[ROVERNET - UK] "Restoring" Rovers, Market Value, et cetera

James Dean jaguru at bellsouth.net
Sat Jul 29 05:45:51 BST 2006

         I would like to fill in the details and background on this Rover P4 
;as it seems there is some undue criticism here, based on a lack of 
information. This  LHD Rover  100, decades  ago, belonged to a University 
Professor, I believe from Utah. It had survived, but was in bad condition, 
when it was purchased by a Universityof Miami student, and brought to 
Florida. He had no money or ability to restore it , so came to my Ft. 
Lauderdale shop, and asked me to find him a buyer.The car had been in an 
accident decades ago, and had the earlier Rover 90 front fitted; probably 
from the only available Rover  in that part of America. I did nothing to the 
front fenders; if they were misaligned; it was due to the old accident and 
repair. Hugh came to me; He had just received a "golden parachute" bonus of 
about a hundred thousand dollars, when his employer was bought out by 
another company.Fortunately   he diidn't spend it on fast women; but spent 
part on a slow Rover.He admired the restoration we were doing on my 69 
2000TC, and bought the P4, I think for $700. The car was a piece of junk, 
and we began making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
        There was extensive rust, especially in the rear. I allowed Hugh to 
order parts directly fromWadham's, at no profit to  myself..I lowered my 
labor rate, I think to $40 an hour, and a helper at $20/hour. In this long, 
long project; my profit was probably not   five dollars an hour. This was 
not rural British Columbia, but downtown Ft. Lauderdale; with a high 
overhead .There were many things Hugh chose to do himself. Welding and rust 
removal was done in my shop,but not the paint or finish bodywork. Hugh chose 
to oversee that himself; and  spent a lot of money with a different shop for 
paint. I suggested that Hugh order his interior from Wadham's. No, he wanted 
it done by Dennis, a talented local American car upholsterer he knew.Hugh 
and Dennis chose colors and materials, and after we finished mechanical work 
, it went first to the body shop, then to the upholstery shop Sadly,Dennis 
developed a brain tumor. He vowed to finish Hugh's car before he died, and 
did; though it was a struggle for him. If upholstery seemed unfinished, it 
was probably because Dennis was dying, as he finished it. Like the paint; I 
had nothing to do with the upholstery.
        The windshield was installed by a glass shop, that the paint shop 
used. Not done by my shop..Hugh wanted state of the art sound and alarm 
system. I advised against that, but he chose to spend money having that done 
by someone else.Every classic car alarm system I have ever seen caused 
problems; this was no exception.Hugh wanted air conditioning in this car. I 
told him initially he should buy my 2000TC, which had AC ; he'd save 
$5,000.No, he chose to spend $5,000 and have air conditioning. The oversize 
tires? Hugh bought them,as he liked the way it looked. When the paint, 
upholstery, and stereo shop finished their  work, we did final details, then 
Hugh drove it. it came back a few times to work out small bugs, but he 
finally drove it quite a bit, and it was reliable..He basicly eventually 
sold the car, because it was slow. He bought a 67 Camaro, with a 
        He relocated to Connecticut. While there,Hemmings Motor News came to 
him, and used the car on the 2000 HMN Calendar. Also, in 1999, Landrover 
North America/BMW shipped this Rover, as well as my 69 2000TC to Couer 
D'Alene, Idaho, and put it in the Ballroom at the National Landrover 
Dealer's convention.   With its' Rover 75 badge, it was really the star of 
the show; as the new Rover 75 , the new Mini, and an MGF were  there as 
        ... The point of all this; People are quick to blame a restoration 
shop; who have never owned one. When this car left my shop, the things done 
in my shop worked well,The metalwork was sound, and the car was reliable. 
The customer pays the bills; so if he wants an alarm system, or his own 
choice of paint, upholstery or tires,he gets them.Hugh chose to spend that 
amount of money; He had a car that received national acclaim of the highest 
sort.  I have no idea what maintenance was done after it left; but probably 
several years had elapsed by the time  the reports of the oil leak and alarm 
malfunction were made.. If he had bought a new car; he would have not had 
the enjoyment and accolodes this car briefly bought him. In a few years, 
that new car would have sold for $8,000. In the end; the Classic car 
community benefited greatly because Hugh saved an old Rover, instead of 
buying a Harley or a trip to the Bahamas. I just hope the present owner 
realizes it is his role to preserve the heritage he has inherited with this 
                James Dean, Ft.Lauderdale.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Rodgers" <irishrover at netscape.ca>
To: <rovercar at comcast.net>; <rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 27, 2006 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: [ROVERNET - UK] "Restoring" Rovers, Market Value, et cetera

> Hi Glen
>           The $40.000 P4 you refer to, was purchased by James Supler for
> approx $8.000 . He later sold it for approx $4000. Now this restoration to
> say the least was mediocre and it actually cost in the region of $34.000.
> The shop fitted the front end of a 1954 P4 to a 1960 P4, from the front it
> looked like a P4 circa 1952-57 and the rear circa 1960- 64. It also left 
> the
> shop with a long crack on pass side of windshield, the crack started at 
> the
> roof line, obviously who ever installed the glass caused the crack.  The
> tires were much too large and one front tire touched edge of fender when
> turn hard right, didn't do it hard left, indicating fenders out of line,
> which they were. The upholstery trim was shoddy and hung down at the rear.
> When jim drove it home the gear shift lever fell apart. I drove it from
> Boston to PEI and a few miles into the trip I spotted the oil light coming
> on every time I slowed. Oil was pumping out at the rear of the valve cover
> where the gasket had been incorrectly installed. This car featured in the
> Hemmings Calendar around 2000?
> It was originally owned by a gentlman name Hugh, can't remember his last
> name, but he surely wasted alot of money. The car looked great in a
> photograph and up close to an untrained eye.  It drove well once the tires
> were changed but it soon developed other problems, hard to start, poor
> brakes, wipers stopped working. alarm system shut down the car every time
> the battery was disconnected which took a lot of fiddling to get it 
> running
> again.. All in all it was a poor job done by people that knew little or
> nothing about Rovers. Its still in the area, New Brunswick, and still on 
> the
> road but I haven't seen it for a couple of years.
>                                               Regards  Ben.
> born in Belfast, Northern Ireland,
> Author of "lily and me" a great book and a great read .
> Order on line at amazon.com. Book # ISBN1-55430-019-3
> _______________________________________________
> rovernet mailing list
> rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com
> To unsubscribe, go to this web page, look near the bottom and follow 
> instructions:
> http://mailman.nipltd.com/mailman/listinfo/rovernet
> Back-up list and photos at:
> http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Rover_net/ 

More information about the rovernet mailing list