While it’s tempting to think of the early-90s Rover MG RV8 as a re-hash of the old MGB, in reality, just five per cent or so of parts were interchangeable with the original Brit roadster. But even though it was a stronger car, it was heavier and the 3.9-litre River V8 was not without its problems. So what are the main MG RV8 problems?
For a start, it was a relatively powerful, relatively heavy car for such a small package, so the suspension and brake components copped a hard time. As such, they can wear quickly and that will have a huge effect on how the car drives. That wasn’t helped one bit by the fact that about three-quarters of production found its way to Japan with notorious Tokyo traffic to deal with.
The V8 engine was fundamentally okay, but watch out for corroded radiators and cylinder heads if the correct coolant has not been used throughout the car’s life. A service record is crucial in this case. The design might have bene modernised but the folding roof was straight out of the 60s, meaning it was prone to leaking. Make sure the carpets are dry and the car doesn’t smell musty. Check, too, for rust in every panel. Even the windscreen frame can rust.
Overall, the RV8 is a specialist car for a specialist buyer. It won’t be as reliable or durable as a modern hatchback. It has its own appeal, but unless you know what you’re doing, it’s difficult to recommend as a sound buy.