For some people, a motorcar must be British and with a portly, dignity and polished patriotism, the P5B became official transport for the establishment.
The final iteration of the P5 appeared in September 1967. Now powered by the 3,528 cubic centimeters Rover V8 engine also used in the 3500, the car was badged as the "3.5 Litre", and commonly known as the 3½ Litre. The final letter in the "P5B" model name came from Buick, the engine's originator.
Rover did not have the budget or time to develop such engines, hence they chose to redevelop the lightweight aluminum concept Buick could not make successful. They made it considerably stronger, which added some weight but still maintained the engine's light and compact features. The Borg Warner Type-35 automatic transmission, hydrosteer variable ratio power steering and front Lucas fog lights were now standard.
The exterior was mostly unchanged, apart from bold '3.5 Litre' badging, a pair of fog lights which were added below the head lights, creating a striking 4 light array, and the fitting of chrome Rostyle wheels with black painted inserts. The P5B existed as both the 4-door coupe and saloon body style until end of production. Production ended in 1973, by when 9099 coupés and 11,501 saloons had been built.
The 3½ Litre saloon variant was a favourite of high-ranking Government Ministers, and served as Prime Ministerial transport for Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. As testament to their suitability, the last batch of P5Bs to roll off the Rover line in June 1973 were purchased by the British government and placed in storage, to be released for government use as required: subsequently registered relatively new looking P5s were therefore still familiar sights in Westminster for more than a decade after production had ended.
When Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street in 1979 after her election victory, she was driven in a 1972 model. It was during Thatcher's eleven-year tenure that the P5 was eventually phased out as a Prime-Ministerial car, in favour of the Jaguar XJ. Queen Elizabeth II also owns an Arden Green Rover P5B Saloon "JGY 280", which is on display at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire.
This car is an EXCELLENT EXAMPLE. British Motoring at its best. Beautifully maintained and STUNNING CAR IN EVERY RESPECT.
PRICE FIRM and reflects condition of vehicle. Car will be sold to the right buyer with a six month WOF and twelve month registration.
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