1985 Rover - Austin SD1 3500SE EFi 3.5 from Australia and New Zealand


The best vehicle I have ever owned


At the time of acquisition, the vehicle was suffering from a strange intermittent electrical 'gremlin'. After much investigation and experimentation, the E.C.U.was replaced and presto! problem solved!.

The instrument cluster required the fitment of a few new bulbs, other than this minor fix, everything else functions perfectly well.

General Comments:

The vehicle was in sound condition for its' age, although has incredibly low mileage for its' age. I am only the second owner, the first being an elderly chap whom treated the vehicle with kid gloves.

The interior is absolutely immaculate with all vinyl and timber as good as new. The rear seats appear to never have been used!.

The paintwork is also a joy to behold, the Moon-Raker blue still retaining its original luster, despite years of driving under the harsh Australian sun.

The vehicle is dead straight with no sign of rust and the bumpers, notorious for cracking, are perfect.

The rims are also as new and the centre caps have been detailed in with the Rover emblem, which is a very striking feature.

Mechanically the vehicle is A1, and runs harder than any other vehicle of similar capacity I have driven. The Transmission is seamless and overall the vehicle is a real pleasure to drive and to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2004

3rd Aug 2004, 18:05

Very eloquently written. I am currently considering purchasing such a vehicle and sites / comments such as these are exceptionally handy. Very nicely crafted piece.

1985 Rover - Austin SD1 3500 Vitesse 3.5 V8 from Denmark


Poor mans Aston Martin?


Having bought the car with 160000 km on the clock naturally it needed a little attention.

New camshaft, hydraulic tappets were needed.

Beyond that an electric window gave some trouble.

New seal for the power steering reservoir.

Some rust in passenger door.

Slow starter - You need to crank for quite a while, but has never failed yet.

Rear vision can be troublesome when trying to park.

Weird instrumentation.

Interior quality could have been better.

Braking is more adequate than great - (front discs, rear drums)

Feeble ventilation system.

General Comments:

Glorious sound from the Rover V8 giving 193 hp.

Great acceleration - built for motorway cruising.

Good supportive seats.

Good manual gearbox.

Handles really well, and with looks to match.

A big car in city traffic, felt much bigger than my Saab 9000, but once You got the hang of it, You can park perfectly thanks to good servo steering.

The car still has great visual appeal turning heads everywhere. Kids ask if it is a race car :)

Maintenance costs a bit heavy, though.

Fitted a stainless steel sports exhaust, costly, but worth it. Better performance in the high revs..

Fuel consumption varies - relaxed motorway cruising @110 km/h gave an indicated 10,8 km /l however, in the city roughly 7,5 km /l.

All in all a great car, but not flawless.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st August, 2003

1985 Rover - Austin SD1 VDP 3.5 V8 from UK and Ireland


A classic high performance bargain


Since I had the car all that's gone wrong is a burst transmission pipe and the fuel pump.

General Comments:

I think this car is superb car to drive and it has a lot of power from its 3.5 V8 powered engine, and turns a lot of people's heads when driving it around. As I am only 21 years old, the insurance is about £1,500 and up, it only costs me 3rd party fire and theft a massive £1,400 and that's for a 3.5 V8.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2001

3rd Oct 2001, 05:33

Insurance is much cheaper if you go through a classic car route... I got quoted £150 doing this when I was 21...

I went to Swinton Insurance for a laugh and they quoted £3500!!!

13th Oct 2006, 05:50

Finally - someone in the same situation as me! I've been searching the net for weeks to find a decent quote for my V8 Vandenplas SD1. I'm 20 so I'm going to keep it off the road and I'm not going to insure it until I have restored it to full health. Just covering the fuel bill is difficult enough let alone the insurance and tax. I have dreamed of driving one of these since I was three, as one of my earliest memories is being in the back of my parent's 2300. I might even apply to pimp my ride uk and see if they can help me out!...not really.