” great, next stop Mulege.

I can’t stop looking at the ammeter with a suspicious eye, it’s reading a slight discharge, glad it’s daytime. Through Santa Rosalia and on into Mulege where I should have started from this morning, never mind keep going and make for the Pemex station which is just outside of the town. Now with the Pemex in sight the Rover repeats the deceleration process and switches itself off, refusing to run on the last legs of power from a totally discharged battery. Flip into neutral and coast along until we come to a very quiet stop fifty feet from the Pemex station.

So same thing again, I just have to do something about this alternator and “now”, because I am heading for winding mountainous roads with no chance of stalling on an “S” bend unless I want to meet my maker.

I will ask this gentleman with the G.M.C. suburban displaying Oregon plates if he knows anyone, or place that resembles an auto electrician. Of course, he replies saying that he lives here during the winter and knows the perfect place he can tow me to.

To “tow” me, I am muttering to myself (how did I get myself into this), as I find myself securing one end of his heavy duty nylon strapping to the front bumper brackets of the Rover, while he ties the other end around the ball of his tow hitch.

What have I let myself in for?, I am being pulled back along the transpenninsula highway three feet behind this G.M.C. trying to keep the nylon strap taught to avoid his rear bumper from taking out my lights, front grill or whatever else a sudden stop would cause in front end damage.

After this hair-raising tow back into town we arrived at the auto electric shop accompanied by the overwhelming stench of my overheated brake pads, which did not surprise me. I thanked the man from Oregon for his tow, waved him goodbye and said to myself I will never try that again.

Please senore auto electrician remove this unit from this car and do something with it while I go for a leisurely breakfast and try to de-stress myself.

Upon my return I was presented with the results of my negligence in the form of numerous burned windings no doubt caused by the bad bearing or bearings screeching their cries for help all that time.

Obviously beyond repair, he showed me with enthusiasm a substitute re-built alternator

a “Bosch” unit, whereby I spun the mechanic around gently, asking him to speak in whispers and not let the car read our lips. I don’t think he quite understood the humor in this, and I really didn’t expect him to, but I did make him understand that for this alternator to operate correctly an additional piece of metal must be welded to the adjusting link. Sorry I told him this because it took a great deal of time to find this little bit of metal and get him to weld it on correctly.

With the battery fully charged and the ammeter reading correctly, even with the lights on, I handed him the required amount of pesos a mucho gracias and adios.


It is 464 miles to San Jose. I have lost four hours now out of my schedule, If I can make

La Paz by sunset, I may do it today, keep watching the ammeter, perfect, don’t think about the exhaust system it sounds o.k. and the road is good.




La Paz, last top-up for gas and get going for San Lucas.Entering Todos Santos half way mark to Lucas and loosing daylight fast, headlights on beautiful, now I have to break the golden rule again and run the cattle gauntlet. Headlights are brilliant but periodically the ammeter drops to a discharge and headlights start to dim but return to normal very quickly .My immediate thought is that the Rover had indeed read our lips and is going to reject it’s new implant.

As long as it keeps returning the charge now, I can deal with the control box adjustment,

If that’s it, later on. I am pleased to report that there were no more surprises and at 8.45pm I parked in the complex of Club La Costa, made my way to unit # 202 and into the arms of my waiting wife, who said “where the bloody hell have you been Iv been worried sick”.

Of course she did not say that, I just thought she would.



Upon close inspection under the hood a couple of days later, my attention was focused on the alternators welded section of the adjustment bracket, which was drilled for a nut and bolt but was void of one.

My amigo electrician must have forgotten to install one, hence the movement of the unit when changing revs, belt slipping on the pulley and ammeter giving strange readings.

A muffler come welding shop was located in San Jose and things were put back to as good as new. It is now returned to sounding like a Rover 3500 with the touch of an Aston Martin.

If anyone considers taking their Rover Saloon on a long hard journey anywhere in the world, all I can say is “DO IT” and





It is a pleasure having the Rover in Mexico, when you see the junky cars that Americans and Canadians bring down with them. 

The following short narrative was prepared for the Rover Club Magazine:





March 30th marked the anniversary, being the first year of retirement for the older brother of the twin P6B”s. I must say that it loves it’s new environment, especially the climate, and reacts to Pemex regular petrol as if it were premium 94.

The exhaust system is still intact despite my usage of some dirt roads, and hate to mention (Bosch) but the alternator is doing a great job in the electrical system.

We were re-united again after it had been sitting in it’s garage (lucky rover) since May of that year. Of course I was armed with a box full of tune-up parts and heading towards the garage when I heard the groan from my wife, followed by "can it wait for a while”. So reversing my direction back to the condo, I said yes“ of course it can dear”.

When I got back to the garage about an hour later, after a cold corona and lime, I got started. All went well with the clean-up, tune-up and getting rid of the stale gas in the float chambers. The transmission has always had a minor leak and over the course of six months had soaked up the layers of cardboard I had left beneath it for just that purpose.

So with all the fluid levels back to normal, battery re-charged and a minor tune-up, what did you expect, it started instantly, it’s a Rover.

New or old, British cars are not imported into Mexico therefore it is a rare sight to see one as was demonstrated to me by a carload of young Mexican guys. They shouted to me while passing “ what is it a Mercedes or a BMW”, I shouted back in my best German accent, it’ a Rover. They looked blank at each other, shrugged their shoulders and kept going.

I shall look forward to being re-united with the old beast in the fall when it’s time to return.



In 2002 I put the Red Rover on blocks, covered with a tarp and we left for Vancouver.

It was great to see the Blue Rover again and be able to drive it again.

We had made plans to visit relatives in Australia and would be leaving from Vancouver and storing the Rover there until we return.

During the last week prior to our departure, we were heading towards the local shopping centre when a young man in a Ford Thunderbird, and talking on a mobile phone, made a left turn through a red traffic light right in front of us.

There was no time for me to stop and he hit us almost head on.

We were not hurt luckily, but the Rover suffered bad damage to the right front end.

The repairers stated in their report that the car is a write-off and unrepairable.

I would have disagreed about this but did not have the time to argue as we were leaving for Australia.

I was paid the $10,000.00 value that I had it insured for as a collector car.

I was offered the salvage for $800.00 which I would have taken it back, but being as we were living in Mexico, there was nowhere in Vancouver for me to keep it.

Very sad set of circumstances, but my love affair with the Blue Rover was over.

We made our trip to Australia and when we returned we decided to make the application to retire there. During our visit there I had visited the Rover clubs in Melbourne and Sydney and was very impressed with the quality of the Rovers.

We were now back in Mexico and driving our old faithful Red and preparing to sell the condo unit and return to Vancouver where we will depart again for Australia.

The Red Rover was stored again and the condo unit was on the market and we would soon be on our way back to Australia where I feel sure that I can find another Rover like the Blue!

Now we are in Melbourne Australia looking after my Nephew’s house while he is away on his honeymoon.

Our plan is not to reside here, as the climate is too cool for us after being use to Mexico.

We will head North to Queensland and the tropics.

I searched the newspapers for a possible Rover purchase but nothing looked promising enough that would make the Northern journey.

So to be on the safe side I purchased the Jeep Laredo as I am use to Jeeps previously from business and Mexico use. 

We settled at our destination being Cairns in Northern Queensland.

One year will pass and I decide that I can no longer be without a Rover. I visit a couple of possible 3500’s for sale, but not worth considering. I then go to the web site of the Rover Club of Victoria, the very club that I visited when being there. On their site they have cars offered for sale by private members. I zero in on an advertisement that reads as follows:

1974 Rover P6 3500 Automatic V8

White exterior, walnut dash, tan leather with sheepskin covers.

Registered, roadworthy and in immaculate condition inside and out.

One elderly owner for the past 28 years. Full history, low mileage, always garaged.

$7,000.00 ONO

Followed by e-mail address.

This sounds very interesting, so I contact my Nephew in Melbourne who happens to live quite close to the location of this Rover.

I ask him to do me the favour of looking at this car and deciding if this is the car for me.

He knows plenty about cars but to help him with his decision I faxed him a list of things to look for, example, rusty rocker panels, rusty boot seams, ball joints, leaks and a few other things that we Rover people are use to.

He contacted me back to advise that there is very little wrong with this car and it has been well looked after. The reason for this sale is that the Daughter of the elderly gentleman owner has to dispose of his belongings, as he cannot drive any longer and will be going to a nursing home.

So I contacted the family and suggested that if the car were taken through a roadworthy inspection, as all second hand cars are required to do prior to being sold, I would consider buying it for $6,000.00. This was agreed to, and a short list of repairs were made and faxed to me, including renewal of front and rear brakes, obviously due to the lack of use.

I then asked my Nephew to pay the family there on my behalf and I would deposit back to his account later.

My nephew collected the car and took it to his house and awaited my instructions.

I arranged to have the car collected by a freight company and transported to Cairns, about 3,000km North of Melbourne.

In a few days it was in Cairns waiting for me to make it’s acquaintance.



Hello WHITE Rover.

I spent the next week going over this car very carefully and asking myself how this man as looked after this car so well for 28 years? This Rover is a reincarnation of the BLUE, in fact is a little better; this must be poetic justice for me!

This car has the original paintwork, perfect upholstery and air conditioning that works.

1974 3500

Colour- White

Interior- Tan

VIN/Chassis number- 45302619D

Engine number- 45503945C

Licence number- Qld 839 IUL

Current Mileage- 71,510

After much time spent looking for something that needs attention on this car, I finally gave up. So in memory of the BLUE, I added the club badges to the grill, changed the hubcaps and the front marker lights to amber instead of white, to resemble the North American model, which I prefer the look of.

After a couple of weeks the old gentleman’s daughter phoned me to say that her father is still looking for his Rover in the garage, and cannot understand where it has gone. She asked me if I would be kind enough to drop him a line to say that I have bought it to put his mind at rest. I said most certainly, and sent him the following letter:

Bob King

77 Spring Road

Hampton East



From: Mike Jenkins

20 Manus St.

Trinity Beach Qld

Hello Bob,

My name is Mike Jenkins and I am the new owner of your Rover 3500

I have previously owned Rovers in Canada where I had two of them, a 1972 and a 1970  model.

I had been looking for one here in Australia for the past year and could not find anything nice.

I did see one locally but it required a lot of work and had not been looked after by it’s previous owners. I did see your car advertised on the web site of the Rover car club in Melbourne that of which caught my attention immediately.

I asked my nephew, who lives close to you, to go with Graem and check it out for me.

I gave my Nephew some instructions as to what to look for on a Rover and left it to his judgement as to whether I should buy . I took the gamble and the rest is history.

I congratulate you on the way you have taken care of and maintained this car.

I have kept my previous Rovers in the same manner as you and am delighted to know that you are a man after my own heart.

My last Rover in Canada was in similar condition to this one and I had won many 1st and 2nd prizes in the annual  British car shows.

Unfortunately two years ago, I was hit head on by another car making an illegal turn in front of me. My Rover was a write off, unrepairable, and I lost something very special to me. Lucky I was not hurt (because I was in a Rover)

This Rover seems to me a reincarnation of my other, and I have been given it back again.

Thank you for preserving this lovely car the way you have done, and I can promise you that it will be looked after and kept in the best condition imaginable.

It could not have gone to a better person than myself, and with me it will stay probably until I am too old to drive. It should give me a few more years I hope, as I am now 62.

Well done Bob.


Mike Jenkins


She thanked me for this as I think it did the trick.


Now it is one year in Australia and the real estate person in Mexico has contacted us that we have a buyer for our remaining condominium there.

So plans are made to return there, and to see how the old Red Rover has fared being idle all that time.

It was still how I left it, up on blocks (outside) as I sold the garage before, the tarp that was covering it hanging in shreds from the effects of a Mexican summer and winter and covered in dust.

I had brought with me the plugs, points, plug leads from the White to assist me in getting it started again if need be.

So with the help of my friend, we got to work in the same way as I did when I first acquired this car.

With a little patience and time spent in the pleasant sunshine, she was up and running again, just as before. Again it attracted the curiosity of the Mexicans wherever we drove, and we had a very happy two weeks with the Rover again.

Now we have to leave for Canada and I don’t know what to do with the car.

My first thoughts were to drive it back to Vancouver and donate it to the Rover club there. But after careful consideration and the pleading from my wife not to do it, I decided that it should stay in Mexico, as I should not risk a breakdown in the desert and miss my flight back! (not that it would)??!!

I put a For Sale sign in the back window and the very next day a Mexican taxi driver was knocking on my door.

He wanted to restore the car for himself and seemed very enthusiastic and had a fair knowledge of what is needed.

I was pleased to let this car go to this guy as it would be something different for the area and that he would have the interest of keeping it running.

So I gave him information on how to access parts, gave him the old Haynes workshop manual, I took $800.00us from him and the Canadian license plates.

I waved him and the Red Rover adios and thought to myself that it won’t seem the same without the old Red.

After seeing the Rover Car Club editor in Vancouver and telling him about my Red Rover’s new owner in Mexico, and my Rover find in Australia, and collecting from him an extra amber side light cover, all Rover business was done.

So it has been Rover’s Red, White and Blue, how more patriotic can I be?

When I got back to the house and looked in the garage at this fine piece of British engineering, I sighed and thought to myself there must be something I can do to you.

Yes there is, I am going to put a nice CD player into you and maybe play the music of the seventies.

End of a Rover Trilogy