Charterhouse Auctions is offering this 1975-registered Rover 3500 at its 16 February 2014 sale, held at at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet in Somerset. However, as the SD1 wasn’t introduced until 1976, that makes this one rather special.
The car, which sports chassis number 005, is what Charterhouse describes as an, ‘important piece of British motoring heritage’, has an estimate of £7000-9000. The car has something of an interesting history and many SD1 aficionados will tell you that it’s far from factory original – especially the interior, but the identity of the car is in no dispute.
Classic Car Buyer Editorial Director, Peter Simpson, recalled, ‘I first saw that car in around 1987-’88 – it went through the infamous ‘pay out on the night if you’ve got a utility bill’ Maidstone Car Auction. The auctioneer announced that it was a prototype, but in that environment I just didn’t believe them and assumed it was a nicked car that had been ringed by someone who’d used the ID of an N-reg P6 3500. At that point it was running, MoT’d and didn’t look too bad. The sickening part, though, is that it seemed to sell for £250.’
Octane‘s Deputy Editor, Mark Dixon added: ‘I rescued this car from a field in the early 1990s. Sadly, the guy who restored it didn’t retain unique pre-production features like the boot floor, shaped for a straight exhaust pipe – he preferred to replace most of the repairable metal with new panels from Rimmers.’
Mark added: ‘I paid about £250 for it. Or, more accurately I persuaded the mag I was working for, Popular Classics, to buy it and offer it as a competition prize. The winner didn’t want it, so we did a deal later on.’
In 2007, the car was offered again, now sporting a new interior, which had been been taken from a 1979-registered example, which had been sold by Keith Adams.
For more information, visit the Charterhouse website.