Rover 3500 SD1

Last Edit: 28/03/2020

The Rover SD1 is both the code name and eventual production name given to a series of executive cars built by the Specialist Division (later the Jaguar-Rover-Triumph division) of British Leyland, under the Rover marque. It was produced through its Specialist, Rover Triumph and Austin Rover divisions from 1976 until 1986. In 1977 it won the European Car of the Year title. It is said to have borrowed its profile from the Porsche 928. To my mind it was a huge missed opportunity, it was a very good car which was very badly built. Its production lifecycle coincided with the disastrous labour relations which characterised the declining years of British Leyland. The management at the time were so inept. I met an old guy just recently who worked in the BL competition department which then was based in Abingdon at the MG works. He told me how they had prepared a team of SD1s to race at the Nurburgring where they trounced everyone, including the Porsches. The following day the word came down from Michael Edwardes who was the group Chief Exec, to cancel the racing programme as it projected the wrong image for these cars. You could not make it up.

The Corgi Toys Rover SD1 3500 casting was issued as a civilian car, a Police car and as a racing saloon/touring car. production continued into the post-Mettoy era. The first release was the civilian version (338) in January 1980. This car was available in bronze with a brown roof, red with a black roof, all red or metallic blue. The Police version (339) was released in July 1980 remaining in production until the Mettoy crash in 1983.

The first of the racing SD1s was released in January 1981 (340) remaining in production while Mettoy continued to trade. It is the car driven in the 1980 British Touring Car Championship by Rex Greenslade and Jeff Allam.

I have found three post Mettoy touring cars shown below, two are easy to identify however the red and white car looks like a bit of a fudge, it is mostly like the 1985 TWR Bastos car, but without the graphics.

Mettoy releases:        
Corgi Toys C338; Rover 3500 SD1; Blue Metallic Still Looking Still Looking

Corgi 339; Rover 3500 SD1; Police Car

Corgi Toys 340; Rover 3500 SD1; 1980 BTCC Triplex; Allam/Greenslade; RN1

Corgi Toys C338; Rover 3500 SD1; Blue Metallic

Corgi Toys C338; Rover 3500 SD1; Bronze, Brown Roof Corgi Toys C338; Rover 3500 SD1; Red, Black Roof

Corgi 339; Rover 3500 SD1; Police Car

Corgi Toys 340; Rover 3500 SD1; 1980 BTCC Triplex; Allam/Greenslade; RN1
Post Mettoy releases:        
Corgi 404; Rover 3500 Racing; Racing, Team Rover, RN1 Corgi Toys 426; Rover 3500 SD1; 1983 BTCC Steve Soper; Glacier/Hepolite; RN4 Corgi Toys 404; Rover 3500 SD1; 1984 BTCC; Chris Sawyer-Hoare; RN13    

Corgi 404; Rover 3500 SD1; Racing, Team Rover, RN1

Corgi Toys 426; Rover 3500 SD1; 1983 BTCC Steve Soper; Glacier/Hepolite; RN4

Corgi Toys 404; Rover 3500 SD1; 1984 BTCC; Chris Sawyer-Hoare; RN13

   

 


Great Book of Corgi Home Site Home Corgi 1981 Home
Last Edit: 07/08/2022   Page Added 01/09/2018