Rover 3500 SD1 for Sale

The Rover SD1 (short for Specialist Division Number 1) was the name attributed to a series of cars produced by car manufacturer British Leyland under the Rover brand. Launched in 1976, production of the Rover SD1 series ran for ten years until 1986. The Rover SD1 was marketed under a range of different model names including the Rover 3500 (the launch model), Rover V8-S and Rover Vitesse.

History of the Rover SD1.

Development began in 1971 with a view to replacing the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000/2500 models. Utilizing the Rover V8 engine, the Rover SD1 first appeared on the scene in 1976 to widespread acclaim. Indeed, such was its initial success, in 1977, the Rover SD1 was awarded the coveted "European Car of the Year".

Rover SD-1 range.

In 1979, the V8-S model was introduced, marketed as the top of the range model incorporating a number of design improvements over the 3500 launch model, albeit with no mechanical differences. In 1980, having been absent from the American market for a decade, Rover launched the Rover 3500, a car very similar in design to the high end Rover V8-S. In 1982, the high performance Rover Vitesse was introduced to the market and over the next few years featured heavily within British motor sport. The range was further expanded in 1982 which for the first time gave the buyer the option of a four-cylinder engine, including the 2400 SD Turbo, the sole diesel-engined SD 1 to be produced. Iconic in design, the Rover SD1 became synonymous with the police force who favoured the model.

The decline of the Rover SD1.

Ultimately, production of the Rover SD1 was beset by issues. A theme of poor build quality quickly emerged from the beginning. Flaking paint on the car exterior of early models and flimsy interior fittings were among the numerous issues that became associated with the SD1 range. The Solihull factory built with the sole intention of producing the Rover SD1 and Triumph TR7 had long since closed and, despite design improvements through the 1980s, the same problems remained. Production of the SD1 eventually ceased in 1986, shifting instead to the Rover 800 series.

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