1982 Rover - Austin SD1 SE 3.5 from Australia and New Zealand
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