The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The Duchess

Photo: The Duchess

Photo: The Duchess

The last few days have been a bit stressful and frantic. Searching in vain for a replacement car. Meanwhile I was rushing about stocking up on anything too heavy to collect in the bicycle trailer. Friends have been very kind and generous. The Contessa’s diabetes has become very unstable and she had to be rushed to the vet – S and The Chicken Lady drove me down to Newmarket in the snow to collect her. Seraphina offered to lend me her car, every other week. But living in a village we need our own car.

Then Danny came up trumps and found something gorgeous on eBay for us. A Rover 75 Connoisseur. She’s red, beautifully styled, eleven years old and has under 60,0000 miles on the clock. Cosseted by an elderly couple she has been superbly maintained. We are thrilled.

This morning, waiting for my old friend Martin Beazor to arrive for coffee I stood and gazed at her as the snow gently settled on her roof.

She’s already a much loved member of the family – with her comfortable leather seats and retro styling she has been named The Duchess. Hopefully, if we look after her well she will go on for years. Spare parts seem to be readily available.

We will share The Duchess. Now I’m based at home there is no need for a second run about. We have the bike on standby for emergencies. The bicycle trailer arrived yesterday – sizable and very sturdy. Perfect for shopping, delivering flowers and transporting Min Pins. S gave me a pair of waterproof trousers a couple of years ago and I now have a hi viz hooded rain jacket that fits over my thick winter jacket. So we are fully set up on the bike front.

It’s a huge relief to have The Duchess parked in the drive, waiting to ferry us into town and beyond.  When the snow has cleared I’ll take the bike and trailer out for a spin with a Min Pin or two on board.

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  1. Veronica

    Excellent! She looks like a real beauty, very swanky 🙂 Let’s hear it for old, well-maintained cars! (I don’t drive any other sort)

  2. Thanks, everybody. Yes, it is a huge relief to have a car in our driveway. City dwellers cannot imagine how important a car is when you live in a rural area with poor public transport.
    I just want to add that the vast majority of reports and reviews that we have found online about this beauty of a car – ROVER 75 1.8 Connoisseur – or any of its more upmarket variants – have been hugely positive.
    I have never seen a car of its age that is so immaculate inside and out. It really is amazing. Reviewers have reported achieving 150k miles with no major issues. Seems like it is a very underrated motor.
    Lucky us!

  3. She’s a real beauty!

    J x

  4. Congratulations, The Duchess looks super!! I hope The Contessa is better, and have a nice weekend. Jean

  5. Oh wonderful! that must be a huge load off your minds. Congratulations!

  6. Sarahs Kitchen

    I had a Rover 45 Connoisseur as a company car and did a lot of miles in it. Lovely car, especially with the heated seats on when its chilly! Would have had another if Rover had not gone under just as I was due to replacing. Hubby loves the 75 as it looks like a Jag! Enjoy!

  7. Nice car!
    I do hope the Contessa’s health has improved again. It must have been a worry for you getting her to the vet. The chicken lady is a very good friend.

  8. Fabulous! Things have a way of working out, she looks like she’s going to purr….!

  9. Michelle from Oregon

    I like the red, very snazzy!

  10. Magic Cochin

    Great that you two have wheels again. I know we’re not exactly in the back-woods but living in rural East Anglia in winter without your own transport makes life less than easy.

    The Duchess looks very swanky and in good nick.


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