Posts Tagged ‘sd1’

Old Yeller – 1980 Rover SD1 3500

March 17, 2014

Rover will be forever forgotten in US car history, but for a few nutcases who cling on to one of the thousand SD1s built for the US market, or any of the earlier cars. However, they really do deserve to be remembered for what is arguably one of the most successful designs for a 4-door fastback sedan. Inspired by the Ferrari 365 Daytona and a Pininfarina BMC study, it had a swooping roofline before that trend was “started” by Audi and others in the late 1990s. And somehow, among other fastback contemporaries like the Lancia Beta sedan, the Saab 99/900 5-doors, and the Chevrolet Citation, it managed to be long, low and elegant where the others were rather gawky. You can find this 1980 Rover SD1 3500 for sale for a mere $850 in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, CA.

1980 Rover 3500 SD1 right rear

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Weird cars come in twos – 1980 Rover SD1 3500 V8

December 16, 2009

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

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Let Jimmy Take Over – 1980 Rover SD1 3500S (plus bonus P6B!)

December 3, 2009

Here’s a car that’s never been featured before on this site – Rover. While they have a long history in England, they’ve never been particularly successful in the US – maybe not sporty enough for the Triumph/MG crowd, and not beautiful enough for the Jaguar crowd. That said, this car is pretty interesting for having incorporated many design cues from the Ferrari Daytona, and for running a V8 when most European cars in its class were running sixes and sometimes even fours. It’s also Rover’s last gasp in terms of doing an independently designed car – the 800-series (aka Sterling for the US market) that followed was done in cooperation with Honda.

Here you can see how well the lines of this car work. It’s not stunningly beautiful, but it’s quite handsome for the time. My somewhat-contemporary Lancia Beta sedan, which has a similar 4-door fastback shape, is not anywhere near as attractive. Orange foglights are kind of cool in period way, and this car seems to have had Euro headlights retrofitted, which brings it nearer the designer’s original intentions than the usual US-mandated round sealed beams. Externally, it looks pretty straight and undented, but for that weird part of dull paint on the driver’s side doors. Seller says the car has a clean NY title, which would make me want to look for rust in all the usual places, just in case. Find it listed on eBay for $3250 OBO in Portland, OR (the seller also has a Sterling listed under his other items).

1980 Rover SD1 3500S left

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