A rare Rover SD1 specially commissioned by Grampian Police has returned home after selling at auction for £9,750 – a figure which is believed to be a world record for a roadgoing variant of the model.
The 190bhp SD1 pursuit car was bought new by the force in 1985 and, unlike many Police SD1s, was commissioned with a manual gearbox in order to keep pace with the influx of high performance cars coming into Aberdeen via wealthy oil industry workers.
The car had been off the road for some time, before it was rescued and recommissioned for the Channel 4 TV Series For The Love of Cars, in which the SD1 will feature in the second series to be aired later this year. Prior to that it had been owned by a handful of SD1 enthusiasts, the most recent of whom had partially restored the car but had been unable to complete the project for personal reasons.
It was sold at a Coys auction held during Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham on 10 January, and was snapped up by the Grampian Motor Museum, ensuring it will remain in preservation for a long time to come.
Speaking to his local newspaper, the Press and Journal, curator Mike Ward said: ‘We’ve been aware of this particular vehicle for some time now, it’s no stranger to our museum and, in fact, has appeared here before.
‘When we found out that it was up for sale, it was always our intention to try and bring this rare example back home.
‘The hammer went down at £9,750 which is a new world record for a Rover SD1 at auction.
‘It’s sure to be a fantastic addition to our collection, and we’ll also make sure it’s put to good use at our very popular Emergency Vehicle Rides session which takes place on 10 April.”
Much of the restoration work was carried out by SD1 and TR7 specialists Robsport in Royston, Herts, including a full strip down and respray, mechanical overhaul and sympathetic recommissioning of the original Police livery, bringing it up to A1 condition.
AROnline was aware of this car coming up for sale a couple of years ago – indeed, the Editor almost bought it, but was living overseas at the time and had no way of storing it until returning to the UK. It was significantly cheaper back then, but in unrestored condition – what price perfection? Instead of £9,750, though, we reckon it might have been more appropriate at £9,’999’…
If you’re intrigued by the original sales advert from 2013, you can see it here.