Yes, hard to believe, but 20 years have passed since the Rover 200 BRM was unveiled on Tuesday, 9th September 1997 as a design concept at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show and because of it... we're all friends! Who could forget this being one of the most memorable attractions of the Rover Group display alongside the lovely Rover 425 V6 Limited Edition (sadly it ultimately became a stillborn design concept), 800 Coachbuilt Coupe, Mini 'Hot Rod', 'Coachbuilt' Mini, brief reveal of the new MINI and of course the world debut of the Land Rover Freelander? Here was a stylish new hot-hatch from Rover which played the heritage card in an inspiring but ultimately heavy-hearted manner, which soon got everyone talking about it. The press may not have liked it when it finally went into production, while quite a few customers chickened out by having the frontal air intake repainted dark green or silver when it finally went on sale, but there was no doubt this was a car that would attract an enthusiastic following very early on. I remember the press release landing on my desk and saying "wow!", before contemplating whether it would actually get built, or even watered down. A month later I saw the actual design concept 'in the flesh' at the London Motor Show and spent quite a lot of time looking over it (as well as the Rover 425 V6 Limited Edition). By then I knew this was something special and it was a car that my enthusiasm would never diminish for. At that moment I started keeping careful records of all conversations etc. had with various Rover personnel about this project and the concept car and its initial detailing that would be reviewed for production. And I still have that letter I received from the Rover Brand Director John Edwards about my suggestion that the production car should have a moulded rear 'BRM' badge (finished in orange with regular black 'shadowing'), individually numbered plaque fore of the transmission gaiter, aluminium-finish accelerator pedal (shared with the MGF) and slightly deeper (and painted) front bib spoiler extensions in place of the regular black items. The rest of the colour and trim detailing I thought was fine. I think Mr Edwards was rather surprised at my level of enthusiasm for the car and how I had drawn parallels with the company's last mid-sized limited edition hot-hatch, the MG Maestro Turbo, nearly ten years previously. Even now I still smile whenever I see one parked up or being driven and the riot of Sixties influences never fails to delight. Small wonder then that neither Rover Cars nor MG Rover Group could better this when the Rover 25 GTi and MG ZR160 effectively superseded it. The 200 BRM LE in reality was unique in terms of being bespoke. So let's raise a glass of orange and lime and salute "20 years of the Rover 200 BRM"!