The Rover P4 range of vehicles was introduced in 1949 to replace the interim out dated P3 vehicles which had been rushed into production in 1948 as the Rover company sort to rebuild itself as a vehicle manufacturer having spent the years during World War 2 manufacturing aircraft.
Drawing inspiration from the 3rd generation Raymond Loewy designed Studebaker Champion launched in 1946, at the request of the Wilkes brothers who owned Rover, Gordon Bashford was responsible for what was known in the factory as the P4. The original P4’s came fitted with a central spot lamp mounted in the grill, but this feature was dropped early in production which eased the difficulties keeping the engine cool.
The P4 was continually being upgraded and from 1954 a distinct MkII version was available that was then restyled again into the form shown in these photo’s in 1957, a Mk 2.2 if you will.
Because of material shortages immediately after WW2 these vehicles incorporated a high percentage of aluminium content and were to be seen in competitions of the day including the 1955 Mille Miglia in which Lando Barsotti brought his #347 Rover 75 P4 home in 271st place. The 75 seen here was powered by a 2.2 litre /136 cui 6 cylinder motor featuring the same overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valve design as had been a feature of the earlier P3.
The final MK II P4’s were produced in 1959 with 9,974 Mk II’s produced over it’s five year production run.
I spotted this particular vehicle at the back of the Atwell – Wilson Motor Museum. I am not sure what they planned to do with it, good working examples of the type tend not to fetch more than £ 2000 so the cost of restoration would appear to be a little prohibitive.
Thanks for joining me on this Awaiting TLC edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !