1982 Rover - Austin SD1 SE 3.5
Beauty and the Beast, but beauty wins
The front suspension struts needed replacing, as did the ball joints. The water pump went. Then there were 5 dashboard switches, the radiator, the cylinder head was getting rattly. Mainly it was silly things; like the sunroof that wouldn't close one day when it started to rain, but just before I had a heart attack, it closed. Or the rear wiper that sometimes wouldn't work when I was reversing, but by the time I was about to drive forward & wasn't bothered, it wiped... Plus small trim irritations. It was in the garage at least once a month.
I loved this car & despite the fact that I could barely afford to run it & cycled most places to save it the short journeys, it was the only car (out of 9) that I actually loved. It was a dream to have one as a boy & even toward the end of the 2 years I had her, I would still look at her from my windows at night. She was a dream to drive, except for spongy brakes, endemic tothe SD1. On rainy nights, it felt like I was driving in the dry. All in all, a beautiful car & I want another, especially as now I can put an SD1 to reserve car duty as I already have a disposable Japanese hatchback. I highly recommend an SD1 if you can run it as a second car & pamper it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th May, 2005