A Mostly British Obsession

Category: ’80 Rover SD1

Sure sign of mental illness

Rover On Way to New Jersey

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I dropped the Rover off with the gentleman who will be hauling it back to New Jersey today…sad to see it go, as it is actually a fine car. But I need the space! Hope the new owner enjoys it. In a typical Rusty Heaps turn, though, the title I mailed seems to have gone missing. Ah, well, I only had to make three visits to the Department of Licensing–which, in all fairness, has exemplary staff in their Freeland, WA outpost–last week to (finally!) transfer the title on the E-Type to my name, after twelve years of ownership (best not to rush these things, I find).

What’s another five or so trips there among friends?

GT Not for Sale – SD1 is!

1980 Rover SD1

For the time being, I’m going to finish the GT as originally planned and put it into “daily” service. However, I do need to lose a car, and the SD1 should probably go. I wanted to drive one for awhile, and can definitely see the appeal, but the GT is more my speed. The Rover has been in daily service all winter and has proven itself to be a very nice machine. (I can never get over the tight turning circle for a relatively large car…I think you could put my Ford truck on full lock and easily drive the Rover around inside the circling Ford without any danger of hitting it.)
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SD1 Update, New Alternator

1980 Rover 3500 SD1

The problematic alternator on the SD1 finally burned out–but I found a rebuilt Range Rover alternator from the late 1980s on eBay for $80 and figured “what the heck.” It fits just fine, and while there is an extra connector on the back (I think for a tach on the RR) it seems to work fine. Sure beats $300 to have the original Motorola rebuilt. Of course, whenever you do a job like this, you run into the previous owner’s bodges…
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New Air Cleaner on the Rover

New air cleaner on Rover SD1

It’s shiny (tacky!) chrome and ridiculously over-sized…but my new air cleaner actually filters the air going into the engine on the SD1. Found on eBay for not much money, surely it reminds the thoughtful viewer of the triangular Rover badge on the front of the car. (Surely! Well, maybe I’ll try to find a Rover-viking-ship decal to decorate it.)
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Leaky Side of the Shop

BSA Golden Flash, MGB GT, MGB, Rover SD1

It’s fairly surprising that there isn’t a contiguous pool of oil covering the floor entirely on this side of the new shop building, especially from the prodigiously leaking pair comprising the SD1 and Reg the MGB roadster. (The BSA leaks, but that doesn’t count; the GT doesn’t leak at all.)
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1977 Car of the Year…

1980 Rover SD1

…and yet, well, see for yourself. It’s an interesting period piece, but I don’t think the car is in any danger of being called “beautiful.” Driving it home today people guessed “Peugeot” twice and “Citation” once, but mostly they didn’t guess at all.
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