When introduced in 1958, the P5 was Rover’s undoubted flagship – and a return to the upper echelons of the executive car market for its maker. Being big, sturdy and incredibly well-made, it soon became the favoured transport of British prime ministers and royalty.
Styling had been penned by David Bache, while the monocoque body (Rover’s first) had been engineered by Spen King and Gordon Bashford – all of whom would achieve superstardom because of their work on the Range Rover. Power was from a 2995cc version of the inlet-over-exhaust that had first seen service in the P3, and which continued to deliver supreme smoothness and refinement.
The P5 was continually developed, with upgrades such as the more powerful ‘Weslake Head’ version, and then with the arrival of the handsome coupé, keeping it at the head of the class. The most exciting addition to the range came in 1967, when the ex-Buick V8 was installed to create the P5B. The muscular new engine improved performance, and economy.
It had a very different appeal to the straight-six, and quickly supplanted it – remaining in production until 1973.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
Keith Adams/Ian Nicholls ONE of the most replayed television clips of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, is of her arriving at 10 Downing Street, having triumphed in the May 1979 General Election – her transport was a Rover P5B. Considering the car had been out of production for not far shy of a decade, […]
Fab and groovy man! 1967 will forever be remembered for the summer of love, for hippies and love-ins, the Torrey Canyon Disaster, Jimi Hendrix, Sergeant Pepper, pirate radio, Radio 1 and the Six Day War. In Britain both homosexuality and abortion were de-criminalised – although, in the case of homosexuality, decades of criminalisation meant it […]
The full story of the Rover V8 – and how it found its way from the USA to Solihull, and then become an unlikely hero…
For many, the P5 and P5B epitomises everything that Rover stood for during the prosperous 1960s. Big, powerful and imposing, the P5 soon became the transport of choice for the captains of UK industry and their political leaders. Sadly, it was never replaced… Ministerial Rover THE advancement of the Rover marque was not the exactly […]