Body & Wheels

The majority of ERA Mini Turbos produced are finished in either of two colours, these being Flame Red (1989) or British Racing Green (BRG). The actual proportion of each is unknown. A very small number are, however, finished in different colours, to specific order and, as can be seen from the Register page, these colours include Black, White and Silver. An interesting observation is that the Flame Red bodywork is always fitted with a “Turbo” bonnet badge, which has a gold background and black lettering whereas, on the badge fitted to the BRG bonnet, these colours are transposed. The Rover ERA microfiche only lists one part number for the bonnet badge.

The original exterior body kit comprises four parts, painted to match the original body colour. Check that all four are in good condition and free from damage. The underside of the front spoiler is prone to damage because of the low ride height. The body kit can be repaired using normal fibreglass repair techniques, but cracking in the ‘gel-coat' is quite common. Unfortunately, most parts of the original four part kit are no longer available, and in consequence some cars have been retro-fitted with aftermarket seven piece kits. This modification obviously detracts from the originality of the car.

Rubber filler strip, located in the gap between the metal body and body kit should be checked for completeness. The two strips adjacent to both door hinges are easily lost, due to the considerable wind pressure at the rear of the front wheels when at speed. As far as the author is aware, the original rubber strip is unique. The visible portion locates around the small flanges on the edges of the body kit, which gives a very professional finish. To the best of knowledge, it is now unavailable.

Aluminium pop-rivets were used to secure the kit to the metal body and these corrode, causing the associated metal brackets to break free. Check that all support straps are secured to both the body and the body kit.

The front grill was originally designed for the Mk 3 Innocenti Mini. It is manufactured from black plastic which becomes brittle, thus causing it to crack around the peripheral mounting holes. The basic grills, without the oil cooler scoop or ERA badge, are still available on the continent, but are very expensive. Neither of these additional items is available from Rover.

The ERA Identification Plate is riveted to the front slam panel. It is made of brass, engraved with the manufacturer's serial number of the vehicle and then lacquered. This should not be confused with the VIN plate, which is mounted vertically on the flitch panel. Without the original identification plate, the value and authenticity of the vehicle is seriously compromised. The serial numbering system commenced at R1000 and from records held on the register, appears to have some gaps in the sequence. All cars made for export to Japan have the double prefix RJ and the number.

All four wheels are alloy five spoke, and the castings should be marked with the following groups of data around their external visible rim: “TRACKSTAR 6.0 J x 13 D1360 ET15”. On the wheel centre hub, covered by the centre cap, is the manufacturers name “COMPOMOTIVE”. The wheel centre caps are cast with the ERA emblem. Beware, some aftermarket versions of these wheels were made for Rover. They do not bear the detailed markings. Ensure that a matching set of special wheel cap securing screw is fitted, and a corresponding key is provided.