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

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up 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 Classics 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 unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams


  1. 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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