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geordie40

Newbie Here With Questions!

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Hi

 

I am currently in the market for a "7" style car, there is a Super Spec close to where I live (well about 100 miles!!) and its within my "allowed" budget. I am wondering about the Rover T series engine and whats its like as it only seems to have been fitted to the Super Spec so was there any reason for this.

 

What are they like to drive, how do they handle? Its only going to be a pleasure car not track.

 

What problems/ issues should i look out for?

 

Also how do they fair being kept outside all year as I dont have a garage so will be stored on the driveway. Any recommendations for

covers etc

 

This is a link to the car https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C964472

 

Does anybody know the vehicle?

 

Thanks

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The Superspec was basically a 2B that Robin Hood provided as a rolling chassis with Rover engine, Ford MT75 gearbox and Sierra hubs and axles, with a kit of bodywork and bits to build a complete car. Unlike the 2B which used a donor car, everything on the Superspec was brand new except the reconditioned differential. It also has the benefit of a stainless steel chassis.

The T-series 2 litre engine is fine. It's quite torquey rather than high revving, and easy to work on. Parts are reasonably easy to get, given that the Rover engines all date from about 1995 (Robin Hood seem to have bought a batch of them 8 years before they were sold with the kits!) The engine uses an early Rover MEMS ECU so there is limited amount of tuning that can be done unless you splash out for a replacement. There was a turbo version of the Rover engine available but we're not sure how many were sold in kits.

Superspecs are reliable but known for a couple of issues. The mating of the Rover engine to the Ford gearbox was a bit of a bodge and some people suffer rattles from the clutch release or spigot bearings on idle. Other cars like mine seem to be quite quiet. Also the Zeemeride shock absorbers and springs provided in the original kit have a poor reputation and most people have since replaced them with something better.

No-one knows how many Superspec kits were sold originally, but Al Richey has identified about 35 cars still around. You'll find lots of information on this forum from the original Superspec builders between 2003-2009, and there are several Superspec owners active in the club who can answer any questions.

I've had my Superspec for 2 years now. Great fun to drive, but I have to say it's not the most sporty of the 7 style cars if you're looking for ultimate performance. I keep mine outside on the driveway all year round (under a cover) and it survives very well. I don't SORN my car and keep using it throughout the year when the weather is fine. As the chassis and bodywork is pretty much all stainless steel or glass fibre, I've found the only parts to be showing any rust are the chrome headlamp shells.

Cheers, Andy

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Thanks for the info Andy, how can I tell about the shocks are they stamped with zeemride (or whatever they're called).

 

Anything will be sporty compared to my company diesel insignia!!

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Thanks Andy, different question, have you looked at advert and if so whats with the wood on centre console and can seats be easily changed if so will any do, looking maybe for something better looking than whats in it atm.

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Hi

 

As Andy said I am one of the active Superspec owners and between the 2 of us we should be able to answer any questions you have. . I have had mine for 5 years now and done about 12,000 miles and I love it. I still have the original Zimmers but I must be the only owner in the country that quite likes them :)

 

Again as Andy said, there are a number of issues and I would add the clutch cable as an important one. I think all Superspec owners have broken one at some point. There is a redesign suggestion which I did 4 years ago and I haven't had a problem since.

 

If you want to read about my 5 years, my blog covers every single thing I have done to the car and all the problems I have found and fixed. The URL is in my signature block.

 

I'll have a look at the advert.

Edited by alanrichey

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not a bad price centre console can easily be recovered i like the seats theyre comfy great fun car owner is on here as hes got this years rhocar sticker on windscreen.

also true or false but i believe their were only 12 titanium ones made, i wouldnt dream of getting rid of mine

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No-one knows how many Superspec kits were sold originally, but Al Richey has identified about 35 cars still around. You'll find lots of information on this forum from the original Superspec builders between 2003-2009, and there are several Superspec owners active in the club who can answer any questions.

 

 

From my memory of chatting to other RHOCaR members in the 90s, along with general chit-chat with another kit manufacturer GTM who I was fairly close with, I seem to recall Robin Hood found themselves in possession of 40 or 50 of the Rover engines. Richard got the engines first, then spent several years thinking what to do with them, so he basically designed the kit around using up those engines. I'm not sure how they came about them, but some deal was struck. It was certainly a small batch, a round number, can't recall whether it was 40 or 50. But it wasn't many, and certainly only 2 figures. So it stands to reason there wasn't all that many Superspecs made, at least not with the Rover lump anyway.

Edited by brumster

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OK, seen the advert. I have seen the car at Stoneleigh a couple of times and met the owner, but not recently. It looks very nice and totally original, including the Zimmers, apart from the wooden tunnel top (Actually quite smart). Remember the whole point of these cars is you can change them however you like. You will see from my blog that I have redesigned my tunnel top 3 times :)

 

As 'wanderer' says, It is also one of a limited edition called the 'titanium' version with the gold finish so will command a premiuim.

 

The seats are the originals Recaro ones that we think were destined for a Vauxhall Vectra. They are incredibly comfortable and trust me, if you are just going to use it for touring and not track you do NOT want to change them, However, if you insist, rest assured the Superspec is one of the widest kit cars around so you can fit almost anything.

 

Finally that is a very realistic asking price, although it will do no harm to haggle. Other people have been asking £6000+ and got nowhere.

 

Al

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Might be worth adding that I probably have one of the worst clutch rattles of anyone. With the engine running and the clutch pedal not depressed it sounds like a baked bean can rattling in an aluminum bucket. :) But we know the cause and it is unlikely ever to cause a major problem. Certainly mine has now done over 18,000 miles (I'm the second owner) with the noise with no problem. So don't worry if this one does the same.

 

(And before anyone asks the obvious question, you cannot lift the Rover engine out of the Superspec, you have to lift the Superspec off the transmission. So we are talking major surgery with access to a 4 point lift, I'll fix it eventually.)

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Thanks everyone for replies, got a lot of info in a short time.

 

Will definitely go and take a look at 1st chance I get

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The link doesn't show the advert for me. Has the car been sold?

 

Edit: Found it by using the search function. Looks like a nice car.

Edited by cb750

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Thanks Andy, different question, have you looked at advert and if so whats with the wood on centre console and can seats be easily changed if so will any do, looking maybe for something better looking than whats in it atm.

 

Yes I looked at the advert (when I worked out the misformed characters on the url). It looks very clean, and is the relatively rare titanium gold coloured version. Price is fair for the mileage, apparent condition and the 'titanium' body.

 

The wooden centre console is owner-added to replace the vinyl covered steel panel that came with the kit. Easily changed if you don't like it, which is one of the joys of these type of cars - change them to make them your own.

 

The seats, as Al says, are Vauxhall Vectra Recaros and very comfortable. It's worth pointing out that the Superspec has a dropped floor and wider body than most 7 type cars, so you can just about use the adjusters on the drivers seat for height, fore/aft, backrest and lumbar. I'm taller and larger than most people and can fit in the Superspec nicely - not possible in many other 7 cars :-)

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More questions!!

So the engine is rover and gearbox and diff Ford. What are the brakes from and are most other parts easily sourced or were they custom.

 

Are there any build instructions, wiring diagrams etc available.

 

As a service engineer I would find those thing usefull if I had issues or wanted to upgrade/change things.

 

On the upgrade topic what are popular ones?

 

Sorry for all questions but its not like buying a fiesta!!

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