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1966 Rover P6B 3500 Prototype

Price: £ 72,500 Info bl

Story and History

1966 Rover P6B 3500 Prototype - earliest extant V8 engine (we believe)

A brilliant piece of British car design, the Rover P6 was launched as the Rover 2000 with a single carburettor version four-cylinder engine in 1963 and won the first European Car of the Year award

It boasts a very modern design concept and running against the thinking that all Rovers were for old men smoking pipes. Back in the Sixties it was modern, truly good looking and revolutionary car for Rover, using some of the most up to date production methods too

Independent suspension all round, with a DeDion rear end and all wheel disc brakes, too

The chassis and suspension were calling out for more power and in 1966 the 2000TC (twin carburettor) version was launched and yet the chassis still called out for more power - very non-Rover indeed!

In 1965, Rover received a shipment of Buick engines in crates, after which a run of prototypes was built up. Chassis number P6B-12 was picked off the production line as a base unit and built up in the Experimental Department

Registered on April 1st, 1966 by the factory, she was shipped over to North America in late 1966 and fitted with Buick engine 215-30 and tested to within an inch of its' life

After almost a year she was shipped back and had the third earliest Rover block fitted into her in 1967 (engine EXP3A) when further testing continued prior to the official launch of the P6 3500 for the Press and Public in 1968

We have pictures of her and several other cars on test in North America as well as pictures of her on her return to Solihull

The sound of the 'new Rover' was astonishing back then, when a V8 engine note was almost unheard of on normal production cars

Rover had inadvertently produced a Super Saloon - 17 years before BMW launched the ubiquitous and much lauded M5

She was sold by the factory in 1970 to a Rover employee when testing was no longer needed and found her way into the public domain

Thereafter she was sold as a normal 'second hand car'(back then things were very different.........)

All those years later and she was found in derelict condition but with most original items still in situ, and she really offered a genuine opportunity to bring her back to her former glory

The original interior, including the very early headlining, is amazing and the experimental engine and drivetrain are all there, as well as many features not seen on the later production 3500 units

Items such as the deep-tinted glass with heated rear window, opening quarterlights, later dashboard and switch gear lay-out

The experimental engine, EXP3A, has been completely rebuilt by our friends at JE Developments and reinstated into the engine bay (John is used by all who know the quality of his works and even Land Rover had used him for their engines for Rallying and the 4.2 V8 for the LSE was of his design)

Prior to this the base unit (monocoque) was stripped bare - we have all photos of the rebuilding process

Clearly then, nothing has been scrimped on this restoration and she is now sitting on our Showrooms in Kensington, having travelled only a few test miles

Chassis P6B-12 must be one of the most important Rovers anywhere and we believe the price justifies the historical consequence of this motorcar

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