Nicest One Left? 1988 Sterling 825SL – SOLD!
June 18, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this Sterling “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Every era of automobiles has cars that are loved or hated by consumers and enthusiasts alike, with some of the angst justified while others are unfairly tarnished for operator errors (pour one out for the Audi 5000). The Sterling 825SL is one such example, except it was much-maligned with good reason. This example originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey is likely one of the very few left that has been with its original owner since new, and it’s offered with 94,000 miles and an asking price of $5,000. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has priced his example at the top of the market, with “High Retail” pegged at $4,750.
The Sterling brand was one of the stranger automotive partnerships born out of the 1980s, a collaboration that didn’t make much sense then and even less so now. Acura, a brand known for building high-quality luxury vehicles with Honda DNA, decided to partner with Austin-Rover Group, an organization known for epitomizing everything terrible about British vehicles. In a nutshell, Rover set out to build the Legend sedan with a personality that was slightly less vanilla than the Acura-built offering, but whatever good the British DNA did to make the 825 more memorable, it was quickly undone by the litany of quality control issues, mostly electrical in nature but running the gamut from broken switches to random pieces of trim taking flight. The Sterling brand would fizzle out quickly in the U.S., while the Legend nameplate under the Acura flag would continue to earn plaudits left and right.
What’s shocking is not only that this Sterling is for sale by the original owner, but that it seems to be largely problem-free, at least based on the description. The seller claims it has some cosmetic blemishes but otherwise runs great and has been garaged since new. In one sense, it’s not surprising considering the V6 is lifted straight from the Legend’s engine bay. More eye-popping is the fact that the seller doesn’t seem to relay any of the electrical zaniness that led to road test editors refusing to take the 825 on journeys crossing state lines, and that’s when it was new. More than actually buying the car, I’d love to talk to the owner to see if he experienced the myriad issues most industry experts at the time claimed ran rampant in this British-built Acura. Good luck with the purchase if you decide to roll the dice on this obsolete luxury sedan.
Here’s the seller’s description:
1988 Sterling 825 SL
Garage kept its entire life.
Has only 94,000 miles on it.
Has a few blemishes (see the photos).
If you have questions, please call Mark.
Do you have a Sterling 825 story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!