A TWIN-TURBO Rover SD1 V8, believed to be one of only two survivors, has been unearthed in Lancashire.
Currently offered for sale via eBay by a classic car dealer in Bolton, the 34,000-mile from new car can be viewed here. It has spent the past 25 years in a private garage after the owner became unable to drive it through ill-health, so hasn’t been on the road since 1990, when it was only 11 years old.
The SD1 was fitted with twin turbos as part of a conversion kit, offered to fit both six-cylinder and V8 SD1s from 1979 onward by aftermarket supplier Janspeed, headed up by Hungarian racing driver and tuning expert, Jan Odor. Odor came to the UK in 1962 as a refugee and was one of the key development engineers at Downton Engineering in Salisbury, Wiltshire, before forming his own company, so had quite a background working with BMC/BL cars.
The Janspeed (pronounced Yan-Speed) turbocharger kits were sold as bolt-on parts and were relatively easy to fit, though at £900 were certainly not cheap. When you consider the list price of a V8-engined SD1 started at a shade under £9,000, it would be equivalent to spending about £3,500 on a £35k car today.
That said, the turbocharger units reputedly brought the 0-60mph acceleration time of the SD1 down to just over seven seconds, with a top speed of over 130mph. Turbo lag, apparently, was ‘manageable’, and it was described in its day by Motor Sport Magazine’s Editor Bill Boddy as ‘by far and away the best turbocharged petrol engine I’ve ever driven’.
The car is authentic right down to the ‘Turbo’ body graphics, which were very much of their era and came in the box of bits supplied by Janspeed, along with the turbos, manifolds and pipes required to complete the conversion at home. Janspeed also offered a range of additional performance accessories, including uprated rims and tyres, suspension upgrades and bigger brake discs, all of which are fitted to this example and make it even more desirable.
AROnline will be watching closely to see how much this almost unique piece of SD1 history will eventually sell for, but if you fancy a punt you’ve only got until Monday 22 February…
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