eBay Watch : Another early Rover SD1 is unearthed

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

An early SD1 comes up for sale on eBay. What will it be going for?
An early SD1 comes up for sale on eBay. What will it be going for?

Just when you think the numbers of very early Series 1 Rover SD1s is thinning out, another turns up to entice potential future owners. Andrew Elphick has alerted us to this one which, with Chassis Number 200, is bound to create interest in the fraternity – but will they pay for it?

The advert states that this is, ‘the last in a pre-production run of 200, the Chassis Number being 000200. It was bought by Lt. Col. Brown in 1976 and he kept it until my Father bought it in 1993. My Dad never used it, he bought it to do up, but I understand it ran when purchased as the last MoT is dated 1993.’

AROnline‘s Polski-Rover SD1 bears the Chassis Number 331, so this one is about as early as they come – and should make someone a great project. The advert continues: ‘it’s got quite a bit of rust on it round the edges and in the floor. It’s has been dry stored since 1993, when he bought it.

‘There are stacks of receipts etc. for when this car was owned by the Colonel –  in fact he had many gearbox problems when he bought it and there is a lot of correspondence with the then Transport minister, bemoaning the fact that a British car was so poorly made. These letters have to be seen to be believed.’

We’ll be closely watching the progress of this one…

Anyway, if you fancy an early SD1 and are handy with a MiG welder, we’re sure Rimmer Bros will be happy to help with the parts. Click the eBay link.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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18 Comments

  1. What an amazing find! This one needs a sympathetic restoration to bring it back up to a presentable condition – the two-tone paint on it is simply awful.

    Good luck to whoever buys it.

  2. I remember that Practical Classics magazine restored an early one eight or so years ago and it was bright yellow. I’ve forgotten its Reg. and Chassis Numbers but it was so rotten in the main places that a Rover SD1/800 specialist carried out all the work. I wonder if anyone knows whether it was completed and is still out there.

  3. @Keith Adams
    That’s a pity because, if the number plate had the same letters but different numbers, this one might been its a sister car. My last car was R180NSO but R176NSO was from the same garage and in the same area years ago.

  4. @Keith Adams
    Quite! God alone knows what horrors a pre-prod version contains – the ‘normal’ versions were bad enough.

    I notice from the photos that the choke lever seems to have snapped off – a classic SD1 fault. Oh, and I bet that windscreen leaks water inside by the bucketful.

    I wonder why the “3500” no longer appears on the offside rear badge. Whatever, I suspect that a full professional makeover of this one in the UK wouldn’t cost far shy of a five-figure sum – I seem to remember you were quoted £7k for yours, Keith.

  5. @David 3500
    I bet that, if you stripped away that rustproof (ha!) paint, the whole bottom half of the car would drop off.

    Good luck indeed to whoever gets it – although I see that at the time of posting this, the bids have doubled to £620…

  6. @Will101
    A good opportunity for someone there – I love the beige/yellow interior!

    Any idea what happened to the Practical Classics SD1? I remember it looked very similar to this one and that they got a long way into the resto. However, work stopped just as it was going in for paint.

    A shame if it was left for scrap…

  7. Sorry to be pedantic but, when magnifying the photo of the Chassis Number x4 or so , it reads more like 300 than 200 to me. Is the Polski-Rover more closely related to this one than we thought – or is my eyesight a touch wobbly?

  8. I wonder if those letters to the Transport Minister would ever be published? They’d make for interesting reading methinks.

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