The Standard 2000 is one of India’s forgotten cars. Originally a Rover SD1, the car was built in India between 1985 and 1988 by Standard Motor Products of India Limited, an automaker based out of Chennai. However, the engine used by the Standard 2000 was not the Rover SD1’s original unit but a much older 2.0-litre unit, which while not powerful has proven to be quite reliable as the video below by Retro Classics India shows one roaring back into life after 13 years on the shelf. This particular Standard 2000 is owned by Devashish Jethwani.
The Standard 2000 was supposed to be very successful and the Indian Ministry of Industry claimed that it would help bring down the prices of black market cars imported into the country. Standard Motor Products of India Limited even had a production capacity of around 4,000 units, but those numbers were more of a dream rather than reality. The Standard 2000 was priced at Rs 2,12,000.
The engine that powered the Standard 2000 was a 1,991 cc inline four-cylinder engine that produced 83bhp at 4,250 rpm. The engine used was quite a lot older than the car itself and first appeared in the British Standard Vanguard in 1948. Apparently, Standard Motor Products of India Limited was unable to get the license for the SD1’s more modern engines and decided to continue using the old engine which it had first used on the Standard 20. The engine used twin-SU carburettors. The engine returned a mileage between 7.69 and 12.5 km/l and propelled the Standard 2000 to a top speed of 145 Km/h, which was a lot lower than the Rover SD1’s 212km/h top whack.
The Standard 2000 also ditched the Rover SD1’s 5-speed manual gearbox for a home built 4-speed unit, which was not the right choice for the vehicle if the reviews from that time are anything to go by, comments on which can be found on this team-bhp forum page. The car also got features like electric windows and optional air conditioning, which would be something that was a necessity for anyone who bought this Indianized British car.
What proved to be the death knell for the Standard 2000 and yes even the carmaker itself was the new fuel efficiency laws adopted by the government. The Government started investigating the company after issues over fuel efficiency figures attributed to the car and this, in the end, led to the carmaker shutting shop in 2006. The company continued to make standards for a while during the period of investigation and even supplied spare parts back to the UK.
However, despite all its faults and its age, the engine does seem to extremely reliable, despite whatever its detractors may say. It roars into life when started after nearly 13 years of silence. If you wish to keep your car in storage then here are a few pointers that you need to follow. First, put new engine oil into the motor. Second, disconnect the battery of the car. And third put fuel into the car, this will ensure that the fuel tank does not rust when kept in storage. Then clean up the car and put into storage.