Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rovers - A Bunch Of 'em

Apparently everyone decided that this week would be a good week to drag their old Rover out of the garage, shed, woods, field, wherever, and list it for sale. There are a bunch of projects and parts cars on eBay...

2000TC P6 - This one is listed as a 1969, but it's either not a US spec car or it's a bit older. To the best of my knowledge, all 1969 Rovers had US spec side marker lights and front seat headrests.

The seller writes, "Most of the body panels are straight, all lenses are present, it has a core engine (does not run), and clean title. The red leather interior is in pretty good condition, the panels look good but the stitching on some of the seats are coming apart. It has a cracked windshield, but the rest of the glass is good. Very nice original hubcaps. No brake master or servos, no carbs or intake."

It's a project, but it's not hopeless.

Located in Portland, OR, click here to see the eBay listing.

1962 P5 4 Door Coupé - This is a P5, not a P5B as it's listed as.

This car is what Rover called a Coupé. The P5 Coupé was a 4 door sedan with its roof lowered about 3 inches. It also had thinner b-pillars and rear quarter windows.

The engine in this car should be a 3.0 liter 6. It puts out 129 HP. The P5 was no rocket, but it had enough power to get out of its own way.

This car is in rough shape, but it's complete. It's RHD and has a 4 speed overdrive transmission.

If you have the time, money and talent, this would be a cool car to restore and bring to shows.

Located in Fleming Isle, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.

1970 P6 3500S - This might be the coolest of the bunch, but it's in very tough shape.

The 3500S was designed with the North American market in mind. The engine was Rover's aluminum V8. Standard features included air-conditioning, electric windows and power steering. It also had a little device called an "Icelert", which was a sensor that alerted the driver to falling temperatures and the possibility of ice on the road. (My E36 BMW has a similar feature. I find it more annoying than useful.)

The seller has owned this car for 25 years. He states that he has never started it. It looks like it might have been in the same (outside) place for all of those 25 years.

If you're really, really brave, this car could be restored. More likely it's best use is as a parts car to keep another 3500S alive.

Located in Georgetown, CT, click here to see the eBay listing.

1955 P4 90 - I have never seen one of these in person. I suspect that there are very few in the US.

According to the seller, this car came to the US in 1960 when its owner immigrated here. She drove it until 1974 when, after the fuel pump quit, she parked it in a shed.

This car looks like it's complete and not in terrible shape. There doesn't seem to be a ton of rust and the interior looks like it's in remarkable condition for 56 year old car that has spent the last 37 years in a shed.

This is a car that should be restored and brought to shows.

Located in Berwick, PA, click here to see the eBay listing.


Jon said...

What a cool post! I saw the blue Rover had a rust spot in the center of the trunk. I wonder if that was for the oddball outside mounted spare.

Many years ago, a local notable in our small town had a Rover 3500 S. He was obviously proud of his car and on sunny days he would leave it parked outside the driveway. Spotting the Rover became a highlight on trips to town. As the Rover was one of the few interesting automotive fixtures in our area, it always started a conversation between my father and I. This usually centered around the fact that there was a V8 under the hood. If there was a BMW Bavaria in town, our talks would have surely taken a different direction.

Thinking back, it was a strange time back then. You could spot a performance car from far off because of the telltale "hood scoop." These had important sounding names like "Grabber," "Ram Air," and "Cowl Induction." Most car geek kids back then could rattle off these names with ease. From my perspective, the Rover seemed like some wierd exotic supercar because it had three hood scoops, instead of the usual one or two. I can't remember Detroit building a similar performance sedan, and even if they did, it would be like comparing Daniel Boone to slick James Bond.

Our world drastically changed when a guy who lived several houses away from the Rover, had special ordered an "early delivery" Datsun 240Z. He was also a proud owner and kept it parked outside.

Suffice it to say, the Rover lost its allure and if I remember correctly, it disappeared and was soon replaced by a boring Cadillac Fleetwood.

Chris Keen said...

Wow, apparently now's the time to buy... looking at those listings turned up another P4 90, a nice '69 P6, and even an SD1. Would be nice to be able to test drive one, I like some of the innovative solutions they came up with.

Anonymous said...

I only know second hand information when it comes to this vintage of British car. Are they any good at all? I've never heard anything good about any British car of this vintage except for the odd mini/jag nut.

Jon said...

Hey Anonymous,

Many British cars of this vintage are actually well built and easy to live with. On the other hand, they are a bit more "hands on" than a Camry.

Speaking from a US perspective, many brands were imported Stateside in small numbers, thus making them somewhat obscure. Then there are countless "horror stories" regarding the quality of certain makes, models, Jaguar drivelines, and Lucas electrics.

I guess the bottom line is, "Don't let all this crap scare you off."

The rules concerning condition, potential rust issues, etc. are pretty much the same for any car. Cars from dry climates fare better.

The internet has really changed things for a potential buyer as far as information is concerned. These days it seems that even the most obscure makes from the past have websites dedicated to them. It would take me years to visit all of the sites listed on There are countless others out there.

Many of these sites have forums where you can ask folks about their experience regarding specific models, such as what to look for (and what to avoid) when inspecting a car, etc. Contact with such groups is really important regarding parts, "work around" fixes, etc. Back in the day, more than a few of us were at the mercy of the Moss Motors catalog.

Try to find out if there are any specialized car shows happening in your area. It's been my experience that most folks are easy to talk to if they sense you are genuinely interested in getting into the hobby. Be polite though. You cannot believe how many times these guys hear "I just saw one of these in my recently deceased neighbors garage, how much do you think it is worth?"

Trevor said...

JACG will be surprised that after finding his blog once I bought the Isuzu Bellel, I also bought the Rover P5.

Just A Car Geek said...

Trevor, that's great!

Keep us updated.


Trevor said...

Absolutely! I'll slowly add more photos as I work on them. Right now the 1971 Pontiac takes priority in restoration.

I think the Isuzu might be next since it's in fairly good condition, although the car hauler damaged a door on pickup. I did get free shipping though, so that made up for it.

The P5 is about the condition from the pictures. And is about 95-98% there. But I've barely had time to look over it. The body is shot, but that's to be expected; the leather will have to be replaced, an I have no idea about the mechanical parts (they seem to all be there, even the crank).

Although adding to my collection takes away from that, the cars I've seen for recently I've only seen in books before and doubt I'll see again (no more Bellels on ebay).