The P4 was the first Rover with a so called “Ponton” bodyshell. He was offered from autumn 1949 as The 75 model with the straight six engine
The alloy cylinder head was new, with a twin carburettor fuel system, because of the rationalisation of steel those days, major body parts were made of alloy. Early models had an additional headlamp, integrated into the front grille, which nicknamed the 75 as “The Cyclops”.
The “Auntie” was born and despite current improvements all over the years until ceasing production in May 1964, the P4 couldn’t get rid of the fussing image; 144 283 vehicles had been built under different designations as there were 60, 75, 80, 90, 95. 100, 105R, 105S and 110.
The later four cylinder models were not as popular as the 6 cylinder, that is still the same among the Oldtimer community, where the straight six fascinates with its very smooth running.
Improvements during the years concerned cooling, bigger rear screen, bigger trunk; front brake discs, and brake servo improved safety remarkably. The formerly much liked coasting became replaced by an alternative automatic gearbox.
Major improvements were made September 1962 gas flowing expert Harry Weslake created a new cylinderhead for the smooth but old straight six, from which the Landrover as well as the P4 110 made great profits
The Rover P5
It was David Bache who was commissioned by Maurice Wilks being responsible for the P5 project, not only this vehicles, but also following models caused some sensations.
The engineers could squeeze some 2995cc out of the engine block, gave it 7 main bearings, front suspension and the gearbox were mounted with rubber bearings and therefore very smooth when running. The front drums were changed to Girling discs later.
A coupé already designed 1955 by Bache, came on the market 7 years later, 1962 - but unique was the fact that the ' had 4 doors instead of 2. Just the roof was lowered. The brawny appearance of the P5 led to a further nickname - The Elephant.
1967 Rover improved the Elephant’s performance installing the shortly purchased 3,5 V8 alloy Buick engine, who’s performance fitted exactly to the character of the P5. Relaxed cruising - embedded in in much wood and leather, which acknowledged the car’s reputation from the Wilks era, to being a “poor man’s Rolls Royce”.
Even the Queen liked the Rover P5, she even kept the last model - the P5B years after it was withdrawn from the market by 1973, which qualifies the term “poor man’s Rolls Royce”.
Der Rover P6
Next to the classic limousines, during the 60ties, the engineers were busy developing a complete new model, the Rover P6. With the Rover 2000 the company built an almost revolutionary vehicle which sold itself sensationally good, from begin on.
The P6 series awarded itself with an advanced technology like the rear De Dion axle and the horizontally positioned coil springs at the front suspension, moved by knee joints, not to forget the steel skeleton of the chassis. In total all these features made the P6 a very comfortable car to drive, even with nowadays standard.
Here some more Informations about the technique:
After an automatic version of the 2000 followed the TC (Twin Carburettor), later on the capacity was increased up to 2200, again with twin carburettors available. But because of the heaviness of the P6, the engine’s performance couldn’t really cope with it’s rival Triumph 2,5 Pi, therefore the V8 was planted into the engine bay, distinguishable by the chessboard patterned front grille and big air intake below.
First only offered with an auto-gearbox, but from 1971 onwards a 4 speed gearbox with overdrive.
After 13 years and more than 327 000 P6, this forward looking model was cancelled by 1976, followed by many other remarkable models from MG to Triumph.
Since the later 60ties the influence of British Leyland grew more and more, lastly Rover was completely swallowed by the now newly established BLMC - Group.
With this step the Rover Brand - the Viking Ship - shrunk 1968 to a row boat!