That title may take some explainin!'
When most kids in their formative years only get to dream about being around fancy and expensive cars, I got to live it, and play with them...by way of my parent's business, that being one of the few foreign car repair shops in Denver, in the 50s and 60s.
When other kids would come home from school and do their homework, I got to work alongside my father, Paul Sr. I started earlier than I can remember, but reliably was told I was elbows-deep in car stuff by the time I was five!
Dad began me doing the simple things: sweeping the garage, cleaning and arranging tools, and occasionally, letting me wash engine parts. I also wandered around the neighborhood, collecting old lawn mowers, which were free for the taking, tearing them down, cleaning them up, and rebuilding them. Dad helped me identify what was needed (diagnosis), then would get me the parts I needed (Trust me, rebuilding a Briggs & Stratton was CHEAP in those days!). I'd put it all back together, test run it and sell the newly-rebuilt and painted lawn mowers for $10! That's how I earned my first racing go-kart!
But I digress..
Let's hop forward to the year just before I was legal to drive, in 1973. Dad discovered a lady, parked in the front lot, with her '71 Rover's hood...er, bonnet, up, scratching her head! With some diagnosis, I discovered the fuel pump had fallen off. I put it back on, and sent her on her way. She was a customer from then on.
She tired of the Rover a year later, and offered the car to me for free..I was THRILLED!!! It has covered a lot of ground and needed some TLC, which I slavishly heaped upon it. After i took my driver's license test, in a '66 E Type (another story!), the Rover was my entrance into the wild world of owning odd LBCs (Little British Cars), of which I eventually owned lots.. From 1975 to the Rover's untimely demise in an accident in 1980 (not my fault), I only ever worked on them, after that, always wanting another. We covered many, MANY miles, that BRG Rover and me!
33 years later....I found my current '67. I was a bit afraid of what I'd find: you know, old flame comes back into your life, you THINK she was hot 33 years ago, now..well, maybe not so much.
I sat in those red vinyl seats..and that SMELL!! Wilton wool carpet, and just something about Rover P6s, and they all exude the same, comforting smell. To boot, the car drove and handled like I remembered mine, and compared to a car today, fairly well. They are an enjoyable, affordable classic--assuming you are the wrench!--and are sadly, largely forgotten. They were one of the most unique and well-engineered British sedans of the 60s, and I am happy to keep mine as a survivor car. All but the perishables--rubber hoses, fluids, tyres, battery--are as-delivered.
I like my old flame, with her wrinkles, crumbling paint, and rusty panels! Oddly enough, I get more questions about the Rover than I do my '63 E Type, which is a verifiable family heirloom.
So, a-Rovering I will go!