Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Super Duper One: 1980 Rover 3500 SD1

If you stumbled into a Rover SD1 at a used car shop in the UK, it would hardly register as noteworthy, but over here in the land of cheeseburgers and freedom, we don't often get to see anything with the Rover Viking Longship badge on the front.  Enjoy a break from the mundane with this 1980 Rover 3500 SD1 here on eBay with opening bid of $8,000 located in Willow Creek, CA with 2 days to go.  Tip from Kaibeezy.



The Rover SD1 was sold as the 3500 in the US market and only available with the top-of-the-line 3.5 liter Rover V8.  The US spec version also came with exposed headlights (the nifty glass covers were removed for "safety" reasons, but you could probably fit it and not get any problem from your local 5-0) and huge cow catcher bumpers.  At least we got the V8 and 5-speed gearbox...right?


Speaking of the V8, it was a later version of the infamous Rover V8, which is descended from the Buick 215 V8.  Power in the Rover was rated at 133 horsepower -- which isn't much, but then nobody made much power back in 1980, and the Rover is similar in speed to a BMW 528 or Mercedes-Benz 280E.


Unfortunately the SD1 didn't sell well in the US market, and this car is one of the 480 sold in 1980, and sales for 1981 weren't much better with 774 sold.  While that makes this one of a few US SD1s that hasn't rusted into the ground, it doesn't justify an extremely high asking price -- it'll be interesting to see if the auction ends with no bids and if it gets re-listed with a lower start.


See another oddball liftback for sale? tips@dailyturismo.com

12 comments:

  1. Wouldn't buy at half the price. That said, it's probably the nicest one I've ever seen.

    I always liked these, it's like a poor/drug addled man's Daytona.

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  2. what if was the version that came with this awesome oval steering wheel?

    [img]http://theautoz.com/images/rover-sd1-interior-3.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. You mean the awesome oval steering wheel on the wrong side of the car?

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    2. yeah, but - don't you love the modular dash and the air vent centered on the passenger seat? - all the thought that went in to making it a multi-market car, then selling 1000 of them in the US

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    3. This was not an atypical standard of planning for business in the '70s UK.

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  3. Okay, beautiful design, wonderful '70s period-piece design and engineering.

    Bumpers and headlights are the suxx. Plan on some shipping charges from the UK for the good stuff.

    It's fascinating as all hell, though, and I know guys who can build 5-liter-plus Rover motors ('infamous', my ass) that'd give an M5 fits.


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    Replies
    1. You didn't mention you get a parts car with Euro headlights and his parts inventory, too.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. This all brings to mind another question: the SD1 was always a little too gimmicky for me, attractive but not warm, an East Bloc supermodel who's only in it for the money.

    The earlier P6, on the other hand, has all the appropriate walnut-dash Olde Englishe the-worlde-endeth-in-1964-and-we-needeth-not-go-further warmth associated with a country where at that time people were still feeding coins into their gas heaters so they didn't freeze at night.

    So...are there any P6 3500s worth buying left in the US, and if so is it possible to keep one running? 'Cause a P6 with a 325HP 5.3-liter motor could be a hell of a ride.

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  6. There was a P5 for sale up here in Anchorage a few years back that I'm still kinda kicking myself for not jumping on top of. Just like the Saab 96 project that's listed for $1200 and change - but I feel as though I've got too many project going on right now as is. Sigh.

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    Replies
    1. there's a P5 for sale 10 miles up the road from me at the moment - red - i should fire up the X-34 and go snap some photos

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