Sterling Parts

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A Sterling Reputation

In the late 1980s, the British carmaker Rover teamed up with Honda with to build cars that combined dependable Japanese engineering and classic British refinement.  The resulting car was the Rover 800, which shared its platform and engine with the Acura Legend.  The car was sold in the United States under a new make, Sterling. 

Rover left the US in 1981 after its failure with the 3500.  Although the 3500 received positive reviews and was cheaper than its competitors from BMW and Mercedes, it couldn’t find buyers in the US.  Imports were expensive and the Rover’s V8 proved unpopular in a time period inclined toward fuel efficiency.  In 1980, Rover only sold 480 3500s in the US in 1980 and only reached 774 sales here in 1981. 

Rover was looking to reenter the US market and felt that the shared Japanese design would prove attractive to US buyers.  They were less confident that the Rover name would draw buyers after the failure of the 3500.  So Rover teamed up with an independent car dealer named Norman Braman (who also owned the Philadelphia Eagles at the time) to distribute the Rover 800 as a Sterling 825 through a chain of Austin Rover of North America (ARCONA) dealerships.  The Sterling name was specifically chosen to call elegance and dependability to mind. 


The 825 shared its chassis, suspension, and 2.5-liter V6 engine with the Acura Legend, but the body and interior were built by Rover in England.  It featured such accoutrements as walnut trim, Conolly leather, and electric seats.  At first, buyers were enthused about this new luxury car, and ARCONA sold about 14,000 825s in 1987. 

Unfortunately, buyers and reviewers started to very quickly find faults with the 825.  Trim pieces tend to fall off, the leather seats would change color, and electric parts like the dashboard gauges would work sporadically or fail completely.  Notably the electrical components had been designed by the British company Lucas, which already had such a bad reputation that some mechanics joked the name was an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices.  The Sterling quickly dropped to the bottom of the JD powers quality survey, while its platform mate the Acura Legend rose to the top.  With poor word-of-mouth, sales dropped below 9,000 in 1988. 

Rover tried to solve these problems for 1989 when it introduced the Sterling 827.  The 827 used a completely different gauge cluster.  The engine was also improved.  Some felt that the 2.5-liter Honda had too “peaky” of a power curve for luxury cruising.  So, Rover put the slightly larger and smoother 2.7-liter Honda V6 in the 827.  The 827 was also available as a five-door wagon. 

Unfortunately, all this was too little too late, and Sterling sales continued to drop, sinking below 6,000 in 1989.  In 1991, Rover withdrew from the US with the promise to continue selling Sterling parts.  When Sterling parts ran dry, the handful of remaining owners realized that engine and suspension parts were interchangeable with Acura parts.  That (and aftermarket parts) helped Sterling drivers keep their cars on the road.

Need Sterling Car Parts?

At 1A Auto, it is our mission to supply you with the right parts you need to keep your Sterling car working in tip top shape, at a great discount. Simply put, if you are in need of a replacement part for your Sterling car you've come to the right place. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket Sterling auto parts, such as oil pressure switches, brake rotors, timing belts and more.

Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best auto parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your car, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own vehicles, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement Sterling part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement Sterling part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket Sterling parts are also extremely durable and reliable. Don't overpay for Sterling auto parts and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.

You can shop for all of your Sterling car parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new, aftermarket Sterling car parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your Sterling car back in working order again. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock Sterling auto parts ship from our warehouse within one business day so that you can get back on the road in no time, and all ground shipping in the continental U.S. is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your Sterling auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!

Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket, original equipment (OE) replacement Sterling auto parts and get your car the parts it needs today!

Sterling is a registered trademark of Rover Group Limited. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by Sterling or Rover Group Limited. See all trademarks.

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