Full-size styling buck of the P8 circa mid-1967, as styled by David Bache shows that he wanted to achieve an imposing look for the new car, which had been dubbed internally, the ‘Mercedes-Benz Eater’. Interestingly, this model sported 4000 badges on the base of the C-Post, indicating that a mild stretch of the V8 was in order to give the new car the performance required of it.
Profile view of the above car gives the impression of a pleasingly balanced design…
1970 and the final version of the P8 takes shape… The front now looks a lot tougher.
…although the rear remains reasonably untouched, still badged, as it is, a 4000 V8.
P8 interior mocked-up and ready for production: some very nice features incorporated in this classic Rover interior design. The basic architecture is typical post-1960s Rover with its flat dash and boxy instrument pack mounted atop – an arrangement that closely resembles that of the SD1. Note also the use of soft-feel plastics and integrated switch gear – something that would become common later on in car design – again Bache’s team was ahead of it’s time. The only downside was the over-large “quartic” steering wheel – another feature shared with the later SD1 and more (in)famously, the Allegro.
Rover P8 drawing by the Bache studio: Striking and imposing are two words that come to mind, even in this early stage of design. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
An alternative frontal design, incorporating elements of the P6 and Range Rover. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
Glassbacked sketch: An interesting idea, although one suspects that the cost and engineering implications of this would be too much for Rover. Ahead of its time, nonetheless. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
Bache interior made it to pre-production almost unchanged. Note the quartic wheel in this sketch (c.1969), and then compare this with the same picture in the SD1 development story. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.