Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1, concept 1

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1…

Once the decision was made to go with Solihull, instead of Canley design for the new Rover-Triumph car, Bache pressed ahead with his five-door designs. These came down to three basic shapes:

First Proposal

This version was blessed with a rather formulaic ‘seventies front-end style – big, rectangular headlamps and a high bonnet line making it seem rather redolent of the Harris Mann Princess, being designed at the same time in Longbridge. The angular roofline and rather low bootline resulted in a rather unhappy mix of ideas. The clamshell side doors were a nice touch though, not being adopted by the industry as a whole until well into the ‘Eighties. Note the louvres in the rear side window of the model in the right, rear picture. It is interesting to note that in the middle photograph, pictures of a Citroën SM and the Pininfarina Modulo can be seen in the background.

Variations on a theme

Additional images supplied by Etienne van der Linden.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created 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


  1. These have quite a 70s Renault feel to them, the 3rd photo down looks a bit like a Renault 20 whereas the red model below it, with that strange pillar looks like the Renault 15 coupe!

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