Projects and prototypes: Rover P6

Front and rear suspension

The front suspension design was highly unusual from the outset, as this Gordon Bashford sketch reveals...The front suspension design was highly unusual from the outset, as this Gordon Bashford sketch reveals...

The front suspension design was highly unusual from the outset, as this Gordon Bashford sketch reveals…

P6 suspension sketch

P6 suspension sketch

Styling sketch

The P6, as sketched in 1957...

The P6, as sketched in 1957…

Scale models

 Fins were the order of the day in this dramatic proposal

Fins were the order of the day in this dramatic proposal

Model making the traditional way...

Model making the traditional way…

Front-end styling takes shape...

Front-end styling takes shape…


Interior schemes

Early suggestion with pod-like dials

Early suggestion with pod-like dials

The more production-friendly final solution...

The more production-friendly final solution…

Full-sized clays


The final stages…

The first wooden full-scale model

The first wooden full-scale model

March 1959 and the first running Rover P6 prototype is undergoing testing.

March 1959 and the first running Rover P6 prototype is undergoing testing.

The P6/7 prototype - seventh out of 15 or 16 produced...

The P6/7 prototype – seventh out of 15 or 16 produced…

All pictures supplied by Ian Nicholls

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.

6 Comments on "Projects and prototypes: Rover P6"

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  1. Jim-Bob says:

    What’s important to note is that, from the outset the P6 was designed to be powered by a turbine engine. This explains why it has such an unusual front suspension design. It was more about space savings than it was about changing it around for better ride and handling. (I am actually planning a trip to a local junkyard here in Florida (LKQ Clearwater) that just got in two complete Rover TC 2000’s, just so I can examine the P6’s front suspension! I have never seen one in person before and the engineering intrigues me.)

  2. Paul Treloggan says:

    Jim-Bob buy both of them get them back on the road and actually try the suspension – you will not be disappointed.

  3. Bilbo says:

    Wow- imagine the ‘Frogeye’ P6 with quad lamps instead, with the instrument pods in the cabin repeating the design, and with an improved glasshouse from the later prototypes/ production car.

    Would have been like nothing else on the road, and could have given the Citroen DS a worthy rival, without the headaches.

    Would probably have benefitted from a wider track front and rear however.

  4. Sid Stannard says:

    I admire the attention paid to occupant safety too; unlike many of its contemporaries!

  5. Joe Fay says:

    Most auto crazy Americans would think the front end of the Rover was ripped off from the Elwood Engel designed 1963 Plymouth. The 63 Plymouth platform was not even on the drawing boards until late in 1960, clearly the Rover design was not a Plymouth rip off.

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