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Corgi 1:43 1986 Rover SD1 Vitesse: Grampian Police Force

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Corgi 1:43 1986 Rover SD1 Vitesse: Grampian Police Force

Corgi 1:43 1986 Rover SD1 Vitesse: Grampian Police Force

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 (BL), under the Rover marque. It was produced through its Specialist, Rover Triumph and Austin Rover divisions from 1976 until 1986, when it was replaced by the Rover 800. The SD1 was marketed under various names. In 1977 it won the European Car of the Year title.

In "SD1", the "SD" refers to "Specialist Division" and "1" is the first car to come from the in-house design team.

The SD1 can be considered as the last British Rover, being the final Rover-badged vehicle to be produced at Solihull, as well as being the last to be designed largely by ex-Rover Company engineers. Future Rovers would be built at the former British Motor Corporation factories at Longbridge and Cowley; and were to rely largely on Honda and BMW engineering.

In 1971, Rover, at that time a part of the British Leyland (BL) group, began developing a new car to replace both the Rover P6 and the Triumph 2000/2500. The designers of both Triumph and Rover submitted plans for the new car, of which the latter was chosen. David Bache was to head the design team, inspired by exotic machinery such as the Ferrari Daytona and the late 1960s design study by Pininfarina for the BMC 1800, which also guided the design of the Citroën CX. Spen King was responsible for the engineering. The two had previously collaborated on the Range Rover. The project was first code-named RT1 (for Rover Triumph Number 1) but then soon changed to SD1 (for Specialist Division Number 1) as Rover and Triumph were put in the new "Specialist Division" of British Leyland.

The new car was designed with simplicity of manufacture in mind in contrast to the P6, the design of which was rather complicated in areas such as the De Dion-type rear suspension. The SD1 used a well-known live rear axle instead. This different approach was chosen because surveys showed that although the automotive press was impressed by sophisticated and revolutionary designs the general buying public was not unless the results were good. However, with the live rear axle came another retrograde step – the car was fitted with drum brakes at the rear.

Rover's plans to use its then fairly new 2.2 L four-cylinder engine were soon abandoned as BL management ruled that substantially redesigned versions of Triumph's six-cylinder engine were to power the car instead. The Rover V8 engine was fitted in the engine bay. The three-speed automatic gearbox was the BorgWarner 65 model.

The dashboard of the SD1 features an air vent, unusually, directly facing the passenger. The display binnacle sits on top of the dashboard in front of the driver to aid production in left-hand drive markets, since it avoided the expense of producing two different dashboard mouldings for LHD and RHD versions. The air vent doubles as a passage for the steering-wheel column, and the "podular" display binnacle can be easily fitted on top of the dashboard on either the left or right-hand side of the car. This concept was not entirely new; it had also been used on the Range Rover and was used again on the Mk.1 Austin Metro, both of which were also designed by David Bache.

An estate body had been envisaged, but it did not get beyond the prototype stage. Two similarly specified estates have survived, and are exhibited at the Heritage Motor Centre and the Haynes International Motor Museum respectively. One was used by BL chairman Sir Michael Edwardes as personal transport in the late 1970s. The two cars as befit prototypes differ in the detail of and around the tailgate. One car has a recessed tailgate, while the other has a clamshell arrangement, where the whole tailgate is visible when closed.

The SD1 was intended to be produced in a state-of-the-art extension to Rover's historic Solihull factory alongside the TR7. It was largely funded by the British government, who had bailed BL out from bankruptcy in 1975. Unfortunately, this did nothing to improve the patchy build quality that then plagued all of British Leyland. That, along with quick-wearing interior materials and poor detailing ensured that initial enthusiasm soon turned to disappointment.

This car was launched on its home market in June 1976[5] in hatchback/fastback form only, as the V8-engined Rover 3500: SOHC 2.3 L and 2.6 L sixes followed in November 1977, when the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000 were finally discontinued. Although there was no four-cylinder version of the SD1 at this point, British Leyland produced 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 versions of the smaller Princess in order to compete with the entry-level versions of the Ford Granada, as well as more expensive versions of the Ford Cortina.

The car was warmly received by the press and even received the European Car of the Year award for 1977. Its launch on the European mainland coincided with its appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1977, some three months after the Car of the Year announcement. Dealers had no left-hand drive cars for sale, however, since production had been blocked by a tool makers' strike affecting several British Leyland plants and a "bodyshell dispute" at the company's Castle Bromwich plant. Closer to home, the car and its design team received The Midlander of the Year Award for 1976, because they had between them done most in the year to increase the prestige of the (English) Midlands region.

Grampian Police was, between 1975 and 2013 (replaced by Police Scotland), the territorial police force of the northeast region of Scotland, covering the council areas of Aberdeenshire, the City of Aberdeen, and Moray (the former Grampian region). The Force area also covered some of the North Sea, giving Grampian Police the responsibility of policing the oil and gas platforms of the North East. The force was headquartered on Queen Street in Aberdeen.

The Police Authority had six representatives from Aberdeen City, six from Aberdeenshire, and four from Moray.

Grampian Police was formed on 16 May 1975, when Grampian Region was created, a merger of the previously formed Scottish North Eastern Counties Constabulary and the Aberdeen City Police. The North Eastern force had been formed on 16 May 1949, by the merger of Aberdeenshire Constabulary, Banffshire Constabulary, Kincardineshire Constabulary, and Moray and Nairn Constabulary.

The force produced a quarterly magazine called The Informer for its staff, and, in 2009, launched a YouTube channel.

An Act of the Scottish Parliament, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, created a single Police Service of Scotland - known as Police Scotland - with effect from 1 April 2013. This merged the eight regional police forces in Scotland (including Grampian Police), together with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, into a single service covering the whole of Scotland. Police Scotland has its headquarters at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan in Fife.

Grampian Police covered the local authority areas of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray. In addition to this, Grampian have a lead role in incidents on offshore installations in Scottish areas of the North Sea, irrespective of which police area the installation is situated. This arrangement exists due to Grampian's extensive experience in dealing with the offshore industry.

The railway stations and lines in the area are the responsibility of the British Transport Police, and a number of Ministry of Defence installations in the region are policed by the Ministry of Defence Police. However, as with all territorial police forces, the chief officer of Grampian Police is ultimately responsible in statute for all law and order in Grampian police area, irrespective as to whether a special police force is present.

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