It wasn't until 18 years later that I acutally bought one, which is the one pictured below. I bought it from a guy in CA and had it shipped to me in June of 2000. Unfortunately, this car did not turn out to be the dream I had planned it to be. I drove it for a short time, and then had motor problems with shortly after I brought it home, due to rain getting in the carbs and freezing. I decided to upgrade it to a rotary engine and found one for sale in another state and ordered and paid for it and then the company went out of business. I spent the next year trying to track down the guy who took my money rather than working on the car, so in the end I sold it in a non-running state when I left to travel. It is one car I would like to buy again someday.
Probably the most distinctive thing about the car is the canopy roof. It's as cool as it looks in the photos. The one I had was powered, so it would go up and down at the touch of a button. One project I'd love to try someday is to transplant the canopy on to another car. The original Sterling design is from the 1970s, but is actually still sold today as a new car. The first design was built in a shed in Britan in the early 70s and was called the Nova. When the car was brought over to be sold in the US by California Componenet Cars, they had to rename it as Chevrolet had a model called the Nova, so they called it the Sterling. In other countries it was called other names as well as other variations of the design being given different names (Sebring, Sovran, Purvis, EagleGT, Cimbria, Neria). The design left the scene for a while, but was ressurected in the 1990s by a company called Solid Sterling who still designed it to be put on top of a VW chassis, but made a hard top and a targa top verion of the car. Then the owner then sold the molds and the company was renamed Sterling Sports Cars. The current owner is still producing bodies and parts, but with an emphasis on performance, something which has always been lacking from Sterlings in the past.
These cars are not very common to be able to find used. I think the total production numbers over the few decades that they've been around probably total just a few thousand worldwide. The ones that are around don't get driven much, so you're not very likely to see one on the road.
A guy who used to work for California Component Cars was nice enough to help me figure out the history of my particualr car once. It seems that my car had a lot of the same stylings that were used in the later model Sterlings and Sovrans, yet it was built before they were made. So it is possible that someone from California Component Cars saw this car at a show and liked the design enough to incorporate them in to newer versions.
When I bought my car in 2000, there were not any websites out there for the Sterling other than a few personal pages, so I built a reference site called sterlingcentral.com. After I sold my car, I didn't update the website anymore, so I posted an offer for any other sterling owner to take over an manage it. And that they have. A fellow Sterling enthusiast mainteind the site for a few years and then upgraded it all and made a new site at SterlingKitCars.com. It's now a great site with a lot of contributors and one of the most complete Sterling references on the internet. I have a small gallery of Sterling pictures on this site I have found over time, which is also linked below.