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Lot 029: Rover P5 MkI 3-Litre Saloon

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (16 May 2012)

Launched at the 1958 Motor Show, the P5 Saloon marked a new departure for Rover as it employed a monocoque construction rather than the separate chassis of the old P4. Considerably larger and more stately than the P4, it was dubbed the 'middle class Rolls-Royce' and became the car of choice for company chairmen, politicians and the military top-brass  in fact the Queen is said to have been particularly fond of the Royal P5. Commonly known as the Rover 3-Litre, it was powered by a beautifully smooth 2,995cc straight-six engine that initially produced 117bhp and gave the car a top speed of 95mph. Remarkably it developed peak torque at just 1500rpm. The suspension was independent at the front using wishbones and torsion bars, with a live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. The P5 went through three generations before it was replaced by the 3.5-litre P5B in 1967. First registered in January 1959, this particular car was acquired by the Stondon Museum in January 2010 and is one of the earliest examples known, being the 20th P5 to roll off the Solihull production line. As such it has some rare features not found on later cars such as slatted air vents on the dash board rather than the later eyeball vents, side-to-side pleats on the front bench seat, no front quarterlights, drum brakes all round and no power steering. An automatic model, it has had just four owners from new, the third of whom owned it for some 16 years. Apart from a respray about eight years ago when any minor corrosion was also attended to, and a recovered front seat and new carpets, it is said to be in good original condition throughout and to drive well. It comes with much documentation from new including a British Motor Heritage Trust certificate confiming its early provenance. It is rare for such an early P5 to come on the market and this one should be of particular interest to the Rover collector.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number029
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£3400
Year1959
Condition rating
Registration number262 JPB
Mileage-
Chassis number630900020
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)2995
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors