Home Cars Rover Vitesse modifications Julian Rogers Home

I’ve owned this car close to fifteen years. It’s a Twin Plenum model of which a limited number were supposedly made as homolgation specials. They have twin throttle bodies and modified inlet trumpets on the inlet manifolds. The heads are on mine have twin valve springs. Otherwise, they seem to be as ordinary Vitesses. I’m not sure whether the fuel injection computer is standard. They were rated at 190hp as was the standard Vitesse, so the go-faster parts were probably there just to facilitate further tuning.

It is quite speedy and is a very comfortable car but is cramped in the back for what is quite a big vehicle (it only just fits in my garage which can make getting it up on ramps tricky!)

The story I was told by the previous owner (who was a bigwig in the P6 club) was that in 1985 BL took two Vitesses off the production line, painted them white including the bumpers and rear spoiler and fitted side skirts. The Vitesse Mk2 rubbing strips on the doors were not fitted but the Mk1 transfers were added. They were then used on the Beaujolais Run before being sold on. The other car does not survive, I was told.

I now know, thanks to the SD1 Club that this car is one of 55 Lotus converted from production-line single plenums to twin plenums. This was done in Norfolk, the cars being trucked back to Cowley, this one on 01/08/1985.  The remainder of the 500 TPs produced were made on the line at Cowley later in 1985 and into 1986. The provision of dual valve springs was not a Lotus modification.

I have made a few (removable) mods including:

   stainless steel tubular manifolds and exhaust

   Davies-Craig electric water pump

   Megajolt ignition

Details follow next…

Useful link:

   The Rover SD1 club

Rover SD1 Vitesse

“Twin Plenum”

Rover SD1 “Twin Plenum” at Skinner’s Bottom, Cornwall (there really is such a place!)