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Affordable British Classic: 1960 Rover 100

We see our share of classic British sports cars crossing our desks at Barn Finds, but family sedans are far less common. That is what made this 1960 Rover 100 stand out for me. It is a solid and original survivor that is practical and an affordable alternative for a budget-conscious enthusiast. It appears to be a turnkey proposition ready to provide an enjoyable motoring experience for the entire family. The seller has listed the Rover here on Craigslist in York, Pennsylvania. It could be yours for $9,800, which is not a lot of money for a car that is more sophisticated than it might first seem.

Rover introduced its “P4” range of passenger cars in 1949, with the series remaining in production in various forms until 1964. It announced the “100” model in October 1959, with the body an evolution of its predecessor. This is where the 100 differs from many similar vehicles. It utilized typical body-on-frame construction, but some material choices were designed to reduce vehicle weight. Most panels are steel, but the trunk lid, hood, and doors are made from an aluminum/magnesium alloy. An added benefit was that those items couldn’t succumb to rust issues. The original owner ordered this Rover in a shade called Pure White, and it is unclear whether it has undergone restoration or repairs. It presents well if it is a genuine survivor, with the paint shining nicely and panels as straight as an arrow. This is a significant consideration because while the alloy panels are light, they are also soft and prone to dings and dents. That these have survived so well suggests this classic has been treated respectfully. Rust hasn’t managed to sink its teeth into the steel, with the underside shots confirming the floors and frame are rock-solid. The exterior trim is in good condition for a survivor of this vintage, and there are no visible glass issues.

The Rover may not feature the interior bells and whistles that were hallmarks of other luxury cars from this era. However, sinking back into seats trimmed in supple leather while faced with a dash finished in timber veneer would make any journey feel special. That is what we find inside this classic, and the condition is easily acceptable for a survivor-grade classic. The carpet exhibits fading, but the lack of wear would make replacement difficult to justify. The seat leather is developing cracks and splits that may require specialist attention to prevent further deterioration. However, the timber looks flawless, the pad is excellent, and the gauges are clear and easily read. The buyer won’t receive automotive tinsel like power windows or a radio, but the superb heater should keep occupants warm on cold days.

Classic British sports cars from the 1950s and early 1960s typically featured engines with relatively small capacities and modest power outputs. The Rover 100 continues that trend if compared to similar vehicles released by American manufacturers, but that doesn’t make it weak or feeble. Lifting the hood reveals a 2.6-liter six-cylinder motor that sends 103hp and 138 ft/lbs of torque to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission with overdrive. One area where this car stands apart from many is the braking system. While four-wheel drums were the accepted norm in 1960, the Rover features Girling front discs. The 100 is unlikely to set the local drag strip alight, but it should cruise effortlessly at 65-70mph while returning fuel consumption figures of around 20mpg. The seller provides no information regarding how this gem runs or drives, but the clean engine bay allows me to be quietly confident that the news is positive. The seller appears approachable, so contacting them for clarification would be a wise first step.

This 1960 Rover 100 appears to be a tidy and solid survivor that could be ideal for a family of five seeking an affordable classic. It has no apparent urgent needs, and the approachability of the seller will make it easy to determine whether it is a turnkey proposition. It is relatively rare by most standards, with only 16,521 cars rolling off the line between 1959 and 1962. It won’t appeal to everyone, but this could be the car for you if you crave a slice of British luxury.


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Good car in great shape, at a good price. Now, if this were a P5B…….

    Like 7
  2. hatofpork

    Nice Auntie!

    Like 4
  3. amcandrew

    Nice… & rare with LHD!

    Like 2
  4. Joe Meccia Member

    It’s a good looking old Rover with suicide doors and looks to be a decent driver. It is the only Rover I would like to have. The later square bodied sedans got too ugly for me. ARF ARF!!

    Like 4
  5. Slomoogee

    What a nice old Rover. Having owned a P6 and a SD1 this is right in my wheel house. Love the interior shot. Apply some Hide Food to the seats a polish to the wood and it’s perfect. Having the 6 cyl with 4speed od is just icing on this beauty. You don’t see these over here at all, and the lines are not messed up with mirrors halfway down the fenders.

    Like 5
  6. Ricardo Ventura

    It’s an interesting car.
    I had a 1952. 4 speed on the steering column. A true family sedan. Friendly.
    12 volts, partial odometer, security lock on the rear doors among other new features.
    A separate detail is the parking brake.
    It’s hard to see one

    Like 3
    • BimmerDude Member

      Is that handle and post under the dash at the A pillar the parking brake? You don’t want the passenger to have easy access to such a safety item…

      Like 0
      • jules

        Interesting remark Binner Dude….
        If you are at all familiar with tunnel mounted 4 speed transmission selectors in British cars and many others…the hand brake (or in American venacular Emergency Brake) is commonly place between the driver and the passenger.
        All the best and cheerio!

        Like 0
      • jules

        quite sure the Parking Brake is to the left side of the driver, the verticle lever going through the floor board….

        Like 1
  7. Bullethead

    Would love to know the story of how this old girl ended up at a used car dealer.

    With a serious detailing it would be a very nice weekender, but the asking price is about $3000 too high when comparing to similar recent sales. Considering the seller is a “used car dealer”, I bet an envelope of cash would make a deal…

    Like 3
  8. jules

    Great offering, for a true Brit classic…the price is most reasonable! Would love to own it!

    Like 3
  9. Pastor Ron

    Drive slowly past number 23. I want her to see my hat.

    Like 1
  10. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    As someone who has spent 50+ years working on & collecting, buying & selling unusual British cars, I can’t remember ever seeing any P4 or P5 Rovers painted white from the factory. They were always dark colors; mostly blue, green, brown, and of course black.

    While it was likely sold new in north America, I doubt it was a southeastern Pennsylvania cars, as it appears to be rust free. And yes, this is the first P4 or P5 I’ve ever seen that was basically rust free. I’ve seen these cars in scrapyards in Britain, where the cars rusted so badly the doors & fenders [wings] have completely fallen off the car.

    Having worked on more than a couple P4 and P5 cars, the dash fascia seemed different, until I realized it was never equipped with a radio, instead there is a large wood panel in the center where the radio and speaker would have been located.

    The problem this seller has is related to supply & demand, because in America almost no one knows what a P4 Rover is, hence there is little demand. Even though it’s a fairly low mileage vehicle, I figure the car is realistically worth about 1/2 to 2/3 of what the seller is asking.

    Like 1
  11. JGD

    During the late 1950’s, an elderly Scottish couple lived in our neighborhood. As a teenager, I would dog walk and care for their blonde Cocker Spaniel when they would visit friends and family on weekends. I always enjoyed listening to the old gent tell me about his pre-war experiences as a chauffeur for a family on the Continent. He drove a variety of his employer’s high-end luxury and sports cars including a type 57 Bugatti. He claimed that he gave his son a several years old Rolls Royce that his employer wished to replace. In the late1950’s he ordered a left hand drive Rover 90 from a New York area dealer and drove it for several years.

    As much as I liked my family’s black ’54 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe with red leather and Highlander plaid upholstery, it paled in comparison to the quality of the old gent’s Rover 90. In the pre-affordable A/C era, the walnut dash with multi-band radio was an extra dash of luxury. I recall the dogleg floor shift lever but, don’t know if had an electric OD or not. The seller’s car looks like a gem. Hopefully it’s as good as it looks and parts are still available across the pond.

    Like 2
  12. jules

    I’m recalling the Rover Dealer in Chicago offering the series 60, 75 and 90.
    In 1956, the model 60 was just over $3100.
    My neighbour had family from Toronto. they drove a model 75 down to Ohio every year. I lusted over it!

    Like 2
  13. Eric

    This car was on Ebay over the summer and the auction ended with me at high bidder (about $6k) which is what I think it’s worth, maybe less at this time of year as it would do nothing but sit in my garage until next spring. I contacted the selling dealer after the auction ended and they didn’t respond. In this market they should have taken my money.

    Like 1
  14. scott m

    I’m getting some Volvo Amazon vibes from this, is there a connection? Looks like it would be fun to drive!

    Like 1
  15. chrlsful

    just slight hints of the TC (or P6) racers to come (end of same decade) a sedate ride in comfort’n style. I remember seeing the later cars w/increasing engine sz as the ’60s progressed (1st 2 hood scoops then 3) out in the school parking lot (rich guys gave their kids).
    Never hada Brit car w/automatic but if they were durable I’d take this so equipped…
    Thnx Adam, an enjoyable daily I’m sure, cheers~

    Like 1

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