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Old 03-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #114 (permalink)
Hubert Farnsworth
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Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Then of course came the Rover SD1 (aka Rover 3500) which had a hatch from new.

which was also sold in the US but suffered the same 'sealed beams are good' madness that the XM featured by PW above (as well as the Jaguar XJS, Citroen CX and any FIAT models) did.

I include the SD1 mainly as at the time of it's launch BL made a feature of it's shape claiming it would save fuel. Mind you the twin carb-fed 3528cc OHV V8 (actually a developed version of the 1950s Mercury lightweight alloy V8 bought by Rover in the 1960s) linked to a 3-speed auto kind of offset any advantage that aero may have given it.

My only memory of an SD1 is the V8-S (think V8 but even more thirsty but much faster) which was owned by the uncle of my friend. I sat in the front and savoured the V8 roar and neck-snapping starts...

...until the can of coke on the front shelf fell into my lap. Which was nice, especially as this was on my way to school. I was comfortable for the day sitting in a lot of sugar water.

Interestingly Rover thought the V8 was thirsty so they went for the Iceberg project which would turn the V8 into a Diesel engine. Not that this was ambitious of course - turning a light-alloy V8 into a long stroke Diesel engine...

"In 1963, the British automaker Rover was looking for a new engine to power its top-of-the-line cars. Their existing P5 saloon had an elderly 3.0 L (180 cu. in.) straight six that was too heavy and too thirsty for its modest output. During a trip to the U.S., Rover managing director William Martin-Hurst encountered a marine conversion of the Buick 215, and decided that it was precisely what Rover needed. The aluminum V8 was smoother and significantly more powerful than Rover's ancient six, and hardly any heavier. Martin-Hurst knew that GM was discontinuing the aluminum engine, so he approached Buick general manager Ed Rollert and offered to purchase the manufacturing rights.

The deal was concluded in the fall of 1964, giving Rover the rights to the design, all of Buick's records and technical drawings, and a number of unused production engines. Rover hired Buick chief engine designer Joe Turley, who was about to retire, and moved him to England to oversee the establishment of the new production line. For Rover use, the 215 was set up for sand casting, rather than die casting. It also received a variety of minor modifications, including pressed-in (rather than cast-in) cylinder liners, a different crankshaft, and British-made carburetors and accessories. It ended up around 55 pounds (25 kg) than its Buick predecessor, although it was still quite light for its size and displacement."
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