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25 Apr 2016

This 1980 Rover SD1 survivor is a rare sight in the US

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Mention that you drive a Rover in the US, and you’re bound to get a few looks, along with the requisite, “you mean a Land Rover?” But pull up most anywhere stateside in one of these and those looks will be less of wonder, and more of envy. This is a Rover SD1.

When it was being developed, the Rover designers actually lined up full scale models of the SD1 with exotic supercars of the day, including Maseratis and Ferraris, which explains the avant-garde wedge shape and dramatic rear lines.

While that might sound like a recipe for success, it didn’t exactly pan out that way, notably on US shores where just over 1,100 were ever sold. That makes this US-market SD1, which recently surfaced online, quite the rare find, especially considering its remarkably clean appearance.

RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the Rover SD1

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The SD1, which stood for “Specialist Division,” was the product of the British Leyland Motor Corporation, which at the time had merged both the Rover and Triumph car companies. When it came to replacing each marque’s executive car (P6 and 2000, respectively), British Leyland held an internal competition to crown the sole successor. Rover, as it happens, won out with its purposeful SD1 shape, and in 1976 the five-door liftback went into production.

Over its lifespan the SD1 would be housed with a number of different engines, of both four, six, and eight cylinder varieties, but the staid 3.5-liter Rover V8 (an ex-Buick mill) is undoubtedly the most famous… and best performing.

RELATED: This Vintage 1979 Land Rover was Built to Fly, Seriously

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In 1980, America got its first taste of the Rover SD1, the result of a rather costly federal approval process that British Leyland endured in order to get its saloon stateside. The process did add some blemishes however, including big crash safety bumpers, circular headlights, and emissions gear which strangled the V8 down to just 133 horsepower.

Without much of a dealer presence in the US, British Leyland allegedly only managed to sell 500 Rover SD1s in 1980. The rest of the SD1’s US allotment was then slowly sold-off in 1981 and ’82. Because of that short one-year run, you just don’t find many SD1s stateside, and rarely of this nick.

RELATED: Take a Closer Look at the Stunning ’60s Triumph TR4

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This US-market 1980 SD1 is claimed to have 72,702 miles to its name. Better still, its current owner was also once a Rover parts dealer, and writes they have a few new-old-stock spares handy. Inside and out, the car presents unusually well… it is however quite brown.

All Rover SD1s swam stateside in largely the same “3500” trim configuration, and this one comes paired with the standard five-speed gearbox (a three-speed automatic was optional).

Of course, British Leyland’s build quality wasn’t exactly peerless in the ’70s and ’80s. But looking beyond that, these svelte saloons truly do tell a unique tale.

RELATED: This 24-Mile DeLorean has Never Left Storage in its Life

Continue reading This 1980 Rover SD1 survivor is a rare sight in the US

This 1980 Rover SD1 survivor is a rare sight in the US originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Apr 2016 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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25 Apr 2016

Jay Leno SHO-guns the Ford Festiva to its full potential

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Jay Leno gives his Shogun the spotlight this week, and he shows why this hatch was one of the hottest vehicles on the street when it went on sale.

Continue reading Jay Leno SHO-guns the Ford Festiva to its full potential

Jay Leno SHO-guns the Ford Festiva to its full potential originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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15 Apr 2016

Would you pay Lamborghini Aventador money for a Countach?

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Each of these Lamborghini Countaches on the docket for next month’s Silverstone auction is anticipated to sell for as much as a new Aventador.

Continue reading Would you pay Lamborghini Aventador money for a Countach?

Would you pay Lamborghini Aventador money for a Countach? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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13 Apr 2016

This California rally is vintage Japanese car heaven

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We drive an ’85 Mazda RX-7 among some great classic Japanese metal.

Continue reading This California rally is vintage Japanese car heaven

This California rally is vintage Japanese car heaven originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Apr 2016

Hot Wheels goes Outlaw with Magnus Walker Porsches

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Magnus Walker collaborated with Hot Wheels so a new generation of kids can find their inspiration, just like he did with a Porsche.

Continue reading Hot Wheels goes Outlaw with Magnus Walker Porsches

Hot Wheels goes Outlaw with Magnus Walker Porsches originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2016

Buy Sir Stirling Moss’s ’54 Aston Martin DB3S for just $10m

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This 1954 Aston Martin DB3S is anticipated to sell for as much as $10 million at Aston’s factory next month.

Continue reading Buy Sir Stirling Moss’s ’54 Aston Martin DB3S for just $10m

Buy Sir Stirling Moss’s ’54 Aston Martin DB3S for just $10m originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2016 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is for sale

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What would you pay for a 1986 Cutlass Ciera? What about one with a very famous owner?

Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is for sale

Hillary Clinton’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is for sale originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2016 18:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Apr 2016

Awesome 1956 Ford F-100 restored by students for good cause

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A group of students bought an unfinished project truck for their automotive technology class to work on, and the ’56 Ford F100 is now ready.

Continue reading Awesome 1956 Ford F-100 restored by students for good cause

Awesome 1956 Ford F-100 restored by students for good cause originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Apr 2016 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 Apr 2016

Lamborghini Miura, Porsche 911 highlight Techno Classica

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The restoration departments at both Lamborghini and Porsche showcased their latest projects in various states of repair at the Techno Classica show this weekend in Germany.

Continue reading Lamborghini Miura, Porsche 911 highlight Techno Classica

Lamborghini Miura, Porsche 911 highlight Techno Classica originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Apr 2016 19:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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08 Apr 2016

The Effeffe Berlinetta is a brand new 1960s Italian GT

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The Italian creation has been designed to look like a 1960s aluminum dream, even though it’s completely new.

Continue reading The Effeffe Berlinetta is a brand new 1960s Italian GT

The Effeffe Berlinetta is a brand new 1960s Italian GT originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Apr 2016 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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