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£ 75,000

1982 Rover SD1 Vitesse 'Group A' 'Works' Rally Car - OOC 272X


To be offered by Iconic Auctioneers on Saturday 18th May at Sywell Aerodrome.

Guide Price: £75,000 - £85,000

Thought to be one of the first competition cars built under the Austin Rover Group Motorsport banner, this 1982 Rover SD1 was plucked from the assembly line for the purpose of competition. The car was originally destined for the gruelling Peking to Paris long-distance rally, the ultimate test of durability, and before being used in anger, the V8 SD1 was the subject of considerable testing and fine tuning to establish its suitability for the gruelling event. Sadly, the event was cancelled and the car was mothballed for a short time. However, Rover wasn’t going to see its efforts go to waste and after a short period in storage, handed the keys to motorsport legend, Tony Pond, who went on to campaign the car in the Century Oils and Pace Petroleum series of the early 1980s.

Once Tony had had his fun with the car, Rover’s attention turned to Scotland where champion rally driver Ken Wood was a regular competitor in a V8-powered TR7, a current production model at the time. However, when TR7 production ceased it was important for a current BL product to be winning, so an agreement was struck between Ken and Rover to campaign the SD1. Ken came second in the 1983 Scottish Rally Championship and the car was then given a facelift to bring it in line visually with the company’s new Vitesse model, important for marketing purposes. In 1984, the car was once again campaigned through the stages of Scotland and this time, it won the 1984 Esso Scottish Rally Championship and the 1984 East of Scotland Rally Championship!

After Ken Wood’s time with the car, it was sold into private hands. We pick up the story when its current long term owner found the car laid up in the back of a garage in Oldham. He verified the identity of the car and then set about an extensive restoration in which the car was returned to its original dimensions before being built back up into full Ken Wood, Golden Wonder specification. Now, the car exists as a functional show piece and has been used for several demonstration events.

The restoration was impressive and is detailed below:

  • John Eales 4.6-litre Rover V8 running Omega forged pistons and rods, fully ported and gas-flowed Stage 4 cylinder heads with big valves and a dry-sump oiling system with three Facet oil pumps
  • It’s fuelled through four Weber 45 DCOE carbs, regulated by a Weber pressure regulator. All the fuel lines are braided and use AN10 fittings. The seller tells us that the engine has had five hours of competition running, and seven hours of road-running time
  • The transmission is an all-steel, Getrag 5-speed dogshift with a 4.89 limited-slip Atlas rear axle and a race-spec, heavy duty clutch
  • Bilstein adjustable dampers up front with stiffer springs, while each of the rear struts has two Bilstein dampers apiece It’s fully poly-bushed, and all the top mounts are adjustable
  • Brakes - the car is running factory callipers, but with AP Racing grooved discs and upgraded motorsport pads. Sitting on 18" split-rim alloy wheels
  • We’re informed that the car’s in period co-driver, Peter Brown, had myriad images of the car, and as such, specialists were able to faithfully recreate the period livery to perfection.

Currently on SORN, the car is road-legal and ready to be used again. The history file contains its logbook along with documentation to support the competition life and results over its competition years, and a number of restoration photographs showing the amount of work that went into the rebuild. This venerable big Rover is part of British motorsport history and we welcome your interest and inspection.



Keyword Search Terms:

rover, sd1, vittesse, rally, group A,


Item Location: Sywell Aerodrome
Seller: IconicAuctioneers
Joined July 2011
  Iconic Auctioneers
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Company: Iconic Auctioneers
Country: United Kingdom
City: Warwickshire
Phone: 01926691141
Condition Used
Trade or Private: Trade
Price: £75,000
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Added: 24/04/2024
Views: 1469

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