Our Modern Execs – Paul Renowden

Rover 216 GSi


Well this is my set of wheels. It’s more of a junior executive really, I should have paid more attention at the Photocopier Sales Traning School. It’s a 1992 Rover 216 GSi, meaning back in 1992 it was a top-spec model featuring such niceties as electric windows, electric sunroof, electric mirrors, central locking, wood trim and seats trimmed in a rather fabulous beige velour. It’s like sitting in a caramac bar, only much, much nicer.

Powered by Honda’s SOHC 1600 16 valve unit mated to a four speed automatic transmission, this particular example has just clicked over to 65,000 miles. It has been well loved and had a fortune thrown at it during its tenure with the previous owner. Apparently, no matter what new car was purchased by the family, no other cars were allowed in the garage. The garage was reserved purely for the Rover. Sadly, the lady passed away and thanks to a good mate, I am its new custodian.

It’s my daily transport and I’ve had it coming up for eight months. Aside from both sides outer CV boots on the verge of splitting, it has given no cause for concern. It hasn’t used a drop of oil or coolant, in fact I’ve only topped up with petrol and screenwash. It’s reliable, stylish, practical, entertaining to drive and a nice place to sit – what’s not to like?

This 216 has an interesting past, too. Originally owned by a former British Army Major-General and Master of the Household to the Sovereign. Sir Simon Cooper. Does that make it executive enough?