Something of a celebration to see this arrive. It is the Whizzwheels car with the least sales declared, although I suspect that there may be some others with similarly low numbers but which are just not available. They would include the blue Chevrolet Camaro and white, not to mention the very very rare blue, Marcos GT850 and maybe some colour variations of others too. 48,000, though, is less than the Fiat Ghai Jolly #242 so these are all in the definitely scarce category!
Although based on #275 and retaining several features including the strange amber sunroof this had been beautifully revised to match the changes made to the real car at the time, with the black honeycomb grill and bonnet bulges. Even the standard wheels don't look too bad on this Rover!
The paint is an extraordinary metallic purple and it just flakes off the car if you as much as blow on it. So photos can make it look awful but viewed in less harsh light it looks great.
Released in Summer 1971 it was deleted in 1972 and so really did have a short life in the shops. Occasionally a perfect example in its box has appeared for sale at a huge price but finding an example at a more reasonable price has not been at all easy. I just struck lucky with this one which wasn't very well described so many will have missed it.
It is strange how Rovers must occupy quite a few places near the top of the Scarce List. I will have a go at making up that list soon. At the top will probably be the Sun Rally #322 Rover 2000 - the white one which is actually a different casting to the maroon #322 Monte Carlo Rally Rover 2000. That one isn't so scarce but still highly priced, decent models worth getting on for £100 without a box. The Sun Rally apparently sold about 66,000 which is still not very many but, interestingly, quite a lot more than the #281 Whizzwheels Rover.
So I'd put this Rover in 2nd place and then another white Rover 2000 - the less common colour for the Golden Jacks #275. They are pretty hard to find and, in fact, I am waiting to see if I can win one at the time of writing, this being another one on the 'still needed' list. Update: now found! See below.
Then the Monte Carlo Rover #322 and the maroon normal Rover 2000 #252. That isn't common either, mostly appearing, it seems, in a set with a car transporter (which, incidentally is where you'd find a blue #305 Marcos if you were really lucky).
At the bottom of the list would be the steel blue Rover 2000 #252 and the green Golden Jacks #275, each of which are still pretty numerous and not that expensive. If anything the older blue one is the higher priced without a box but as the box for the Golden Jacks one seldom survive long that would be the more expensive with a box.