Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1 // P10 project

Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1…


Project P10


This drawing was produced by David Bache in the late 1960s, whilst the aborted Rover P8 was still in development. Right from the outset, Bache knew that he wanted a fastback saloon or hatchback. This rendering shows that the basic proportions were already set in his mind, the style was still some way from being finalised, though. Note the “clam shell” side doors, which would facilitate access into the cabin – years ahead of their time.


This gullwing proposal, set in clay during 1969 shows clear Lamborghini Marzal influences – Bache was an enthusiast of gullwing doors – and this can be seen in the picture below, where he had the Solihull engineers design a full-size mock-up of the system.


Michelotti also provided a proposal for the P10 project, somewhat more conservative than the Bache proposals, being a three-box saloon. Being a Michelotti-penned design, it had clear links with previous Triumphs and this was perhaps used as a back-up plan by Solihull in the event that BLMC management found the British designs too radical (obviously, the memory of the rejection of the Pininfarina 1800 and 1100 was still fresh in the mind of Bache and his team).

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

2 Comments on "Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1 // P10 project"

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  1. E says:

    The Michelotti three-box saloon went on to become the Australian Leyland P76.

  2. Geoff Ellis says:

    The first (top picture) design is spot on!

    I agree with E; The bonnet and grill of the Michelotti are pure P76. Those hubcaps too!

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