Blog: Going, going… gone?


CLASSIC car ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… Well, that’s my slant on things anyway. I’m one of the old school, who firmly believes that a car should be used, and not simply become a garage ornament.

And with my Rover SD1, that is most certainly the case, given how well it drives, and how you can jump in this car and use it on a day-to-day basis. Sadly, due to my busy life, I am simply not in a position to use the SD1 as it should be – and with a heavy heart, have concluded that it simply has to go. Chatting to my friend Chris Smith (he of Gilbern fame), we came to the conclusion that our love of cars sometimes has us making the most irrational purposes – and one such thing has to be the classic car.

And he should know – as he’s just sold a Lancia Stratos and a Maserati, which in his words, had become – garage ornaments.

I thought about that for a moment, and I have to say that I fall into that same category – I mean, who else would by a Talbot Tagora for goodness sake? In the case of my SD1, it most certainly hasn’t been a waste of time – as I had always wanted one of these Series one cars from the first time I clapped eyes on one, back in 1976. And the promise of those pure and uncorrupted lines has been realised in the driving.

The old girl has to go, and I’d prefer
to see it go to a good home…

It steers, corners and handles beautifully, and it sounds a million pounds, thanks to that rumbly, charismatic V8 engine. It’s also eminently practical. No name dropping here, but TOP GEAR’s very own Richard Hammond said after driving my car: “You really could use this every day.”

So, if I love it so much, why have I decided to sell it? Quite simply because it’s become a garage ornament, and owning such a thing goes against my own beliefs on what one should get out of classic ownership. In a nutshell, it doesn’t get used in my household, and I would like to pass it on to one that will.

If you fancy owning a remarkably original 1978 SD1, (68,000 miles on the clock, 10 months MoT, lots of new mechanical bits and pieces, etc., etc…) which has been driven by its designer, Spen King (as some speed, I might add), tested in TOP GEAR (and driven by James May and Richard Hammond, and leaned on by Jeremy Clarkson), as well as featuring in the pages of AutoExpress (driven by Craig Cheetham around the Rockingham oval) and Classic Car Weekly, then drop me a line.

The old girl has to go, and the first person to offer me £2000 in crisp, clean banknotes, can take it home and start a new love affair…

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

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