2022 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1966 Rover P5 Saloon
|Body Work||Four-door saloon|
This lot is no longer available
Rover's P4 replacement, badged the 3-litre, was first introduced in 1958 and featured modern, attractive styling by David Bache. The P5 set new standards of comfort and refinement for the Rover marque, with an in-line six-cylinder engine, the twin options of automatic transmission and Burman power steering, an independent front end and Girling front disc brakes on all but the earliest examples. With an interior whose quality was only surpassed by cars costing far more, the Rover's ‘Drawing Room on Wheels’ analogy was well deserved. Favoured by Government ministers and Royalty alike, Queen Elizabeth II is said to have enjoyed driving her P5. In 1962 Rover further extended the model's appeal by adding a so-called Coupé version - in reality a four-door sedan with a lowered roofline, a style back in vogue with several German luxury car makers. These Mark II models ran from 1962 until 1965 and boasted not only improved suspension but more power, up from 115 to 129 bhp. Further refinements to the revised Mark III model, unveiled at the 1965 London Motor Show, saw another useful hike in power output but what really extended the P5s life was Rover's decision to purchase the rights to build Buick's small-block alloy V8 motor. Dubbed the 3.5-litre, or P5B in Rover's coding sequence and launched in September 1967, the final iteration of the classic Rover was faster, more luxurious and better looking, with the addition of fog lights and Rostyle wheels. Borg-Warner's smooth Type 35 automatic transmission and hydrosteer variable-ratio power steering were now standard features and the V8 produced 160 horsepower, delivering effortless performance. The model remained in production until 1973, with only just over 9000 P5Bs made and few of these remain on the road today. Forever associated with senior Government officials, ministers and even Prime Ministers (Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher were all chauffeured around Westminster in Rovers), the 3.5-litre is an overlooked and much underrated classic.