Working for its living

Keith Adams 

Polski-Rover 3500 is earning its keep
Polski-Rover is earning its keep

Well, I’d say that I’m now reasonably happy with my SD1’s progress. When it came back from MOTEST, I had a few fuelling issues, which dumped me on the hard shoulder. Then I changed a few servicing items, which also coincided with some other running problems… but, after a little perseverance, it’s all up and running now. 

I took the old girl into the office, then drove it to Banbury and, for the entire journey, the Polski-Rover never missed a beat and turned heads all along the way. That had me thinking about driving a classic on modern roads. This one in particular seems to have me feeling that every destination reached is something of an achievement and every mile passed savoured. 

Maybe it helps that in front of me is that tuneful V8 which delivers just enough performance to command the outside lane but, whatever, by the time I’d made it back home today after a 100-mile saunter, I felt all warm and fuzzy towards my Rover 3500. 

I think it’s fair to say that, come the summer, regular users of the A14 and M1 are going to see rather a lot of the old girl.

Keith Adams
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8 Comments

  1. In the glovebox! The Poles lost the original and restored the bonnet without leaving the mounting holes in. I am working on it.

    Stewart – it doesn’t have wing mirrors. It does, however, have door mirrors and I have one original. Still trying to source an original rubber passenger door mirror now.

  2. Keith Adams :In the glovebox! The Poles lost the original and restored the bonnet without leaving the mounting holes in. I am working on it.

    Stewart – it doesn’t have wing mirrors. It does, however, have door mirrors, and I have one original. Still trying to source an original rubber passenger door mirror now.

    Forgive me if this sounds like heresy, but wouldn’t it be better to try adhesive or double sided tape to save drilling any holes in that lovely bonnet where rust could get a hold?

    Or perhaps you’ve thought of that already…

  3. to be honest i never did like the skelital rover badge…why dont u put a proper rover badge on it and show her maker on in all her glory

  4. If David Bache was still alive, I’m sure he would respond to criticism of the so-called ‘Skeletal’ badge on the front of the first SD1s. When I interviewed him to write the original launch press kit, he laid some emphasis on the inspiration behind this, which was contemporary Scandinavian jewellery (Vikings , see?). If you look closely at the badge, especially off the car, you’ll see that it is quite exquisitely detailed, and far from being a ‘cheap’ substitute, was in fact very expensive to make! However, the subtlety of it was lost on the general public, so customer pressure caused the reversion to the old-style acrylic badge on the late 1970s cars. In a similar way, David Bache was pushed into bringing a smattering of wood veneer back into the interiors on the MkII SD1. I was quite shocked when I saw the very first pre-production SD1 cars in the Solihull Press Garage in early 1976, because the interiors were so purist and minimalist compared with the preceding P6 and P5B cars – there wasn’t even a Rover badge visible inside, yet alone any wood! With the perspective of 34 years, was DEB right to move things on?

  5. I don’t think it was the modern interior and badge that harmed the SD1 in the market place. At launch there was massive enthusiasm for the car.
    Initial poor availability followed by build quality problems becoming apparent overlaid by BL knocking in the media were what damaged the SD1.
    If you want to see wood veneer done in a positive modern way the pre passenger airbag 800 is a good place to start.

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