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  • Right Hand Drive
  • 45,732 Miles
  • Manual, 5 speed
  • Petrol
  • 4000cc
  • 1972
  • BDW438L
  • Brown
  • Private seller
  • Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom


Rover saw Buick’s compact 3. 5-litre V8 from the Buick Special as a way to differentiate the P6 from its chief rival, the Triumph 2000. They purchased the rights to the innovative aluminium engine and once it was modified to allow its use by Rover, it became an instant hit. The Rover V8 engine, as it became known, outlived its original host, the P5B, by more than thirty years. It was necessary to modify the under-bonnet space to squeeze the V8 engine into the P6 engine bay: the front suspension cross-member had to be relocated forward, while a more visible change was an extra air intake beneath the front bumper to accommodate the larger radiator. There was no longer space under the bonnet for the car’s battery, which in the 3500 retreated to a position on the right side of the boot. Nevertheless, the overall length and width of the body were unchanged when compared with the smaller-engined original P6.
Having invested heavily in the car’s engine and running gear, the manufacturer left most other aspects of the car unchanged. However, the new Rover 3500 could be readily distinguished from the 2000 thanks to various prominent V8 badges on the outside and beneath the radio. The 3500 was also delivered with a black vinyl covering on the C-pillar, although this decoration later appeared also on four-cylinder cars.
A 3-speed Borg Warner 35 automatic was the only transmission until the 1971 addition of a four-speed manual 3500S model, fitted with a modified version of the gearbox used in the 2000/ 2200. The letter “S” did not denote “Sport”, it was chosen because it stood for something specific on those cars: “Synchromesh”. However it is important to note that the 3500S was noticeably quicker than the automatic version of this car with a 0-60 mph time of 9 seconds, compared with over 10 seconds for the automatic.
Uprated 4. 0 engine, 5 Speed gearbox, Inertia reel seatbelts, Bluetooth compatible Sony CD player (in glovebox), Sunroof, Lacquered wood laminate trim, Dash clock

Having been previously restored to an exceptional standard, the suitably ’70’s Russet Brown bodywork appears in fabulous condition. The paintwork is consistent throughout and offset by  a whole host of elegant chrome work, free from wear or pitting, to the bumpers, coach lines and window trims. The egg crate mesh grille, chrome filler cap and V8 badging all a nod towards performance and style.
The black vinyl roof and soft top are again in top order, with chrome work and badging a suitable match to the rest of the car.

Dominated by spotless Red Leather throughout, the fit and finish of this example is akin to a Rover dealer demonstrator in the ’70’s. Everything from the headlining to pillar caps, door cards and carpets look and feel in fantastic order whilst dash and dials are very clean and easy to operate; clearly the car has been subject to a great deal of love and care. Now with Inertia reel belts, and a neatly stowed CD / Bluetooth compatible head unit in the glovebox, safety and convenience have been improved to meet modern day requirements.
The Rover showed that you could produce good design that didn’t compromise ease of use and up against Jaguar and BMW’s of it’s time; it was light years ahead.

Now upgraded to a 4. 0; the car fires into life and settles to a meaningful idle. Throttle response, torque and of course, acoustics, have been improved immeasurably and with the new engine matched to a R380 5 ‘speed box the car feels not only more agile but an event to drive at any speed. The engine bay itself is extremely clean and tidy in keeping with the general aesthetic of this Great British classic. Engine oil and filter were replaced a handful of miles ago; as such the car needs nothing.
The clutch is light and easy to use – the gearbox itself feels tight and assured thanks to a recent fluid flush, new bushings and locating pin.

Wheels and tyres
The highly polished original wheel trims appear in excellent order fitted with a matching set of Avon radial tyres – all of which show plenty of tread depth remaining.
Brakes are in good order throughout with a recent bleed, reservoir clean and fluid replacement.

Delivered in October of 1972, this rather unique P6 is believed to have covered just 45k miles from new. Given the alluring colour combination it has been preserved and carefully subject to a comprehensive mechanical and bodywork restoration over recent years, with marque specialists Vitesse Engineering recently responsible for servicing and upkeep. There are several significant invoices for works to Gearbox, wiring and componentry as well as seat belts and headlamp modifications.
Over £7k has been spent in the last 3 years to ensure this wonderful P6 performs as it should, with original manuals and V5 present in the history file. A fresh MOT will be applied upon sale.

Vehicle background

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Private seller

Verified since 2022

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36 Listings since 2020

Vehicle location

Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
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