-XC denotes Solihull Vehicle Registration Office. It's significant as Rover used to register the the majority, but not all, of their cars here. Ranging from AXC1B (a Rover P5) all the way into the late seventies, cars were registered by Rover at this VRO. Does that make every -XC registered car significant? No, but some more than others. First, the others. Rover didn't have a monopoly on these registrations so there's local dealer, businesses and private individuals who registered their cars here. At best, 40% was actually used by the factory. Within the factory registrations fall a few categories, notably, prototypes and experimental cars, marketing and publicity cars, management car programme (MCP) cars and export registered cars. Most of these categories speak for themselves, but the export registered programme is a bit more difficult to grasp. I think that most of these were PED cars, or Personal Export Despatch. Mostly, it means these cars were delivered to North American or European customers at the factory after which they toured the UK or Europe in their brand new car. After that, they just dropped the car of at a Rover dealership and the factory would handle shipment to their local dealer. Another case is deliveries to Armed Forces personnel all over Europe, who ordered cars to their Home Market specification, and then had the cars shipped home at the end of their tour.
Were all Rovers with an -XC registration factory registered? No, a good amount were registered by the local dealership, Colliers.