So, Number 50 has finally landed.
It was a hard decision, what is special enough to be my 50th car? Well, the answer kinda fell into my lap, and then the ball got rolling very quickly.
The other day I was just browsing the usual Rover SD1 Facebook group, seeing what’s what in the world of old British Metal, and one of the fellow Kiwis (who also follows this blog) commented on the photo with
nice and just when I’m starting to think about selling my Vitesse I see a picture like this, and I think to myself, do I really want to let it go?!
I half jokingly said
Yes you do, you want to sell it to me
And from there, he sent me a direct message and well, a week later this arrived
Number 50, is a 1984 Rover SD1 Vitesse.
It’s a good solid base, the body is straight and the paint is pretty good. The interior, except the boot, is tidy, and the engine has receipts for some serious work done in the past.
It’s still running the 3.5L V8 like the VDP EFI, but it’s backed up with a manual cog swapper. Receipts indicate that it’s had an engine rebuild in the past, and is fitted with a Hurricane cam (good for an extra 20hp apparently, and doesn’t run out of puff in the top end). The previous owner fitted a Link LEM G1 and had it tuned, along with Jag injectors (higher output), a cold air intake, and a full exhaust with headers. Needless to say it sounds utterly amazing.
Of course it’s not all roses, and I knew this going into it. The reason I was offered the car was that the car has been off the road since 2013 because it developed a running issue, where it would run fine for a bit and then start to badly misfire, to the point you cannot touch the accelerator or it dies.
The previous owner tried a lot of things to identify and fix the issue but couldn’t get to the bottom of it. Thus the car has just been sitting around gathering dust. Being an avid fan of fixing SD1s, I jumped at the chance to save this beast and bring it back up to scratch.
Unfortunately recently it’s also developed another issue…. it doesn’t like to start. This posed a rather annoying issue trying to unload the car from the trailer. We were almost at the point of pushing it off the trailer, up the hill and into the drive, but thankfully it stumbled into life and I managed to drive it off.
So that’s the story of how I acquired Number 50. Its going to be a long project to get the car back up to scratch, but I’m looking forward to it. The goal is to have both of my SD1s at British Car Day, and then if the Vitesse is pleasing me enough I might move the VDP EFI onto a new owner.
Big thanks to Brent at Classic Towing for transporting the car down the island for me, and making it happen a week earlier than planned (thanks other guy that bailed from having his car transported, opening up space for my car).