Available now is this beautiful 1970 Rover 3500. These Rovers are rare cars that you won't see at your local car shows too often. Being 1 of 285 imported into the U.S., it is unlikely you will see another one in your town anytime soon. This particular example is dressed in an dark green with a two tone green/black interior. This vehicle had undergone a restoration in the past but is still in great overall condition. The Rover is powered by a 3.5L V8 engine mated to an automatic .....
Rover cars enjoyed an illustrious history in their home market, but the story was somewhat different here in North America. These cars from Solihull, Warwickshire, were never inexpensive and didn't have mass-market appeal, so those selective few who sought them out appreciated their quality and quietly innovative designs.
Rover's flagship was the executive saloon of the early 1970s, the ""Three Thousand Five"" (as the Brits called it). Offered here from 1968 through 1971, it combined the advanced P6 platform with the famous ex-Buick V-8 engine. While U.K.-market 3500 S cars were fitted with a four-speed manual gearbox, U.S.-market 3500 S's featured Borg-Warner Type 35 three-speed automatics. Sending power through that transmission was the GM-designed, Rover-refined, five main-bearing, 90-degree, 3,528cc (215-cubic-inch) V-8 engine. Noted for its light weight (aluminum alloy cylinder block with inserted iron liners, aluminum alloy cylinder heads and intake manifold), this engine's 88.9 x 71.1mm bore and stroke, 10.5:1 compression ratio and twin SU HIF 6 semi-downdraft carburetors allowed it to make 146hp at 5,000 RPM and 197.5-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,600 RPM, figures impressive enough to move the 3,184-pound, four-seat sedan smartly.
Driving a rarity is one aspect of being an American Rover car enthusiast, but just because these cars are little-seen, doesn't mean that you're on your own or that you have to travel across the pond to find a vibrant enthusiast community.
The rights to build the Buick V8 were bought from Buick, which had abandoned it after 1963 in favor of a cheaper and less problematic cast iron evolution of its design. It took some changes to adapt the aluminum block to Rover's production methods and needs, such as sand-casting the block instead of GM's die-cast method. With twin S.U. carburetors, the Rover 3500 engine was rated at 184 gross/146 net hp; a substantial jump over the four, and much more amenable to being teamed with an automatic transmission (Borg-Warner 35), which all 3500s had, until 1971, when the European-spec 3500S became available with a four-speed stick. All US-bound 3500 cars, even though they had the ""S"" in their designation, came only with the automatic. Performance was lively for the times, with a 114 mph top speed and a 0-60 time of about 10.5 seconds.
The 3500S sold very poorly in the US, and was discontinued after just three years, in 1971. It was a combination of factors, including Rover's damaged reputation from the 2000, sketchy service and parts, and the P6 was hardly fresh-looking anymore by then. For about the same price as the 3500S ($5398), one could buy a much more modern-looking BMW 2500 with its silky and powerful six. Rover looked to be in precarious shape in the US, and tried one more comeback with the SD1 3500, but that turned out badly in the US too.