This car loved me. And the feeling was mutual.
We met by accident. I was shopping for a new car, and the Rover dealer happened to be next door to the Citroen dealer, where I was disappointed by the Xantia. I saw her (the 618Si in British Racing Green) in the showroom, and thought I wouldn't be able to afford it. I looked at the sticker price, thought again, got a test drive, and was lost. That sound... that light-footed engine, that actually enjoyed getting kicked... the interior, no fancy stuff, but so homely, these seats... as I said, I was lost.
For almost 2 years, I waited for things to break, blow, fry, or generally go wrong in a very English way. After 2 years, I gave up waiting. When the lease ended after 4 years, nothing had gone wrong, and I could push it hard over cobblestone roads without a rattle or creak. When I handed it back to the company, my heart was heavy.
I could go on about the fantastic Honda engine, the superb handling, the reliability, the no-frills, no-spoilers, uncut, classic, elegant, simple, beautiful lines, and the excellent dealership... but it all boils down to "this car loved its owner".
I'd get another one without thinking - if Rover would've still wanted to sell a 600.