∙Well-cared for, iconic British supermini with exceptionally low mileage
∙Frugal, fun car that’s easy and affordable to maintain
∙Fantastic condition inside and out with rare, ‘Knightsbridge’ spec trim
In 1990 the Rover Metro was announced to the world. Hot on the heels of the original 1980 model, there were some big boots to fill. Thankfully, with Rover’s all new K-Series engines under the bonnet and innovative suspension modifications, the new car benefitted from class-leading ride quality, and the Metro quickly became a genre-defining supermini. To drive, it was a whole new ball game, with smooth-running engines, a supple ride and comfortable Rover 200 seats up front, it was an instant hit. Clever engineering, such as a re-positioned steering column, created a driving position more relatable to drivers from larger cars and as such, increased the size of the market for the plucky little Metro. General build quality, fit and finish was improved enormously from the old Metro, and it went on to win What Car? "Car of The Year" in 1991.
In January 1995, the Metro was subjected to a final facelift and entered the Rover 100, the iconic city car which we have here. Registered in Apr 1997, there are thought to be only around 75 of this special edition ‘Knightsbridge’ variant remaining on UK roads, making this a rare car, not least thanks to the mere 19,000 miles it’s covered since new. In excellent condition and with a full service history, this offers a unique chance for collectors and fans of the British marque to own a well-preserved piece of history.
The seller purchased the car earlier this year from the original and only other owner who’d bought it new 24 years ago – a lady local to the current seller. Covering shy of 20,000 miles in its lifetime, the original owner used the car sparingly, said to have only used it for short journeys in and out of their local town. When not in use, the owner reportedly kept the car garaged at all times and, from the paperwork available, had it attended to by a local garage regularly.
With just a single owner for almost the entirety of its lifetime, this provides a great opportunity for the next owner to enjoy the reliable, fun little car without fear of age-related wear and tear.
MOT history exists in both paper form and in digital records, substantiating this amazingly low mileage. A hefty folder of paperwork accompanies the car, evidencing a full service history in the original service log book, along with numerous receipts and invoices for work completed in its lifetime. From the paperwork alone, it’s clear that this was a car that was never left wanting for anything and will offer its new owner peace of mind going forward.
As with all Metro’s, the interior is a basic, functional affair with no extraneous additions. This example shows little of the usual wear and tear; primarily due to its unusually little use, twinned with a clearly high level of upkeep and attention to detail from its original owner. As such, carpets, seats and trim all appear clean and free from any obvious staining. It’s worth noting that a small local repair has been made to the driver's seat upholstery and the steering wheel has some expected wear markings on the surface.
All controls work as you would expect them to with the only change from standard equipment being an uprated CD player in place of the original radio.
Still in its original paint, the bodywork of this little Rover is in great condition and adds further credence to its untroubled life and garaged storage. There are the odd light scratches and car park dings to be found around the panels, plus a selection of light grazes to the plastic bumpers but certainly no evidence of anything more significant. The original hubcaps are relatively unmarked, and the tires appear in good condition, though they do look to have been on the car for several years now so may warrant further inspection.
The most recent MOT noted an advisory for corrosion to the near side front floor panel, otherwise the car appears – visually – to be free from any obvious rust.
Rover’s hydrolastic gas suspension benefits from regular servicing - as can be spotted on this example, the front suspension could do with ‘pumping up’ to return the cars ride height to where it should sit. Otherwise, the car starts and drives without fault, owing to a full service history and regular preventative maintenance that its one owner kept up with throughout the past 24 years.
A workhorse car, the Rover 100 is not only iconic, but a truly genre-defining car from British history. It may lack some of the glamour and fame of the later Mini’s, but this is a fantastic little car that served a function and served it well. The example seen here today is one of few of the special editions remaining, making it a worthwhile investment and totally original, low-mileage car to enjoy for many more years to come.
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1997 Rover 100 Knightsbridge
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