For $2,200, This 1991 Sterling 827SLi Could Become A Legend

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Paul Revere is famous for alerting the colonial militia of the impending British invasion, and, when not being tattletale, for being a silversmith. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Sterling represents another British attempt to gain a foothold on American soil, and is named after Britain's currency. Will its price however, require too much of your silver?

Why do you suppose it is that we Americans profess such a love for British cars and trucks? Perhaps we all inherent Anglophiles - and no weirdo, that doesn't mean we perv on English kids. The odd thing is, while British cars often exhibit the quirks and qualities that make their original immediately identifiable, they have also proven over time to be some of the least durable products ever offered to the car-buying public. And yet, we still jones on them. Those that are left that is.


One that is quite remarkably left is today's 1991 Sterling 827 SLi. I say quite remarkable because these cars - which were the result of a wonder-twinning of Great Britain's Rover and Japan's Honda - have earned the reputation here in the States for devolving into their elemental states even as they were being shipped over for sale. It's as though the Brits had discovered a free-form mechanism for breaking down the covalent bonds in the materials out of which the 800-series was built, and then couldn't figure out how to make it stop.

This one - from Rover's final year here in the States - is in amazingly complete and decent-looking shape. That's notable as these cars gained a reputation for falling apart simply by looking at them. They also had issues with grey leather interiors turning green, and enough electrical gremlins in all of them that you might not want to get them wet or gas-up them after midnight.

This 109,000-miler on the other hand has what looks to be excellent paint and trim, and no apparent rust. On the downside - perhaps - are a set of aftermarket wheels that you may not find to be an improvement over the factory alloys.


The interior is likewise very tidy, with the only obvious issue being a glovebox door that looks like it's letting loose a beer burp. Well, there are some odd phillips head screws in the IP that weren't there when the car left the factory, but hey, at least the seats aren't a shade of chapped Leprechaun ass!


Mechanically, the later 827s shared Honda's 2.7-litre C27A V6. That engine, in both the British car and its Asian cousin pumped out 161-bhp. Here that's backed up by the ubiquitous automatic, befitting the car's luxury aspirations.

In fact, the SLi was the top of the range model, and with all the leather and wood and full instrumentation, it was a far nicer place to sit beside the road waiting for the tow truck than the contemporary and platform-sharing Acura Legend.


One bit of monkey business that's not all that luxurious, but at the time of this car's build was a way of meeting U.S. regulations, is the mouse belt shoulder sashes that run up and down the door jam every time you open or close the front doors. At least you don't have to live with the fear of Lucas electrics standing guard over having an airbag go off - or not - in the case of an accident.


The ad for this Sterling (may I call you Sterl?) says it's only seen two owners, and that it's had a new timing belt and water pump installed recently enough to make a point of it. In addition to that, it makes the claim that the car runs and drives great.


When both Honda and Rover were selling cars here, the Acura Legend enjoyed a high ranking in quality assessments, as you might expect. Sterling - ostensibly similar in so many aspects - sat in the back of that class, and never had its homework done. Despite knowing that history, I'd much rather roll the dice with this 827 than I would an old Legend.

Should you feel similar it's now time to think about the price, as well as for you to get your vote on. The seller is asking $2,200 for this Sterling - or about 1,428 in Pound Sterling. What's your take on this rare example of a minor British invasion and its $2,200 price? Does that price get from you a Bob's your uncle, or does it elicit a bloody hell?


You decide!


Portland OR Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to both picoFarad AND Jeff for the hookup!

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