SOLD 17th July 2004
old car has covered just 52000 miles in 40 years. This low mileage is supported by
service documents and every
MOT certificate since 1971. It has never been welded
and is in astonishingly good condition throughout. The underbody
and chassis are totally original.
These cars are nicknamed "Auntie Rovers" because when they were introduced contemporary journalists compared them with sitting in Auntie's front room on leather seats upon wilton carpets and walnut furniture with the silence only broken by the ticking of the clock.
The smooth quiet 2.6 litre 6 cylinder engine has been rebuilt because the valves didn't like unleaded petrol. So special hard valves were fitted and the opportunity was taken to also renew the piston rings and big end bearings. The engine develops 102 b.h.p. and produces it's maximum torque at around 1500 r.p.m. so it's top gear performance is totally relaxed.
To demonstrate this flexibility my party piece on a quiet road is to allow the speed to drop to just 12 mph in top gear with the ignition light flickering on and then floor the accelerator. She picks up smoothly with no hesitation and will accelerate to over 90 when on unrestricted foreign roads. I have once seen 100 on the clock. The brakes are massive discs at the front with large rear drums and have been renewed so she stops as well as she goes.
The interior leather is still excellent having been revived with a Woolies renovation kit and the carpets have been replaced with a new set. There is a correct period Radiomobile push button radio fitted which has been professionally converted to FM so you can hear all the latest stations. The under dashboard tool tray is complete with it's correct tools including the often missing touch up paint and ultra rare tyre pressure gauge with correct Rover logo. P4 trophy hunters have been known to roll round in the dirt fighting over these at autojumbles!
I have owned the car for 7 years during which time I have had the lower half resprayed to improve the appearance - there was no rot or rust just a lifetime of minor knocks and scratches.
There is a huge history file with documentation to show regular servicing throughout it's life and during my ownership I've spent over £2000 just keeping her in fine shape. She sails through the MOT each year and is always complimented by the Examiner.
What's still to be done? The chrome bumpers are beginning to show signs of pitting and would benefit from a re-chrome. I've had telephoned estimates for £150 each from a chromer I've used for nearly 20 years. The top edges of the front wings have a few rust bubbles but they were there when I bought it 6 years ago and are no worse now - so it's your decision if want to use repair sections which are readily available from a number of sources.
So why am I selling it? Simple - it doesn't really need me any more and after 6 years of being cosseted I fancy a Triumph Stag
You will look at a lot of P4s before finding one as original and un-messed with as Auntie. I looked at 17 before finding her and travelled many hundreds of miles to view a lot of mis-described old tarts. She really is a delight to drive, cruises at 70 and has returned 25 mpg on one 150 mile motorway run.
There's an excellent owners club - their website is at www.roverp4.com. I think membership starts at about £18pa. It's interesting that in the website they refer to the 95 model as the "cheaper model" in the range. True it was the first P4 to have neither freewheel nor overdrive but the simplicity of the higher ratio back axle makes it a much easier to maintain classic today as there is less to go wrong and the drive train is bomb proof. I find cruising at motorway speeds very relaxing. Furthermore the 95 model was the first to have an all steel body - previous P4s had aluminium doors boot and bonnet which are far softer and prone to easily denting. The all steel 95 and 110 models are undoubtedly the strongest should the unthinkable happen.
Just for the record - classic car ownership is very cheap. Road tax is free for pre 1973 classics and comprehensive insurance through the club costs from £79pa. The annual MOT costs £30. So you lay out just over £100 but the car will probably appreciate at £100 - £200pa so your only real cost is fuel and servicing.
That should convince the good lady you are investing the money and not spending it !
Click here to contact Keith for further details