Yellow 80:

1949 Series I 80" SoftTop

The majority of our Rover purchases were active -- we searched for the cars, found them, bought them, and then towed them home.  The yellow 80 is different because it found us.  This cheery little car's story began back around 1990.  A friend of a friend introduced us to a man named Peter who made custom metal furniture -- much of which was formed in the roman campaign style of all things.  We were introduced to him as a fellow Rover enthusiast, and drove over to check his scene out.  Peter was rumored to have won his sand colored 109 5 Door Station Wagon in a poker game.  It is a beefy car with souped--up springs, diamond plate galore, and air-lift public bus seats installed.

Anyway, Peter calls us one day out of the blue and says he has found a banged up 80” and do we want it?  What? An 80 Peter, are you sure?  Peter is originally British but we still couldn't believe it could really be an 80”, and in Ross of all places?  80's are rare in the US and since we already owned two, we figured that we had corned the local market and there couldn’t be that many left.  Ross made the story even more unlikely since "Ross" is an amazingly expensive and posh suburb, and who in the hell would have a beat up and abandoned 80" there?  The whole thing was absurd, but when you have two 80's you really need a third... Right?


After getting a phone number from Peter and calling we arranged to check out the car.  We were still in disbelief and like so many other times figured that we would humor the owner and see what they believed was a Rover-- in this case an 80”.  To our total disbelief, Da and I rounded the corner around a house and there it was!  Thick with yellow peeling paint sat a particularly old, real right hand drive 80" complete with a badly made roll bar.


Guessing from the little information we could uncover, the current owner had found the vehicle at a ranch in the Sierras and realized only after dragging it home that it might be too big of a project for him.  The head had been removed and placed in the back, and the entire car was filled with leaves and strange non-rover autoparts.  A serious frame hit had folded the left-front outrigger down and back about 3 inches, puckering the spring up higher.  The car must be a late ‘49 or early ’50, since it once had lights behind the grill (now someone had cut in fender mounted headlights).  An original English one military engine rebuild plate was found bolted to the firewall.  Da picked up the car.  I think we arranged to buy it for something like $100.  Sometimes we think of turning it into a trailer, but there are not enough 80’s left to cut it up.


Next Rover:  Road Warrior

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