The P6 was a radical new product for its maker – and proof it was trying to move away from the stuffy ‘Auntie’ image that it had been landed with over the last couple of decades. It had styling that was influenced by the Citroen DS, and possessed a skeleton structure and modern styling that really were a million miles away from the P4 (which was still in production when the P6 was launched).
The company gambled that it would appeal to traditionally conservative Rover customers, as well as attracting new ones. The bid worked, and the P6 went on to become a huge commercial success, carving out the executive sector alongside the Triumph 2000 for itself. Constantly updated throughout its life, with 2.2-litre engines and twin-carb updates.
Although the Rover 2000 was capable, in no way could it be described as quick. Yet with the installation of the ex-Buick V8 it became Rover’s first Q-car, offering Jaguar-matching pace. The P6B caught on rapidly, selling in huge numbers and becoming a favourite with lawbreakers – and enforcers. It was initially offered only as an automatic, in 1971, the 3500S was introduced, featuring a four-speed gearbox. The P6 remained this way until 1977, when it was finally replaced by the Rover SD1.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
Revolution, not evolution In an era where manufacturers will spend huge amounts of time cultivating their image, ensuring that they do not stray too far from their designated market slots, and that any new products that do represent a step into the unknown, are market researched to the nth degree, it is hard to relate […]
The full story of the Rover V8 – and how it found its way from the USA to Solihull, and then become an unlikely hero…
AROnline reader, Warren Loveridge, from Christchurch, New Zealand owns a unique 1972 Rover 3500 named Brown Rover. However, when the original Borg Warner 35 transmission blew up, Warren opted to replace that with a later, modified ZF unit. Here, in the second part of a revised version of an article which was originally published in the October, 2014 issue of Driving Force, the Rover P6 Club’s magazine, Warren concludes […]
AROnline reader, Warren Loveridge, from Christchurch, New Zealand owns a unique 1972 Rover 3500 named Brown Rover. However, when the original Borg Warner 35 transmission blew up, Warren opted to replace that with a later, modified ZF unit. Here, in the first part of a revised version of an article which was originally published in the October, 2014 issue of Driving Force, the Rover P6 […]
Front and rear suspension Styling sketch Scale models Interior schemes Full-sized clays The final stages… All pictures supplied by Ian Nicholls
Keith Adams According to our archive, it’s 50 years since the Rover P6 was first launched. Again, it’s another of those birthdays that catches the more casual car enthusiast by surprise. After all, I can remember these smoking around as nearly new cars – driven by establishment types for whom the SD1 was simply a […]
While Triumph enjoyed considerable success with the estate version of the 2000 saloon, Rover seemed happy to leave that sector of the market entirely open to their old rival. However, Battersea-based coachbuilders FLM Panelcraft picked up Rover’s dropped ball and produced their own estate conversion of the highly successful P6. Around 160 examples were bult, […]
Michael Thomas on what it was that made the Rover P6 a great car… Why have I fallen for the Rover P6? It’s something that began twenty-five years ago. In 1978, as a seven year old, my mother was unwell and unable to pick me and my brother up from school. The job fell to […]
During the post-War years, Rover carved out a reputation as a maker of solid, middle-class cars, so typified by the “Auntie” tag. The P6 was a watershed car for the company, because it blew that image into the weeds forever… Quantum leap THE UK motor industry went through a most remarkable transformation between 1959 and […]
March sees another Rover 75 make Car of the Month, but given that the owner, Leslie Button, also owns a rather nice Rover P6, it only seemed fair to feature both cars… The 75 and P6 together; evolution exemplified. It is almost as it the 800 and SD1 never happened! For sure, when the 75 […]
August brings us a fine example of Solihull engineering at its best: the Rover P6B. The example featured this month belongs to Rover P6 Drivers’ Club archivist John Windwood, and is very much in rude health following a major (and necessary) restoration. Below is the story of this pretty Rover, and the compelling case for […]
How the Rover 2000 is made A look at the Solihull assembly plant Having eulogised elsewhere in this issue about the present-day 2-litre P6 Rover, I thought I had better go up to the Solihull factory to see how these extremely popular cars are put together. This I did, towards the end of April, in […]
£10m INVESTED For Rovers the launching of the new car represents the biggest revolution in plant and production methods in their history. The development programme has occupied five years, during which £10,600,000 has been invested in the new car, a new factory built at Solihull, Warwickshire, and a 456,000 sq. ft. depot for spare parts […]