Polski-Rover : It goes on another year

Keith Adams 

SD1 getting its annual inspection
SD1 getting its annual inspection

The ‘phone call from Mike Humble sounded grim. ‘Do you want the bad news or the good news?” 

Being a glass-half-empty kinda guy, I decided to plump for the former. ‘Well, the MoT man has broken his leg and a new test won’t be possibel until next week at least,’ he said. Well, that’s fine but for the fact that my car was due its test tomorrow and it had been out of ticket since the 11th February. 

‘Ah well, what’s the good news?’ I asked. 

‘We sneaked it in today (pause) and it passed.’ 

That Mike always had a cruel streak. It was close to a clean bill of health too. Some of the bushes are a little worn, as is a bottom balljoint, and the rear brakes are imbalanced – but within tolerances. Mike had greased the rear drums and serviced the heck out of the old girl before putting it in for the MoT, so the clean(ish) bill of health is all down to the good man in Sussex… but it’s all good for a year. 

The new dampers from Rimmer Bros need to go on still and that will be done soon – but only after Mike has chiled out, stopped fettling and spent some time seriously enjoying the old girl. 

Here’s to another 12 months. 

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk 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. This car just keeps looking better and better :).

    I wonder if the car’s original owner is still around?

    Does the car have any history, Keith?

  2. Darren :
    This car just keeps looking better and better :) .

    I wonder if the car’s original owner is still around?

    Does the car have any history, Keith?

    Very little actually. It would be good to find out.

    And thank you!

  3. Good news that your SD1 has passed its MoT – it looks good to boot. Perhaps MG Motor UK should resume production of the Rover SD1 in the 21st century to keep us enthusiasts happy! It’s got more character than the current crop of cars.

  4. Are the rear dampers the original Nivomats? DON’T CHANGE THEM IF THEY ARE!!!!

    Unfortunately, they are not easily replaced and are hideously expensive when you do. You will find that the rear sits very low if you fit non-levelling shocks in their place – this is because the Nivomat does part of the job of the spring and so the original springs are very soft.

    You can get round that by fitting 2600 springs, but it would seem the repros, even those from Rimmers, are a bit stiff and result in a harsher ride.

    The good news is that, if you have the orginal, early Nivomats, they can be rebuilt.

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