Friday, March 11, 2011

But Wait, There's More... Another Rover - A 1980 SD1

I have to assume that this car wasn't on eBay when I did my Rover post a few days ago. I can't believe I would have missed it.

I owned one of these. It was a fun and reliable (really) car.

Rover sold this car for just one year in the US... Sort of. Actually, they imported them for just one year, 1980. It took them several years to sell them. They managed to sell around 800.

This car looks to be complete and in restorable condition. Based on the picture of the dash, it looks like the interior will need work. The seller says it's rust free, but it's worth checking over carefully as these cars are prone to rust.

Located in Memphis, TN, click here to see the eBay listing.

A big thanks to JaCG reader, George, for pointing this car out to me.

Below is a picture of my Rover. It was taken at an event called British On The Green, in Granby, CT. The picture was taken in 1988. The local TVR club, which sponsored the event, had no special section for Rovers, so they put me in a group called "Other British". This included cars from Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alvis, Reliant, Allard, a few double decker busses and anything else that didn't have a specific group. I took 3rd place, much to the dismay of many of the RR and Bentley owners. (You could see by the looks on their faces what was going on in their minds... "We were beaten by a Rover? That Rover? We spent a lot of money having our car detailed. He ran his through a car wash on the way to the show. We had wine and cheese and a picnic basket. We had classical music. We dressed up like Rolls Royce owners. The owner of that thing didn't even stay with his car. He wandered around in his shorts, sneakers and t-shirt, eating a hot dog and looking at the proletariat cars".)

One of my favorite automobile journalists is Jamie Kitman. A few years ago he bought a Rover SD1. You can read his take on it here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol. anyone who ever brought an "average" car to a car show can relate to that.

Max Power said...

It truly amazes me that Rover did a 'one and done' with this car in the US. At the time, Rover had not sold cars in the US for almost 10 years and then come back with the SD1 (or 3500)with a lot of magazine ads I seem to remember and lay an egg. And even though it tanked, I would have thought that they would have imported it and sold it for a few more years.

While I always loved the SD1, they also did not do any favors to the car with the awful front end. One of the worst jobs I have ever seen of federalizing the sealed beam headlights which were a US requirement at the time...and overall on most cars I actually LIKED sealed beam headlights over the flush ones at the time (don't know what I was thinking there)

m4ff3w said...

When it comes time to say goodbye to the Biturbo, I hope to get a SD-1 to replace it.

kashgar216 said...

@JACG: Reader request: You should post a picture of each of your wacky cars. That would be awesome.

Kitman is probably my favorite car writer. Plus, he manages(ed) They Might Be Giants