Weird cars come in twos – 1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8

Funny how this happens – two Renault LeCars popped up within a short time of each other (in fact, they both might be for sale at the same time since Black Beauty failed to sell), and here we have a second Rover SD1 in the Pacific Northwest. It seems only about 800 of these cars were sold in 1980 through Jaguar dealers – copy from the original press release is available thanks to the Netherlands-based Rover SD1 site. So having covered two out of those 800, I’m sure we’ve seen a significant percentage of the surviving population.

This car looks a lot cleaner than our last subject, although it’s quite possible it’s been subjected to a “craigslist detailing” – hose the car down with water to give it the new car shine it lost 5 years after its manufacture. That said, this color will look better than red when oxidized. The body also looks pretty clean, although the seller has neglected to include a shot of the driver’s/left side. Find it on craigslist in Port Orchard, WA (near Seattle) for the more reasonable price of $950.

1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8 right

The seller says he meant for it to be a project car, without explaining any further. So it’s not clear if the car’s even a runner, or if it has the more desirable 5-speed (0-60 in 10s vs 11.1s) the other SD1 has. The low-res shots show a pretty clean looking body, with no rust visible.

1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8 engine

Even the engine compartment looks pretty tidy. A serious buyer should ask for more details, but for $950 this is a veritable wealth of pictures and info.

1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8 rear

The rear of the car is also clean. You’d want to know what towing service it’s seen. I’m sure I’m not the first to have this idea, but it would make a pretty sweet tow car to get your Spitfire to the track or garage.


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3 Responses to “Weird cars come in twos – 1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8”

  1. Roger Says:

    In inquired about this car. Seller sounds pretty regotiable, and this is exactly the kind of car which makes me think the Oregon car is hugely overpriced. This one needs exhaust work, new fuel injector hoses and a crank seal. It has also been off the road for a few years. Needs a headliner as well. Have not seen it in person.

    That said, if you could get this into your garage for $700 or so, it could be an interesting car. I just don’t need another project, so am going to give it a miss.

  2. Max Power Says:

    …and about two years ago, I saw one of the 800 with its engine bay on fire near where I live. I always loved these cars and tried to convince my dad to get one in 1980…the only year they were sold in the US. Needless to say, he wasn’t swayed by his 15 year old son and he ended up getting a Scirocco S instead.

  3. Dave Says:

    I had a brown one just like the one in the picture. It really wasn’t a bad car at all. Little things fell off, but it always started and never left me stranded. Mine was about 4 or 5 years old when I bought it and the headliner was sagging then. Oddly, I looked at a 1995 Land Rover this weekend and it had a sagging headliner. You would think Rover would have reformulated the glue.


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