Rover 75 Vanden Plas
The Rover 800 range was succeeded by the new Rover 75 in 1999. MG/Rover (as the parent company was now called) decided to add a stretched long wheelbase limousine version to the model range in 2002.
A normal wheelbase top of the range 'Connoisseur' model was converted by specialist coachbuilders S. MacNeillie & Son of Walsall, West Midlands. This model was titled the Rover 75 Vanden Plas. It had a 200mm wheelbase extension over the standard saloon giving much improved rear legroom. It was powered by either a quad-cam 24-valve, 2.5 litre light aluminium V6 engine which produced 177PS mated to a JATCO 5-speed automatic gearbox or a turbo-diesel 2 litre and manual transmission was also on the options list.
For whatever reason the Rover 75 Vanden Plas was a very short lived model as only a few months after launch, the model name was changed to Rover 75 L.W.B. (Long Wheelbase) and in 2004 changed again to Rover 75 Limousine. That model lasted until the sad demise of MG/Rover in 2005.
The Rover 75 Vanden Plas was to prove to be a very rare car and the last 'Vanden Plas' badged car to be sold in the U.K. Will there ever be another?