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relative4
Billy Andrews
Denver, CO
(55 posts)

Registered:
11/25/2008 02:28PM

Main British Car:
'80 MGB Rover 3.5

authors avatar
Running Rover 3500S w/ no rust
Posted by: relative4
Date: March 16, 2009 04:19PM

I talked to a guy who has a running 1980 3500S that's been garaged its entire life and apparently has a perfect rust-free body. He's interested in selling it, and I told him I'd find out what they're going for. I don't see any for sale on any site; anyone know what people are paying for them?


jheis
James Heisey
Wine Counrty. CA
(13 posts)

Registered:
08/27/2008 09:52PM

Main British Car:
'70 Rover P6B

Re: Running Rover 3500S w/ no rust
Posted by: jheis
Date: March 23, 2009 11:18PM

Well, since no one else has jumped in, I'll take a whack at it.

The 1980 Rover 3500S (or SD1) pretty much marked the nadir of the British auto industry.

They were dreadful cars that were so poorly screwed together that they virtually self destructed. They were built down to a price point and were a step backwards from the technical sophistication of the P6 Rovers (rust prone sheet metal, cheap interior materials, drum rear brakes, live axle, etc.) The SD1 (along with the equally dreadful Austin Marina) contributed mightily to the demise of the British car in America.

They are mainly useful as a source of fuel injected Rover V8s - otherwise, you pretty much can't give them away. However, since so few were imported and hardly any survived, they are now quite rare. Bottom line is that there is virtually no market for them - here or across the pond (and I like Rovers).

James


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4476 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Running Rover 3500S w/ no rust
Posted by: Moderator
Date: March 24, 2009 12:47AM

Whether these cars were great or terrible (and I've heard people argue both sides), I think it's a step too far to blame the SD1 or the Marina for the demise of the British car in America. Rover and Austin never sold enough cars in North America to develop much of a reputation, good or bad. They didn't have enough dealers. They didn't buy enough ads. Their products didn't get a lot of magazine coverage. Across most of North America, you rarely saw these cars in traffic.

This magazine article contains glowing praise for the SD1:
Motorsport Magazine: "The New Rover 3500"

Bill Wardlow at "The Motorway" in Fort Collins is a dyed-in-the-wool Rover enthusiast. If I were selling a Rover car in the Denver area, I'd certainly call him for advice. He probably knows all (both?) the other Rover enthusiasts in Colorado. Maybe one of them is looking for a nice clean specimen.


jheis
James Heisey
Wine Counrty. CA
(13 posts)

Registered:
08/27/2008 09:52PM

Main British Car:
'70 Rover P6B

Re: Running Rover 3500S w/ no rust
Posted by: jheis
Date: March 24, 2009 03:58AM

Curtis:

I said that the SD1 (and the Austin Marina) contributed to the demise of the British car in America, not that they were the sole cause of it. There's plenty of blame to go around.

I agree with the Motorsport reviewer (and others) that the SD1 held a lot of promise when introduced in 1976.

There were quite a few favorable reviews at the time - which resulted in numbers of disaffected owners who bought the cars based - at least in part - on the favorable reviews.

It is interesting to note that the Motorsport review is based on a test of a pre-production model - presumably a car hand assembled by Rover. Unfortunately, the production cars were let down by British Leyland's notoriously shoddy build quality and didn't live up to the promise.

James


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