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Standard built Rover SD1s in India.
Karl Bhote sends me more photographs from India:
This a very familiar car to UK drivers, where it was known as the Rover 3500 and was also later fitted with 2300 and 2600 engines. When production finished in the UK, the body tooling was transferred to Standard Motor Products in India, who produced the "Standard 2000" you see pictured below:
The David Bache designed body still looks good after all this time
The 1991cc engine was slant mounted
The production hall for the Standard 2000. It doesn't appear to have a moving production line, the cars are being moved about on "dollies"
It is unclear to me if Rover sold the rights to production to SMC or intended for replacement body panels to be produced as spares for the UK market. However, Standard went ahead and produced not only bodyshells, but completed cars. Presumably because the rights to the Buick based 3500 V8 were retained, this left Standard with no suitable engine to use. They dusted off the Standard 20 engine, based an old Vanguard 1991cc design and put that together with a locally produced gearbox into their modern shell, with a raised body height to cope with the Indian Roads.
If you think that had a very slim chance to be a success, you would be right, though you have to admire the plan and the inginuity The factory seem to have struggled to make them in any more than small numbers and production was disrupted by labour disputes, (something else that was imported!) Reviews of the car at the time , particularly the mechanicals, were less than complementary and it was too big and too expensive for the Indian market.
It appear that production stopped in 1987 and the company went into liquidation. This therefore was the last car to bear the Standard name, some 24 years AFTER the last UK produced car.
Here is another car that Karl has sent to me. Any of the thumbnails can be clicked on to show a larger version.