I remember it well, it was a cold 2003 morning and it was snowing, my driving instructor was due to pick me up at 8 am for my second attempt (yes, I know how embarrassing) at passing my driving test and quite frankly I was a bag of nerves.
Fortunately, I passed!
My instructor drove me home and said –
“Ian, congratulations, but I recommend for today at least you don’t drive as you are very excitable”.
“Of course I won’t” I replied, but there when I got home was my very own supercar, my mum’s L-reg 5-door Rover 214.
It was sat on the driveway and I had the keys in my pocket, damn right I was going to take it out for a spin.
I remember the car clear as day, it was night-fire red but with two-tone grey panelling, beige interior, automatic front windows and power steering (quite a thing) and in its day, it was the ultimate small family saloon.
The car also benefitted from Rover’s brand new K-series engine which came in twin-cam sixteen-valve form and despite losing a number of horses over the years, was still a rapid car along the dual carriageways.
At the time, it was easy to see why in 1990, the Rover 214 won What Car’s coveted ‘car of the year award’.
However, from 1995, Rover released the updated seemingly hatchback version of the 200 series but in 2005, the group fell into difficulty and ended the legendary Rover 200 (in my eyes anyway).
I still remember to this day the first time I drove that Rover, I remember where I went and how fast I ever managed to get it (naturally within the speed limit).
That car took me to Scarborough, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester but one day it eventually just ran out of steam.
But for a while, I was the only one at college driving around in a five-door family saloon with a walnut dash interior complete with tape-deck (the epitome of cool).
It may not have been a Lambo or a Ferrari, but for me, it was my supercar.