There is a Rover Vitesse SD1 TWR Group A Spec touring car for sale
This 1984 Rover Vitesse SD1 TWR Group A touring car has been painstakingly rebuilt, at a cost in six figures, to resurrect the mighty TWR/010 SD1 which was destroyed in an accident at a famous Silverstone Tourist race Trophy in 1984.
The build was so exacting that this car is now FIA certified to compete in vintage competitions, including prestigious events like the Goodwood Revival, Motor Racing Legends’ Historic Touring Car Challenge series, the Peter Auto Heritage Touring Cup and more. many other races.
Quick Facts – Rover Vitesse SD1 TWR Group A
- The Rover SD1 was one of the most important cars launched by the British family of companies Leyland in the 1970s. It was intended to be a mass-produced saloon targeting the middle class in Britain, Europe and the United States. -United.
- The styling has clearly taken some influence from the Ferrari Daytona, but it may have even more from the Pininfarina-designed BMC 1800 concept car.
- A number of engine options were made available during production, the most desirable being the Rover V8 which offered adequate performance by the standards of the day, with up to 190 bhp in the top-end variant. “Speed” range.
- The car you see here was rebuilt from a bare shell using many genuine TWR parts to resurrect the TWR/010 SD1 which crashed beyond repair in the 1984 Silverstone Tourist Trophy race.
Development of the Rover SD1 began in 1971, it was an all new, clean slate design to replace both the Rover P6 and the Triumph 2000 series saloons.
The 1970s were a dark time for the once dominant British motor industry, many of the legendary old brands had disappeared into insolvency and many of those that remained had been bailed out and transferred to British Leyland.
Two of these brands were Rover and Triumph, at this time Triumph produced both cars and motorcycles, and the decision was made to consolidate their saloon offerings to cut costs. Rover and Triumph were paired within British Leyland’s new Specialist Division and as a result the new saloon project would be named ‘SD1’ – for Specialist Division No 1.
Rover and Triumph engineers submitted their own design proposals, Rover won and their design would become the SD1. It has been widely noted that the vehicle bears more than a passing resemblance to the Ferrari Daytona, although it was also heavily influenced by the BMC 1800 concept car which had been designed by the Pininfarina team.
Spen King supervised the projectwith David Bache in charge of styling and Gordon Bashford in charge of engineering.
The design was made specifically to keep costs down, so the SD1 received a simple steel unibody, rear live axle, front MacPherson struts and a range of pre-existing engines and transmissions have been used.
Video above: This film features racing driver Sam Hancock driving an SD1 touring car at speed and discussing the model’s history.
Rover updated the SD1 running continuously over its 10+ year production run, the cars were built from 1976 to 1986, with the biggest revision being the Series 2 update in 1982.
Today the surviving Rover SD1s are considered by many to be modern classics, especially the top-end Vitesse and Vanden Plas variants with the Rover V8.
Success of touring cars – Racing Le SD1
One area where the SD1 enjoyed significant success was in the world of motorsport. Thanks to the highly tunable Rover V8 and the car’s solid underpinnings, it proved well suited to touring car racing.
Perhaps the SD1’s most significant success was when Kurt Thiim drove one to win the 1986 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft against the best touring cars Germany had to offer. It happened in the SD1’s final year of production, too late to help sales significantly, but it’s a feather in the car’s hat nonetheless.
Elsewhere in Europe, various racing variants of the SD1 won the 1983 RAC Tourist Trophy, the 1984 British Saloon Car Championship, six rounds of the 1985 European Touring Car Championship and five rounds of the 1986 FIA Touring Car Championship.
In Australia the SD1 proved popular with consumers, it was also raced in the country with great success, including a class victory in the 1984 Bathurst 1000.
The Rover SD1 is now a popular car for classic touring car competitions, and is quite common at events across Britain and further afield.
The Rover Vitesse SD1 TWR Group A shown here
The car you see here has been carefully built from a bare Rover SD1 shell using many genuine and hard to find parts from TWR. It is estimated that a similar project would now cost at least £200,000, although many parts are no longer available.
Careful attention was paid to detail, to ensure that this car would be the true spiritual successor to the original, which (as mentioned above) was destroyed due to heavy rain during the Silverstone Tourist Trophy race in 1984.
The car is powered by a TWR-prepared 3.5-litre single-plenum Rover V8 producing around 300bhp, with power sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed Getrag manual transmission.
It is FIA certified and carries current FIA HTP papers meaning it can be used to race in any number of well-known vintage racing series.
If you want to know more about this car or register to bid you can visit the list here.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
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