One of the few remaining Rover SD1 V8-S models has just joined our fleet in what appears to be "time warp", low mileage condition having been carefully dry stored for over 25 years. According to The Telegraph (author: Andrew B. Roberts, "UK's rarest cars" published 18 June, 2021) there are only 10 examples of the V8-S left in the UK.
The V8-S was the top specification of the earlier Mark 1 version of the SD1 prior to the launch of the Vanden Plas which superseded it in late 1980. The difference being that the V8-S had all available options included in the specification including air conditioning as standard - quite a revelation in 1979 when it was first introduced to sit atop the range - with the standard 3500 V8 and six cylinder 2600 and 2300 engine models below. The stylish, distinctive design and simple sophistication had already garnered the Rover SD1 3500 the coveted European Car of the Year in 1977; one year after the original launch. There really was nothing quite like it at the time.
It was another masterpiece by David Bache (Stylist) and Spen King (Design Engineer) breaking the mould with stunning effect. Ferrari Daytona good looks, 5 door hatchback body with Bache's trademark "Open Plan" dashboard when everyone else was producing traditional 3 box saloons (with the exception of Citroen). The V8-S went even further. Available in some extraordinary colours: Triton Green, Persian Aqua Blue and Midas Gold paintwork all with Midas Gold alloy wheels. An absence of wood and leather trim in favour of plush velvet cloth upholstery, the "space age" modular instrument pack, the "fifth door" and many other distinctive features. "Garish". Maybe. But this was 70's automotive British chic.
Our 1980 V8-S is in the process of re-commissioning with "Peter Thurston Classic and Jaguar Specialists" and although MoT exempt, being more than 40 years old (and ULEZ compliant!), it will receive a new MoT before taking to the road in 2023. Initially we will limit its availability to photo and video shoots as we endeavour to bring the condition up to our high standards of presentation - not concourse but as close as we can reasonably get for a vehicle which must earn its keep.
Note: power, performance and economy figures are estimates and cannot be relied upon. They are for illustration purposes only.
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|Max. 54 hours
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