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Old 16th May 2004, 17:56   #1
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Default The story of the Standard 2000. 1985-1988



The story behind the Rover's SD1's short-lived rebirth in India was down to a relaxation of the government's policy on carmaking. If the government's intention was to inject some life into the car market, it succeeded, because it encouraged the managing director of Standard Motor Products of India, C V Karthik Narayanan to approach Austin Rover in the UK about the possibility of producing one of its cars.

Even though Standard were an independent company, C V Karthik Narayanan was keen to do a deal with the British. Initial contact was made during 1981, but it was not until March 1984 that C V Karthik Narayanan and Mark Snowdon hammered out a deal, which involved supplying 12,000 sets of SD1 body panels. The intention was to use the 2.5-litre Standard diesel and 2-litre petrol engine. The production capacity of the Madras factory was 16 cars per day (roughly 4,000 cars per year), although this target was never reached during its all too short production run.

At the time of the Standard 2000's launch in April 1985, there were only eight million cars on India's roads - out of a total population of 800 million people. The new car was to enter a flourishing market, and although total sales were still relatively small, they were increasing at an enormous rate. The Standard 2000 was conceived to sit at the head of this market, and its price of 212,000 Rupees (c. 12,000) ensured its exclusivity.

Shortly after its introduction, the production of body panels was transferred to India, as there was no need for this facility to remain in the UK following the launch of the Rover 800 in July 1986. In fact by 1988, the factory started to export the panels back to the UK for UNIPART to sell in the replacement parts market.

Technically, the Standard 2000 differed in many ways from its European progenitor. Suspension was the same in its make-up, but ride height was raised by an inch at the front and rear. The engine was unique to the Standard 2000 - and was described by Narayanan, "as a cross between the Triumph TR4 and Rover 2000". This Standard engine first appeared in the Vanguard model of 1948 (and the UK version was also used in the TR4) and was used in the Standard 20 commercial vehicle range after that. Twin SU carburettors were used in the 2000 and the cylinder head was re-designed to resemble the Heron unit found in the P6. The four-speed gearbox was locally designed and replaced the excellent LT77 unit of the original.

Equipment levels were generous enough - electric windows were featured, but most importantly it came with the option of air conditioning... not a luxury in India.

Build quality of the Standard 2000 was reported to be more than acceptable, but the driving experience was not. In his amusing website, G Harindra Kumar summed it up succinctly: "I had the ?privilege? and ?pleasure? of driving one of these clankers; the gearbox in particular was screaming for help; the less said about the transmission the better - the sounds emanating from it was like a music score right out of a Wes Craven horror flick." A world removed from the European Rover 3500, then.



Kerb weight: 1335kg
Cylinders: 4, in-line
Engine Capacity: 1991cc
Bore x stroke: 83 x 92mm
Compression ratio: 8.0:1
Maximum Power: 83bhp at 4250rpm
gearbox: 4-speed, manual
Fuel capacity: 69 litres
Tyres/wheels: 175 SR14/5J
Top speed: 145 km/h (91 mph)
mph/1,000rpm in 4th: 21.9 km/h (14 mph)
Fuel consumption: 8-13 l/100km (22-35.7 mpg)



Original article sourced from Austin-Rover



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Old 16th May 2004, 18:10   #2
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loved this car!
we had a red one, my sis was bought home in one of these, was a real petrol guzzler, gave a mileage of only 6!
this happened when i was 4,
the rear hatch had a huge parcel tray, believe it or not i used to like the car so much that some times i would sleep on the parcel tray in the car at nights
with the watch man singing some nepali song
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Old 16th May 2004, 18:53   #3
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This car was slower than the Rover 2000 yet drank more than the Rover 3500. I had an uncle in the UK with one of the last Rover 3500 Vitesses which had a lotus tuned engine. Man - that car could fly. He did 140,000 miles in it then kept it on while using a Citroen XM and later a Lexus for usual business motoring. Sadly he died a couple of years ago, saw the car a couple of months after his death, it was beginning to rot. Hope they they it on to someone who would restore it.
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Old 16th May 2004, 19:42   #4
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Truly amazing article, V12.

This one really takes me down nostalgia lane, after all how many of us had not lusted after the Standard 2000 as kids? I used to love the shape which was a kind of revolutionary back then in India. That was until we went to testdrive it, and came back home disappointed. Standard should be crucified for killing this car with such a horrid engine...and an even worse gearbox.

Surprise of the topic though was the 83bhp power rating of the engine. Surely the first Indian production car to cross the 75bhp barrier?

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Old 16th May 2004, 20:02   #5
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The Standard was a good car if u dont count the engine and the gearbox. But then whats a car without an engine and a gearbox. Also the timing when the car was introduced was wrong. Ditto for the Rover Montego.

Anyways if anybodys interested in reading the History of the Standard 2000, check this site :
Standard 2000



SD1 Clay model poses alongside some rather exotic Italian machinery for comparative purposes. (Picture supplied by Ian Nicholls).



This David Bache sketch for the Rover SD1 shows a clear Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona influence. Note the side swage lines and indicator lenses: details which were followed through to the production model.


Those indicators in close-up. Pure Ferrari Daytona!
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Old 17th May 2004, 03:13   #6
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I've said this before and I'll say it again. This the most beautiful car to be made in India, very sleek with a beautifully sloping fastback. It's resemblance to the Ferrari 365GTB Daytona had me drooling for a long time. It's just very sad that it was given such a sick engine and gearbox. The electricals were of pretty poor quality too.
Standard....
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Old 17th May 2004, 10:19   #7
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this from www.austin-rover.co.uk ?
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Old 17th May 2004, 10:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (ajmat @ May 17 2004,08:49)]this from www.austin-rover.co.uk ?
Yep. You'll find the HM Ambassador there too.
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Old 17th May 2004, 11:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]this from www.austin-rover.co.uk ?
Yup. Its got more info on other Standard producrts in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Anyways if anybodys interested in reading the History of the Standard 2000, check this site :
Standard 2000
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Old 17th May 2004, 12:44   #10
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Great article V12. I remember way back when the 2000 was being made , there were towo cars to be lusted after. One was the 2000 and the other was the Contessa. The 2000 was pretty confortable and came with great equipment levels not to be seen on any other car at that time. The cause for the faliure of this car was by obvio the Vanguard engine. The car would have lived on had it got a better engine and a smoother 5 speed gearbox. Even the earlier Contessas were bad with the Amby engine but then it got one of the best engines around.. the 1.8 Isuzu with the Isuzi trans..

Thanks for the piece of nostalgia V12

Cheers
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Old 30th June 2004, 01:36   #11
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Standard 10 i used to see it in our farms rusted after it met with an accident. i never got into that too.

the first car i travelled was in standard companion(wen i was born 1978). it was green and has the sprrdo meter in miles. Those days people still tell the distance in miles.

i liked this article a lot. went out of the topic as it remainded me of the first car.
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Old 30th June 2004, 10:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Dippy @ May 17 2004,11:14)]The cause for the faliure of this car was by obvio the Vanguard engine. The car would have lived on had it got a better engine and a smoother 5 speed gearbox. Even the earlier Contessas were bad with the Amby engine but then it got one of the best engines around.. the 1.8 Isuzu with the Isuzi trans..
imagine if HM also sold the engine to Standard, theywould have cleaned up the market together.
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Old 30th June 2004, 11:54   #13
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yup those were the good ol days.. and in a state like kerala this was the indian car that really turned heads even in 90's lol.. my friend was gifted one by his dad.. used to get the car out fill the tank up if i remember it used to take some 70 liters :P ride aaround town and by the time get back to home fuel guage has touched E mark lmfao..

the mileage was initially 5 then down to 4, went in for a re paint in 98 and funny thing the mileage went down to 2 kpl.. thank god it had a reserve light like the mercs ... those twin bottle carbs and the amazing standard vanguard engine had to go.. plonked in the isuzu 1.8 lit engine n gearbox n presto it became an esteem competor with 11 kpl.. had some few months of investigation also done for quircky engine overheating and finally found the problem as faulty plumbing..

the car is still lovingly taken care and used by my friend in Kerala..

cost of tail light glass some 4k, that ferrari side indiacator glass 2k :P he got an original rover emblem to replace the standard emblem 4k..

amazing car with space, comfort but with terrible electricals and very finicky also, u r ruined if a local road side electritian touches it..

dash had some 20 odd warning lights which were not connected in indian model and me n my friend took 2 weeks hooking up all of them, it still is a spectacle to watch at night, dash glowing once any pedal or gizmo is switched on.. yup those were the days
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Old 3rd March 2008, 21:56   #14
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Default Standard 2000...

How many of these were made? Any chance of getting one in good condition? I really liked the looks of these cars and fancied one with a V8 like the Rover version.

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Old 3rd March 2008, 22:01   #15
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Karunakaran may have his one at his home. I doubt if anyone will have this one these days and if any remember.
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