1984 Rover 3500 Vitesse
Few Rover SD1 racers have seen as little action as the car offered by Jarrah Venables on behalf of a customer. A 1984 TWR Vitesse, chassis 011, it made its debut at that year’s Bathurst 1000 and then raced only twice more – both times Down Under early the following year – during its period career.
The car was raced by both Steve Soper and TWR boss Tom Walkinshaw during its short career. Soper drove at Bathurst together with Ron Dickson, while Walkinshaw teamed up with the local ace at the Wellington street race and then the Pukekohe 500 in New Zealand. They finished down the order at Bathurst, though Soper did set fastest lap for a Group A car, and then the car took second from pole position at Pukekohe.
The car was subsequently sold to Portugal where it competed in local events, although it remains a highly original car. The car has been returned to the Mobil livery in which it raced at the end of 1984 and early in ’85, but the interior evokes memories of a bygone age.
“The owner was keen to keep the interior as it was because it was so original — it’s still got TWR stickers on the dash,” says Venables. “This car has the correct livery on the outside and the correct feel on the inside.”
The Rover, which is priced at £170,000, has been raced in historic events sporadically by its previous and current owners and is ready to go with current HTP papers, an in-date fuel cell and a rebuilt engine.
Jarrah Venables, Chichester, West Sussex.
Tel:07814 185549, jarrahvenables.com
Letters from Readers, October 1952
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