My name is DaftRyosuke. I am 24 years old, born and raised in the United States, I have never set a single foot outside of my country, and I am absolutely obsessed with Rovers built from the 1980s-onward.
Despite the constant belittlement and talk of reliability issues, despite the farce that was Sterling, and despite the fact that I have never seen any of these cars with my own two eyes, I have a lust for some of them that goes beyond most cars that my own great country put out during the same timespan, and I have no clue as to why, nor do I really know how to explain it.
When did this addiction start?
I would like to say it’s been roughly ten years since I first felt anything for a Rover. Top Gear had aired its British Leyland special, the one in which Jeremy Clarkson picked a Rover 3500 (colloquially known as the SD1) for a series of challenges to prove that it was in fact a great car. I was immediately stricken by the SD1's 70s wedge look and its V8 power, but turned off by its problematic build quality and longevity issues. Still, it was a great looking car.
A few years later I stumbled upon the episode of Top Gear where they competed to see what was the finest British car on sale at the time. James picked the Rover 75, which I found to be quite interesting, because it definitely looked like a knock-off Jaguar S-Type, but better. I was at the time really into old-fashioned, posh luxury cars and the 75 seemed definitely up my alley.
I want to say that the addiction was dormant from the time I saw the 75 up until recently, where it seemed to skyrocket dramatically.
Who do you feel is responsible for your addiction?
Mostly Top Gear. However, there is this one YouTube channel that makes videos about a lot of these old post-Leyland British cars, called Big Car. He’s done a video about every single Rover post-Leyland, and learning about all the tidbits and fun facts about every single one of these cars is the main reason my interest has peaked lately.
But in reality, the truth is nobody is responsible except for myself. I’m okay with that.
Do you feel as though your addiction may cause you to act irrationally?
The only irrational act I can think of now is collecting Rover diecast models. A few of the early 800 and 400 models are currently legal to import stateside, but I don’t feel like going through the hassle. I could buy a Sterling, but that requires finding one. Reliability is, of course, not their standpoint, but then again what 30+ year old car is really all that reliable? My LS400 is a great point in case (I still love it though, more on that in a few months).
Will you seek help?
Not a chance. I may be the only person in Alabama that even gives the slightest crap about Rovers, and possibly for good reason. But I find them unique and desirable in their own odd way. Perhaps someday I’ll import a 75 Tourer like the one above and arrive at Cars and Coffee listening to a slew of Terry Wogan tapes to the amazement of .5 people in attendance. It’s something nice to think about.
Why can’t you just be normal?
Because that’s boring!