Design with Style -- The Rover SD1
Rover and British Leyland were beset by problems in the mid 1970s. Out of
this cauldron of mismanagement came the Rover SD1 in 1976. It was called
SD for the Specialist Division and 1 for the first car to come from the
in-house styling department. Despite a dramatic, innovative design both
inside and out, the option of classic V8 grunt, and more or less
universally praised dynamics, the SD1's reputation -and its longevity
suffered at the hands of a company in meltdown.
And it could all have been so different. The car, which was styled by
Rover's design genius David Bache, had some grand ambitions. It had been
designed to look like a family version of contemporary Italian supercars
(they even got a load of Italian supercars in for comparison purposes early
in the design process), while the attractive interior was intelligently
designed from both a user's and an engineering perspective. Such was BL's
confidence in it that they ploughed £31 million into a new factory (which
in the end would be mothballed after just five years
it even received rave reviews from the motoring press. "It is hard to be
over-enthusiastic about the new 3500" said Autocar. "On every score, its
qualities justify any kind of enthusiasm. It would have been hard to
predict, especially looking at the bald paper specification, just how well
the car would perform, handle and ride.
"Add to that the spaciousness and aerodynamic efficiency of the body, and
the attention paid to ensuring that the car will last, and it is easy to
see why all competitors are casting worried glances, not only at the car
but also at its price. If the 3500 will be built in sufficient numbers, if
the quality can be maintained along with the price, and if the ground is
not cut from under its wheels by ill-advised legislation, the new 3500
should be one of the successes of the decade."
But production numbers, of course, could not be maintained and nor could
the quality. And all we are left with in the 21st century is a whole bag of
'what ifs' and a dwindling handful of what was once one of the most
promising cars ever to be created in Britain.
Renault 5 v8 Supercar
1983 Renault 5 T1 with Rover 3500cc V8 engine. Rescued from a dealer in the
west country. Road legal and rebuilt to Rac regulations for tarmac hill
climbing. Pranged car on first outing so rebuilt front end and then kept
strictly for road use. Engine tuned to approx 220 bhp, car weighed in at
about 900 kilos so it was pretty quick. 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds. Sadly
sold car in 2004 and had not seen or heard of it until Jean Luc contacted
me in 2011.The car is now in France! Turn up the volume!!!!
Rover SD1 V8 Tuning Session
Rover SD1 3.5 V8 getting the twin SU carbs tuned to match the intake and Exhaust setup. Will it go bang or will it
survive the 2.5 hour beating at 5500 RPM and make even more power with the
carbs in tune?
Rover SD1 V8 3500 VDP EFI Vitesse start up
1984 Rover 3500 VDP EFI start up and general quick view mid-point of
restoration. Thanks for viewing, more to follow when the car is finished.
PS - this is my Dad's! not mine -lolol! - like for solar panel charging the
Tony Pond IOM TT Challenge Rover Vitesse 100mph lap record
In 1990 Tony Pond one of the greatest British drivers laps the Isle of Man
TT course in a Rover 827 Vitesse averaging 102 mph.
For me this is an incredible lap in a car that is far better than it was
given credit for.
Can you imagine someone trying that in a Ford Granada or BMW 520 or
Citroen, Renault, Vauxhall or any other similar priced cars in the Rover
As said below by liverush24 this was to show how good the Rover is and at
the same time Tony Pond showed how brilliant a driver he is.
He did that lap with an average of over 100mph through those narrow lanes
and country roads, find other 100mph average laps and get a true
perspective of the achievement.
Higgins lap to is impressive and a great achievement but done in a modern
lightweight state of the art, turbo
charged rally car with computer controlled 4 wheel drive to save you in big
moments, ABS etc etc, Ponds lap is in an 80's front wheel drive production
car with a about 180hp, that is truly brilliant.
Rover SD1 after a few tweaks
Just a liitle test run after a bit of carb tuning......All within the speed
limits of course....it's worth watching for the noise! A big thankyou to
JDT Autos for getting it all set up. www.jdtautos.com
The new Rover V8 in my MGB - Starting for the first time
So, after a year or so I have finaly inserted a new V8 in my MGB. This
video show the very first (and successful) attempt at starting the new
engine. After 7 years on the road, the original engine's block cracked 1
month before I retired and moved to Lyme Regis in July 2007. I've never
performed anything major like this before, so this was a big and anxious
27 litre tank engine being taken out of a Rover SD1
Charlie takes the massive 27 litre V12 Tank Engine out of his Rover - one
of Practical Performance Car Magazine's feature cars. It takes a Fork Lift
truck, some tapping with a hammer and some engineering Ingenuity. Follow
its progress in the magazine.
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