First of all: GREAT looks! This is a design peach. Massive, somwhat ducked, although not low at all, stretched, but not thin. Not the elegance of a Jag, but a bit more of the Ferrari/Maserati sportiness. Aside of Jaguar, perhaps the best design that ever emerged in the UK. Personally, I find the Mk2 a little more elegant than the Mk1, and the Vitesse a little more elegant than the VDP (the lowered suspension makes it look more compact, sporty), EXCEPT for that ugly huge Vitesse spoiler.
I have driven the VDP for over three years, together with my father who owned it (and paid for it :-) ). Overall, the quality of the late SD1 model is okay. In those 8 years, rust was no issue except for a spot at the wind screen lower rim (corner) which admittedly is an ugly place for rust, and a small one next to the sliding roof. Doors and wheel arches were still fine. However, the paint quality at least of metal silver is below average. Interior quality is so-so, british average of the time, I suppose. A little squeaking here and there; when you pull the door shut you can feel the trim moving. Carpet seems loose in places. Leather seats are leather only on top, sides and back are plastic. Good quality though.
Gear box: at 160000 km, you can feel every tooth of the gear wheel when shifting into 2nd. Still working though. It is known that the manuals are not sturdy units, in contrast to the auto ones. On the other hand, they are more economical and allow higher top speed.
Space: for a car of this size, it is NOT very spacious! With the standard Mk2 sun roof, head room is nothing for the above-6-foot-fellows. The back definitely lacks leg room, and for tall people headroom, which cannot be compensated by a nice leather bench. Leg room in the front passenger seat is impaired by the protruding dashboard, and both front seats could go back a little more (provided no one tries to sit in the back then).
The boot is very spacious, only the high tail end of the Rover makes this a bit of an exercise to load.
Sound: the sound is great, but too muffled! Since this car is from before sick noise and pollution emission laws, I certainly would fit a y-Pipe or equivalent that brings this excellent V-8 sound out to the open! Look at it like this: since you pay extra for having no cat converter, you should take the opportunity to at least have the sound that no modern car can have! Ay?