In the early 1970s, Rover began developing a successor to the receding P6. The intention was to create a luxury, the brand’s first 5-door family car. Together with Triumph, Rover established a Specialist Division. The first of the cars was named Specialist Division nr. 1 or SD1.
SD1 was redesigned from the beginning. Rover’s product development department took inspiration from Pininfarina, not least the Ferrari 365 GTB / 4, more commonly known as the Daytona. Triumph’s Coventry department was responsible for the design of the suspension and chassis. The SD1 was introduced with Rover’s V8 engine. Production of the car began at a new factory in Solihull, and the first cars were delivered to customers in the summer of 1976. In 1977, SD1 was chosen Car of the Year in Europe.
In 1977, the SD1 model series was completed with , 2.3- and 2.6-liter SOHC inline six engines manufactured by Triumph. The 2600’s cubic capacity had been increased with a longer 84 mm stroke and its performance was almost as impressive as the V8-equipped 3500’s. The inline six engined 2600 was also giving very smooth ride and it was still quite economical for a large hatchback. Eventually, inline six engined cars became really important to British Leyland. They filled the gap between the Princess 2200 and the Rover 3500.
This particular car was bought in year 2000 by Lauri Linnavuori from Karaasi, a family run company specializing in British cars over 40 years. Linnavuori restored the body of the car and the car was painted in the original Cashmere Gold shade. The engine and gearbox were taken from a low mileage Rover 2600 that was a few years newer. Instead of the original Borg Warner automatic, this car has the better GM automatic transmission, which was used in the Rover 2600 from 1982 onwards.
The interior of the car is still in wonderful original condition. The door trims have been renovated and the driver’s floor mat has been renewed. Steering wheel has been replaced with a period correct wooden one.
In 2022, the car has been comprehensively refurbished and serviced: The engine has been serviced and the timing belt and plugs have been renewed. The transmission has been serviced with a complete service kit including all new seals.
The car is really comfortable and gentlemanly to drive, and it entices you to enjoy winding and scenic roads. There is enough power and speed even for larger highways.
A great classic with a super reasonable investment.
The car is located in Espoo. Presentations by agreement.
Exchange and financing option.