Launching in 1958 the Rover P5 was refreshed one last time in 1967 to become the P5B, the additional letter a nod to the Buick V8 motor under the bonnet.
Production continued until 1973 when British Leyland made the final curtain call. The 3.5 litre in the P5B was the favourite of Prime Ministers, serving as transport for Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher. It wasn’t just the halls of governmental power that loved the P5B though, the Queen also took delivery of one, opting for a saloon in Arden Green.
Looking over UOT 454H it is clear real attention has been lavished on this car in the past although the vehicle does not have any paperwork to back up the work done. This shouldn’t detract a buyer that knows judging by the metal tells a story of its own.
The vendor believes there to have been restoration work and standing in front of the car and seeing the stunning paintwork, clean bodylines, and excellent condition of the interior it is hard to argue.
UOT 454H will be supplied with the V5C document however it is understood no history will come with the vehicle.
An outstanding interior that the vendor believes has been retrimmed has very few signs of wear. Sitting in both front and back seats revealed all were comfortable and still retained good support. A tool kit that slides out from the centre of the dash and is released via a lever is joined by a complete tool kit in the boot, all in great condition and a charming original feature for the future owner.
All of the carpets were in great condition and what appeared to be the original wood remained in the dash without the typical scratches or damage that may be expected of a fifty year old vehicle.
The vendor advised that the rev counter can be lively, bouncing around the dial instead of sweeping cleanly as the revs build, this does not affect the drive.
The coupe variant is generally considered the prettier and more desirable of the P5B’s and standing a few paces away from this one it is hard to argue, your eye follows the uninterrupted lines of the blue paintwork from bumper to bumper, a true British beauty.
A gem to look at when surrounded by the modern wash of grey and silver the Rover proudly shined in the bursts of sunlight between the clouds. It took a thorough inspection to find any blemishes on such a stunning vehicle but you can always find something if you look hard enough, the minor paint chip and dent on the edge of the front nearside wheel arch were minor and displayed the honesty of such a delightful vehicle.
What made this car really shine was the chrome, mirroring everything around it, only the two small mounting arms for the wing mirrors showed any signs of age with some pitting, both front and rear bumpers looked incredible. There were also the red plastic extensions above the indicators, a rare original feature that are nearly impossible to replace.
Taking a step away to stare at the body lines and imposing grille was a joy to behold, none of the presence is lost from its days of diplomacy and royalty.
Firing up immediately at the twist of the key the power steering functioned excellently and the gears swished from one to other smoothly without hesitation or pause.
Opening up the bonnet revealed a motor that was not only running crisp with what felt like every healthy horse it left the factory with but also looked fresh and without any obvious perished rubbers. Looking to the back of the bulkhead showed what appeared to be a coating of wax oil protecting the paintwork.
You can’t walk past a P5B without taking a second look, it exudes presence and demands your attention. Something that wasn’t overlooked by those at the height of stature when this car was in production.
After faithful service, many found their end by on a racetrack and so today a clean Rover P5, especially the largest output P5B, is a rare joy both to look at and to drive.
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