Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1980 Rover 3500 SD1 - Awake After A Ten Year Slumber

Before you ask; no, I don't feel the need to write about every Rover 3500 SD1 that comes up for sale in the US...

OK, maybe I do. As I've mentioned in the past, I owned an SD1 for a couple of years back in the 1980s. I traded it for an MGB. I regret doing that. Not that there was anything wrong with the B - it was a nice car - it's just that the guy who got my Rover beat the hell out of it and left it in a field to rot. I kind of feel like it's my fault that such a cool car suffered such an awful fate. Maybe I'm making up for that by doing a little something to make sure that all the surviving SD1s find good homes...

This SD1 was in storage for 10 years. It appears to be in relatively nice shape. The body has a bit of surface rust - which should be attended to right away - but no dents or other significant damage.

The interior, which was not all that durable to begin with, is in very good condition. The headliner is sagging, which is extremely common on these cars.

The seller says the car starts and runs, but runs rough. He suspects that's due to varnished fuel injectors, which is a real possibility. There could be others reasons it runs rough, and that's the gamble you take when you buy a car on eBay. The 3.5 liter V8 powered everything from Rovers to MGs to Morgans and many others. Parts are fairly easy to find. The transmission is the desirable 5 speed manual and the seller says the clutch is good.

All US SD1s came with huge bumpers and sealed beam headlights. The bumpers really aren't bad looking when compared to the 5 MPH bumpers found on other European imports of the same era. The headlights, however, look awful. Invest in a set of European headlights. It will make a world of difference.

All-in-all, this is a nice Rover that's deserves a good home.

Located in Lawrence, KS, click here to see the eBay listing.


Max Power said...

With about five surviving SD1's left in the US after their lone year of existence here, you can be forgiven for writing about every one that comes up for sale. I have always loved these cars and back when I was a teen during the sealed beam and huge bumper era, for some reason I actually liked how it made most cars look...this was NOT one of them.

I remember actualy thinking when I saw a new European version of a car before it came here 'OK, now add the bumpers and put a set of homogenized lights and make ths car cool looking!' I obviously had issues. When the Rover came out, it was shockingly bad. They could not have done a worse job with the headlights.

Matt said...

You weren't kidding about the terrible headlights!!!

rrshadow2 said...

I had a white SD1 back in the late 80s I loved it! Except for the leaking windshild that I never did get sealed, every time it rained the dual glove boxes would fill with water