• Aug 5, 2011
Is the Acura Legend a bit too "Asian" for your late-80's tastes? Perhaps you're attracted to its 2.7-liter V6, but not the packaging surrounding it. Your love for Fawlty Towers, Manchester United and Winston Churchill push you towards an automobile that lets everyone know you prefer the Union Jack to the Stars and Stripes. Well, we've found your next car, and you can Buy It Now for a mere pence under four grand.

A former unidentified automotive journalist has decided to part with his Sterling 827SLi (sadly, he's not an Autoblog scribe, or we'd have smacked him until he came to his senses). The rare five-door in question was a former member of Sterling's press fleet here in the States, and it's claimed to be the last one ever sold in the States. 150,000 miles or so later, it can be a proud part of your fleet.

In case you don't remember, Sterling was a U.S. automobile company produced by Austin Rover Cars North America, the U.S. arm of British carmaker Rover. Engines (and in truth, most of the car beneath the skin) was supplied through a partnership with Honda, with the 827SLi you see here benefited from the same mill stuck under the hood as the Acura Legend. Unlike the Legend, which was arguably a paragon of precision and reliability in its day, Sterling's reputation for build quality stood in opposition to its Japanese roots. Leave it to the British to make a Japanese car unreliable.

The Sterling legacy in America only lasted from 1987 to 1992, and most of the cars that were produced were the more conventional 825 sedan, not this comparatively rare 827SLi liftback. Toward the end of its run, Sterling products actually began to improve a bit, but it was too late in the minds of American car buyers. It's not too late for you though, so head over to eBay Motors to check out what is probably the finest example of this dying breed while it lasts.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Vergenbuurg
      • 3 Years Ago
      If I were a car collector, I'd actually consider it... unique piece of American-market automotive history...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Gubbins
      • 3 Years Ago
      The adaptation of the Rover cabin and amenities to the NA market was so slipshod that the hood release was still on the UK driver (U.S. passenger) side; the door mirrors were never re-oriented for a left-hand drive setup either and had an annoying cant to them that skewed the view rearward. Before Sterling finally died I recall they had a $5000.00 rebate on the car-- a huge amount in the early 90s.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      My first car was a used Sterling 827SLi. Beautiful car, very comfortable, and very smooth engine.But it had terrible reliability. The transmission broke quite a few times, it stalled on me several times, and after the steering wheel literally fell off the car, I got it repaired and then sold it with only 90,000 miles on the clock and bought myself a 9 year old E30 M3.
      John S
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just yesterday I was thinking that I haven't seen one of these, or a VW Fox wagon in at least 10 years. As for other 80's rarities, I saw a Renault Encore (moving!) about 8 mos ago, and there is a Merkur Scorpio near me that I still occasionally see.
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Junker right from the start. We had a dealership that sold these in the group of 11 stores I was parts and service director for. I remember the first one actually went up in flames right after the pre delivery inspection on a road test. That was day one, it went quickly downhill from there. By 1990 we'd had enough fun and let the franchise go. Our Honda, Acura, MB, franchises continued selling on and on and on
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      x23
      • 3 Years Ago
      according to the ebay link the price is : $3,999.00 the article has this (pathetically failing to be clever) line : "a mere pence under four grand." so a pence is worth one US dollar? is that really what you are going with? how does it feel to be a complete idiot?
      flychinook
      • 3 Years Ago
      "One Pence under four grand" would be 3,999.99. This is one pound (or quid) under four grand.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Nrthwstrn Cat
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's just a little strange to me that the back seats show FAR more wear than the front, and the front passenger seat looks worse than the driver's seat. What the heck was this car used for?
        pickles
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nrthwstrn Cat
        I'm betting dogs were back there for some time. Otherwise, maybe square dancing squirrels?
      1guyin10
      • 3 Years Ago
      I remember when those first came out. They sold reasonably well at first, but then people figured out that even though it was a Honda they had let some English fellows open the hood and touch things. The electronics would never be the same again! Ha!
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