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Rare Sterling 827 SLi Hatch is a Tempting Anglo-Japanese Grab Bag of Win, Horror

Hooniverse February 25, 2010 Terrible Ideas

Buying me is a Sterling idea!

Let’s say you want a mid-size, V6-powered 5-door hatchback with a manual transmission, but first-gen Mazda 6 prices have got you down because your budget constraints are lower. Like, picking through other peoples trash for recyclable items flipping ground beef patties lower. What’s a hoon to do? Move to Europe – where 5-doors and wagons handily outnumber trunkback sedans – and start a new life? No! You point your browser over to eBay, where you’ll find this refrigerator Oxford white 1989 Sterling 827 SLi hatchback.

Developed in parallel and sharing many parts with the O.G. Acura Legend, since Honda was in bed with the Austin Rover Group (Yes, the acronym really was “ARG.”) from the early ‘80s to the early ‘90s, the Sterling (The Rover name was no longer used over here due to the infamy garnered by the Sterling’s predecessor, the SD1.) was available in sedan or 5-door form, with the later 2.7L Acura V6-powered 827s like this supposedly being free of many of the bugaboos that beset earlier 825s. This Arizona-based example does look squeaky clean aside from some tired front seats, though the aftermarket alloys do look rather cheesy, despite the fact that the center caps appear to read “FTW.” But is all that tidiness – plus the whole V6 5-door 5-speed thing – enough to make you want to take your chances with the Prince of Darkness, even if his influence has been diluted somewhat by the Power of Dreams? As of this writing it’s priced at $1,225 with its reserve unmet. All I can say is, if you win the auction, don’t tell your spouse you found out about it here, m’kay?

eBay Motors

Currently there are "19 comments" on this Article:

  1. Maymar says:

    I think the only thing that'd turn me away from this is its older RWD V8 brother. Still, it is gorgeous, and I'm sort of glad that it's out of LeMons territory now, although that also puts it well out of my price range.

  2. LTDScott says:

    If you ever find a Sterling in the junkyard with intact front corner lights, grab em. The lenses are missing on nearly all of these.

  3. dculberson says:

    OOoooh, I love the interior. It's so British. It reminds me a lot of my first Range Rover, an '88. But there's no way in hell I'm falling for that again.

    (But it looks so nice!)

    (Remember how Brit leather smells? Mmmmm)

    NO!!

  4. The thing that I always found amusing about Sterlings was that the Brits managed to make a Honda unreliable. I never quite understood them. They didn't seem all that luxurious to me, and certainly no better than the Acuras that they were more or less based on.

  5. Alff says:

    This is a good idea, particularly since it is the later model with the larger engine and many of the build quality issues that plagued the earlier ones sorted out. Unfortunately for Rover, it was too little, too late.

  6. P161911 says:

    It does manage to look a lot like the SD1 though.

  7. Thrashy says:

    So it's essentially a first-gen Legend that hasn't been beat with an ugly stick? Sign me up, and then let's head out to the U-Pull-It in search of a C32A to drop in. What could possibly go wrong!?

  8. KAdams1476 says:

    I’m amazed to see one of these still driveable, let alone as clean as this one is. It’s a shame that Rover couldn’t get there act together, I always thought this was a semi-attractive car. I don’t think I’ve seen one in at least a decade.

  9. You want a euro 5 door hatch with a V6 and a stick? May I suggest an NG900 Saab?
    (protip – the motor in that also found its way into the Catera and Saturn Vue)

    • That's more of a warning than a tip, at least in its longitudinal Catera form (not sure about the others) courtesy of the timing belt tensioner bearings going south in enough of 'em that they were all recalled.

      • On a Saab engine idler pulleys are a wear item……but the catastrophic failure seems to be a Catera only issue. The Saab 900 version was a 2.5L and the Caddy/Saturn a 3L.

        Transverse in the Saturns, was in the L-series too.

  10. lowmiles says:

    As far as Anglo-Japanese machines go, I'd still prefer this over a Triumph Acclaim. Or, if we go continental, an Alfa Romeo Arna. Yes, what will help people forget about the ongoing Beta rust issues is a Nissan with a spotty reputation for Waxoyl application!

    There are a few of these later model Sterlings around Seattle. I always feel like saluting when I see one.

  11. TurboBrick says:

    Japanese car redesigned and built by the British. That sounds just like the Honda for someone like me who prefers to complicate their life on purpose.

  12. I love the styling. Were I of better monetary means I would ignore the warnings of British fone-it-in quality and go for it…. which, paradoxically, might explain why I am not of such means in the first place. Damn you British quality!

  13. tsunami says:

    wow, wish i saw this post before i ended up buying this exact car!! winning bid was $2900 which i think is nothing for a car in this fantastic condition. i will probably continue on the path of insanity as the previous owner, continuing to dump money into it when more good can probably come by sending that same money on the United Way. the power steering fluid is leaking quite enthusiastically and it just failed california smog, but those are mere barking chihuahua-esque annoyances compared to the epic english awesomeness that is the sterling :)

  14. rick says:

    I owned a 1989 manual shift put 165K miles flawless during the entire 5 years I woned, would I buy another? YES!

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  16. […] Let’s say you want a mid-size, V6-powered 5-door hatchback with a manual transmission, but first-gen Mazda 6 prices have got you down … More […]

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