It was a time when supply problems, management cock-ups, industrial disputes and generally shoddy build quality pretty much destroyed forever the reputation of some of Britain's best-known car marques, not least Rover.
And the Rover that suffered the most was arguably today's SOTW, the Rover SD1. Despite a dramatic, innovative design both inside and out, the option of classic V8 grunt, and more or less universally praised dynamics, the SD1's reputation -and its longevity suffered at the hands of a company in meltdown.
Heck, it even received rave reviews from the motoring press. "It is hard to be over-enthusiastic about the new 3500" said Autocar. "On every score, its qualities justify any kind of enthusiasm. It would have been hard to predict, especially looking at the bald paper specification, just how well the car would perform, handle and ride.
But production numbers, of course, could not be maintained and nor could the quality. And all we are left with in the 21st century is a whole bag of 'what ifs' and a dwindling handful of what was once one of the most promising cars ever to be created in Britain.
Advert is reproduced below
rover sd1 3500 se v8 auto REDUCED £995ONO For Sale (1981)
rover 3500 se series 1.5 finished in arran with bayleaf interior . 11 months m.o.t & 5 months tax. loads recently done including full service & carbs tuned. The car starts first time ,runs great and would drive anywhere !This car is a genuine as you could get for the 30years old. Only selling to help fund resto of another sd1. A rare model thats a joy to drive in a very rare combo. Strictly NO more timewasters please.May p/x something of interest.