Car of the Month : August 2002
The Leyland P76 continues to command a strong and loyal following in Australia, but in the UK, the car is practically unknown.
For those involved in trivia, it perhaps should be better known than it is because, in the modern era, it is the only car to have been sold only under the Leyland marque. As can be seen from the P76 areas of the site, what emerged from Leyland-Australia was not only good looking (thanks to Michelotti), but also highly competitive.
This is Dave Eadon’s immaculate Targa Florio model – and comes in the most delicious shade of blue to bless a BLMC car. The profile reveals a huge boot (or is that trunk?) and long bonnet, beneath which, resides a 4.4-litre version of the venerable Rover V8 engine. The wedge shape is perfect for the time (1973-1974), but one cannot help but think that a red paint job with white “Starsky and Hutch” stripes would finish it off to perfection!
Rear three-quarter view further reveals the innate “wedginess” of the design. As far as is known, this is one of only three surviving P76s in the UK – and the only Targa Florio version. Perhaps we deserved more – the company did investigate importing them back into the UK as a belated replacement for the Rover P5B. Could you have imagined Margaret Thatcher emerging from the back of one of these? No, me neither!