Curbside Outtake: 1980 Rover 3500 – Fulfilling My Duty To The CC Community

At CC, as a Curbivore I have various duties, primarily associated with European classics and the nostalgia of motors and motoring. But my real role in life, the reason I have breakfast every morning and carry a camera phone, the reason my Curbivore antennae are permanently powered up, is actually quite simple. Any Rover SD1, from 1976 to 1986, is a sighting to be, if at all possible, on the road or at a show, recorded and shared. Pretty much, it’s the law. For me, anyway.

Sadly, the total quantity in the UK of Rover SD1, 2000, 2300, 2600, 2400 diesel and 3500 V8, is now in the hundreds, perhaps 500 in total.

So when I saw this car, a 1980 Rover 3500 from the first series, in a gold colour that was seen from the launch date onwards, I had no option but to stop.

As always, time was tight, but there was enough to determine that this was as clean an example of the SD1 as you’re likely to see on the road today, not that seeing them on the road is an everyday, even every year event. Tidy paint work, not always an SD1 characteristic, was a great start, and seeing that distinctively curved exhaust pipe is always a nice sight. Sadly, the car was not running, so I didn’t hear the V8 out of it.

Through the windows, a tidy and very sound interior, with the original specification bronze velour trim looking to be very good condition.

All in, a good start to the day, made better once I’d seen the V8 badging. Approaching the car from the front, the wheels and tyres looked sufficiently narrow for it to be a 6 cylinder 2300 or 2600.

And the day got better, as I was going to the local Alfa Romeo specialist for a first service on the Giulietta.

As ever, his forecourt was a visual delight. You feel reassured when you hand over your keys to a guy like this, and he hands you a loan car from this selection.