One of two Leyland P76s brought into the UK by British Leyland for sales and marketing evaluation has recently come to light thanks to an eBay sale. The car, which is in quite a sorry state – but also looking pretty complete – has sold for £1950.
In the description, the seller Simon Firth said: ‘This car sat in a plant hire workshop for many years before it was bought by my Father around 15 years ago. This was a project that never got off the ground and subsequently, now he has passed, it needs to go to a new home. It will require a fair bit of restoration.
‘The chassis is not great and will need a fair bit of welding along with many of the body panels. There are many parts belonging to the car, interior panels, seats, carpet, engine and engine parts etc., that will all come with the car.’
The most storied P76 in the UK?
Simon’s father, the-late Alan Firth (above left), shared the story of the car, and how it into his possession in the full story as told on AROnline. ‘In 1973 two of these P76s came over to BL International, Berkeley Square, London travelling on the same ship according to the Invoice and Bill of Lading.
‘One car went to BL at Longbridge and was registered in Birmingham as JOE 526L where it was used for engineering assessment, and trial of a power steering option and a manual gearbox. The car was also used for styling and trim options by Vanden Plas at Kingsbury, and this was apparently considered as a possible replacement for the Rover P5 saloon.’
Sometime in 1975 both UK cars were sold off, the London one became lost in the mists of time but the Birmingham car was sold to an ex-Rover apprentice who had worked at Leyland Australia and had come back to the UK and worked at Triumph at Coventry. He later sold it to a Leyland Dealer in Salisbury who kept it for some years.
Alan added: ‘This car came onto eBay for sale just as I was browsing there and I arranged to see it in Farnborough where I bought it, with some spares, about three and a half years ago. I made contact with P76 Clubs in Australia and New Zealand for membership and spares information as there were some peculiar things about the car.’
The rest of the story is fascinating and well worth reading.
Where it’s at now
So, the car’s on its way to a new owner, and there’s a big restoration in store. Luckily, the car’s shell looks to be in reasonable shape and much of the car’s trim and mechanicals are still with it. There’s an engine block and exhaust parts as well – and an enthusiast band of fans in the Owners’ Clubs who are going to be pleased to help.
Simon said in the sale, ‘There are the four door glass pieces loose in the car but no front or rear windscreens. The tan rear bench seat is loose in the car and included. The red front seats are for a different car and not included. The front headlight surrounds and headlights are present and included. This should answer any questions related to items included.’
We wish the new owner the best of British luck, and hope to see this historically significant P76 back in the wild.
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