News : The last Sterling for sale on eBay?

The last Sterling on sale on eBay
The last Sterling on sale on eBay

A former automotive journalist has decided to part with his Sterling 827SLi. The rare five-door in question was a former member of Sterling’s press fleet in the USA, and it’s claimed to be the last one ever sold in the States. 150,000 miles or so later, it can be a proud part of your fleet. It’s not too late for you though, so head over to eBay Motors to check out what is probably the finest example of this dying breed while it lasts.

In the description on eBay motors USA it states: ‘As I was a motoring journalist back then, publishing a car magazine of our own, I had this “Quicksilver” 827SLI delivered to our offices in ’91. We drove it for a couple months, then it went to Road & Track, then Motor Trend. It was returned to us to be used as our long-term test car. But in August 1991, Austin Rover Cars North America (ARCONA) gave up the effort to sell a British-made, Japanese-powered car sold through American (Cadillac)  dealerships. A great car, but poor planning. I then bought the car directly from ARCONA.

This car was called the “Silver Bullet” as Sterling techs prepared it a bit better than the normal off-the-showroom model, to fare well in the competitive road tests of the day.

This was our everyday car for many years, then became a second car for the family. We’ve loved it this past 20 years, but it’s time to let another owner care for it the next couple of decades. The actual mileage is unknown as we have to replace the speedometer and the only used one we found had a lot more miles on it than our car. So it now reads over 220,000, but the true mileage should be closer to 150M.’

Is this the next car for our Richard Truett?

Link: Sterling on eBay Motors

Keith Adams


  1. It is not…but I may have driven this car…Back in 1991, I did a feature story for AutoCar and went down to Miami. I met with Graham Morris that afternoon. Afterwards, he handed me the keys to his own personal Sterling, one EXACTLY like this. There were very few 1991 5-door models sold in the USA in 1991. Fewer than 50. It’s very likely that the one car used in the press fleet saw some service at Sterling headquarters. I’d have another one of these cars any day. But…with a 5-speed ‘box. Likely none exist in US Spec.

    • Hello Richard. Are you in the market for a Sterling? My husband bought up 3 of these cars in the early 1990’s and they have been garage kept since. One has some rust on it, but the others are in very sweet condition yet. A bit dusty and needing some fresh gas, etc. We have a 5 speed and 2 manual Sterlings. They are ’87’s and ’88’s. Not sure exactly. I can be found on facebook at Kim Petak, if you have any interest. We are in Wisconsin, so not too far from you.

  2. This is an interesting car as its ‘enhanced’ specification comprising of colour-coded bodyside mouldings, bumper moulding strips and front bib spoiler, together with the fitment of the rear aerofoil from the Vitesse, 16-inch Rover-Sport alloy wheels and sill skirts from the TWR Exclusive Body Styling package, mirrors the enhancements introduced for the UK market during the run-out phase of the ‘XX’ 800 Series.

    There was also a Sterling Vitesse 5-door model sold in North America, with one example even appearing on the television series Dallas driven by the character April Stevens’ sister (I think her name was Michelle).

    I hope this example finds an enthusiastic new owner who will continue to cosset it.

  3. I love this line from the auction:

    “As a bonus, the purchase price of this British classic includes a complete spare, driveable Sterling 4-door, which I used as a donor for small bits and pieces through the years.”

    Two for the price of one!

  4. we had an 827 Vitesse in this shape with the spoilers – body kit it was a great looking car I miss and I think this is what MG are missing today, their car is not great looking, the Vitesse has star figther looks how cool is that!

  5. I sold BMW,s in Miami in 1988 when these Sterlings as they were known came onto the scene, they were much more comfortable than a BMW, but I remember the electric seat buttons being tiny and flimsy it was a shame because I liked the car but it’s build quality would not have boded well in the States and before you knew it they were gone and what was there relagated to banger status.

  6. Big European sub-‘Premium’ marque saloons and hatches really didn’t catch on in the US in the late 80s/early 90s.

    Mostly due to exchange rates and differing tastes.

    Sterling, Merkur (mk3 Granada and XR4-T-i), Peugeot selling their last 405/505, Renault/AMC Medallion, Alfa (164). All tried but failed.

    • I remember Henry Butts Oldsmobile in Dallas TX got the Sterling dealership for Dallas. A large dealership, and the prices soon were a bargain compared to the Acura (Honda) Legend, but the price could not shake the ‘Knight of Darkness’ reputation. Sad, really, and they did not have long until they pulled out of the US.

  7. I’d agree with you there, even if all the strait lines along the sides were too reminiscent of typical Roy Axe designs, like the Alpine or even the Hillman Hunter! I remember test driving a near new 800 (an obvious upgrade to my Montego Estate of the time) and being shocked by how little space there was inside it; a hangover from the Japanese requirement for a narrow bodyshell at the time I seem to recall.

  8. I have owned 4 Sterlings at one time or another. I still have my last one, a sweet red over gun metal two tone 1990 827SL which i bought new! I’ve owned a lot of the best autos in the world and I still have a special place in my heart for the 1990 Sterling that no other car touches.

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