1988 Sterling 825 SL

The Sterling was one of the more bizarre automotive marriages in history: the British company Rover and none other than Honda of Japan.

On paper, it seemed like a great idea. The tasteful styling flair of British design with the efficiency and driver-oriented dynamics of Honda engineering. But perhaps the first sign of trouble was the name. Rover had so little success in North America that they decided to name this car the Sterling, so as to appear as an entirely new brand when it was in fact not.

Despite the international heritage, it wasn't enough of either, or perhaps too much of both. The exterior design was decidedly bland but passable, but the interior build quality was poor. Electrical problems arose. The body rusted (in typical British car fashion).

Since the engine was the same as in some Acuras, which were better looking and way better built, the Sterling was pointless. Sales plummeted, and even when some problems were rectified, it was too late. Besides, the late 80s Eurobox market was already flooded with vastly superior options.

All that said, they make dainty little second hand cars. Usually all the bugs have been worked out by now, the interior seats are super cozy and the Honda engine means reliability and cheap parts.

Available here on ebay.

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