Lot 209 - 1970 Rover P5B Coupé
|Odometer reading||31,811 miles|
|Result||Sold - £14,280|
- Professionally converted to two door coupé
- Lovely looking example
In 1965, Rover's Managing Director, William Martin-Hurst, secured the tooling and production rights to the '215' V8 engine from Buick. Rover redeveloped the engine and launched it at the end of 1967 which, along with some other modifications, transformed their already highly regarded and successful P5 flagship into the P5B. The new aluminium V8 was significantly lighter and considerably more powerful than its predecessor, delivering 160bhp and a massive leap in torque to 210lb per ft at 2600rpm, vastly improving pace, comfort, balance, handling, economy and reliability. Rover's only gearbox capable of handling such power was the Borg Warner Type-35 automatic. Rover now possessed a formidable sporting saloon to take on the finest from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. Solihull production soon doubled to keep up with orders; however the creation of British Leyland in 1968 had the long term effect of thwarting Rover’s impressive growth and image-building. A strategic decision was taken to market Jaguar, now sitting alongside Rover in the British Leyland stable, to the luxury audience. The impressive V8 engine flourished for decades afterwards within the Rover, Land Rover and Range Rover stable, as well as other marques such as TVR, Morgan and MG.
This example has an interesting story! The car began life as a white coupé with Saddle Tan interior and four doors, as standard, but was found in very poor condition back in 1992 in a back garden near the Forest of Dean. It was about this time that the then owner spoke to Richard Spratley of R J Spratley in the West Midlands who specialised in restoring Rovers. It was his idea and dream to convert the car into a two door version in time for the Top Gear Classic and Sportscar Show at the NEC in May 1994 (there is a trophy in the history file for this event). A full photographic account of this remarkable transformation from four door to two door can be seen within the cars history file, accompanying this is the full story of how the car was found and the story behind the work carried out including all the technical details which makes for extremely interesting reading. This is a unique opportunity to purchase what I am sure many at Rover wished they could produce but never did, however now is your chance. This is an aesthetically pleasing car with leather interior still exuding the luxury elements of this British classic today, as it did when first manufactured.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.