This British racing green Rover Vitesse fastback rolled off the Cowley production line in April 1994. Ordered for Barclays Bank London it was fitted with Recaro seats, climate control and a 2 litre 180bhp engine
Barclays Bank owned the car for 2 years covering 30,000 miles, the next 4 years it was privately owned until I purchased the car in 2000. Still in very good original condition, that is how the car remained for a year
The standard car has good performance 0-60 in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. These misunderstood cars have become a rare sight on the roads today but have good tuning potential with a 2 litre twin cam 16 valve turbo charged engine and long wheelbase independent suspension chassis.
It is not an easy car to modify, no tuning parts are available so everything has to be specially designed, it is heavy and front wheel drive.
With the demise of Rover even standard parts are becoming difficult to find
From Bank Manager to Brands Hatch
This car is always evolving, starting in 2004 a new engine with forged pistons was fitted along with a bigger turbo and ported cylinder head
2005 a big valve race spec cylinder head was fitted with stage 2 camshafts and solid lifters
2006 four extra injectors were fitted (two per cylinder) Coil on plug ignition replaced the HT leads and distributor cap along with DTA engine management
The turbo size was increased further and front suspension and brakes uprated in 2008
2010 a full roll cage was welded in for safety and to stiffen the bodyshell, most of the interior has been removed, replaced with two lightweight Recaro bucket seats and 6 point harnesses
2014 Wilwood 6 pot brake calipers and larger front discs were fitted
2016 the rear suspension was rebuilt and converted to an adjustable coilover setup with uprated bushes, springs and shock absorbers
2019 a custom exhaust manifold and system was fitted
G-FORCE ROLLING ROAD SHOOTOUT 2003
Redline magazine covered a rolling road shoot out at the G-Force Porsche tuning rolling road in 2003, the Vitesse topped the FWD
group at over 320hp. Quote "Jims Rover Vitesse looks like it should be driven by someones granddad but nitrous oxide and 322hp
means serious fun"
REDLINE TOTB3 2004
This car competed in Redline TOTB3, held every year at Elvington airfield near York, a competition to find the fastest road legal cars in the country, despite running problems on the day and against all the odds we set the fastest front wheel drive lap on the handing circuit