British Amazon: 1961 Rover P5

1961-Rover-P5

This 1961 Rover P5 had been stashed away for 40 years, but the current owner pulled it out and had an import shop go through everything. They have receipts for over $4,000 worth of repairs and the car is claimed to run and drive great now. Now they just want to get their money back out, so $4k will take it. Find it here on Craigslist out of Kingman, Arizona. A special thanks goes to reader N. Bemelman for the submission.

1961-Rover-P5-engine

Cruising power is provided by this 3 liter inline-six which is attached to an automatic transmission. Driving this car may not be very exciting, but it is capable of reaching 95 mph so it should be able to keep up with modern traffic just fine.

1961-Rover-P5-interior

Two tone paint and red leather adds some surprising flair to this otherwise mundane British sedan. The wood on the dash might be a little dry and the leather is dusty, but we bet it will clean up just fine.

1961-Rover-P5-side

These were understated cars in their day, but it is sure to standout today when parked by modern automobiles. It looks very original, apart from the hood ornament, and if you squint a bit, it looks just like a Volvo 122. $4k could buy other cars, but if the P5 was good enough for the Queen of England than it ought to be good enough for us.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Cameron

    Excuse me, mundane, I don;’t think so, these made it to my list of classicly good looking cars amongst which was some early Volvos and the Triumph Stag (sort of a British mustang) although the roof was extra with the stag instead of no roof being an extra with the Mustang.
    Since this rover is already in a sort of 2 tone I would re-spray it in a Old English White and a nice red maybe Magenta 2 tone colour with the white on the bottom, this would make it look nicely understated but good looking, then the only modifications I would do would be to buy a set of minilite alloy wheels and some new tyres so I knew that I was safe on them, unfortenetly its a bit out of my reach, yet again you Yanks have a wonderful British classic car over there and we can’t afford to bring it back to its birth land on our soil.

  2. Kevin Callihan

    The one comment above needed an answer first…” yet again you Yanks have a wonderful British classic car over there and we can’t afford to bring it back to its birth land on our soil.?”-Does anyone know what he means, I have guesses but I’d like to know the truth about his/her assertion. Thanks in advance.

  3. FRED

    THIS IS THE REASON THIS IS THE FIRST EMAIL I READ EVERY DAY.THERE IS NO TELLING WHAT KIND OF CAR WILL BE GIVING US A HISTORY LESSON FOR THE DAY. I AGREE WITH CAMERON ABOUT WHAT THE CAR NEEDS BUT NOT SURE I AGREE WITH THE COLOR COMBO.I THINK THE WHEELS SHOULD BE GOLD SPOKE WIRE TO SHOW THE QUEEN THAT WE HAVE SOME CLASS TOO.

    • Stan Allaby

      I use to own one of these in 1968-9.Bought it off an estate in Peabody, Mass area. I drove it for over 89,000 miles though-out New England,Ontario Ohio and Vermont area..It was all grey and had toggle switches and great leather.It was also American/ left hand drive. Did have some trouble with fuel pump and finding a reliable mechanic..otherwise wish I had it today.Traded in on a Rover 2000 in 1970..in Beverly, Mass..If anyone has seen it..let me know!!

  4. Graham Lloyd

    I think Cameron is just having a little fun Kevin. A little tongue in cheek reference to Americans whining about all the US manufactured cars being exported. Maybe? Who knows. Not important.

    There’s more cars than buyers, so as long as it’s saved…

    Mind you, if you’re from the south, I can understand not liking the reference “Yank”

  5. Doug M Member

    That side view makes me see “volvo 122” towards the rear, and the front roof lines says “56 desoto” ….I must be just waking up!

  6. Dolphin Member

    No, this 1961 P5 is not mundane compared to a ’61 Austin Mini, which was great basic transportation at a bargain price, but it was mundane compared to another first-year British car—the great ’61 E-Type with the highly responsive 3-carb engine. It’s all relative, Cameron….

    @Kevin: I think what Cameron means is that he wishes he could afford to buy, ship, and import this car into the UK, especially seeing as it’s RHD,……but that he can’t quite gather all the cash together that would be required.

  7. Bill

    While Rovers are nice to admire they are a very unreliable brand per Road & Track Owners Surveys. Of all the surveys done by R&T, Rover ranked highest in “Would not buy another” and number of major items needed repaired. I don’t think the downside of British quality was passed until the Yugo was made.

  8. seth karpen

    had a 76 TR7 that took the same alterator as Rover’s and Jag’s . in 1977 the alternator lasted 12,000 miles and cost $125 for a rebuilt. would not consider a British car without knowing what the spares wwre going to cost

    • paul

      I had a TR7 & don’t recall having any troubles with the car despite my beating the crap out of it auto crossing it a few years later I had a Saab 900 that used the same motor turned backwards it also was a very solid motor.

  9. seth karpen

    never had any engine trouble with the TR7, quieter @ 80 than at 60. Engine would wind out to 8000 rpm if the throttle stuck during shifting.

  10. Volvoman

    Again, many of the reliability problems associated with European cars were due to few dealerships, problems obtaining parts and mechanics who wernt familiar with European cars.
    The Rover P5, although rather staid transportation was built to VERY high standards. They are nigh on rust immune, having heavy gauge steel underpinnings, up to ’64 (correct me if im wrong) aluminium doors, bonnet and boot and far better paintwork than most cars of the day.
    The later P6 was equally well built although much more complex and the SD1 was……lousy!
    The Rover P5 6cyl engines were very smooth running and long lived IOE engines- which would no doubt have frightened a few mechanics stateside.

  11. Volvoman

    Above I referred to the P5- I meant P4- although the P5 was very solid too.
    Not really at all like an Amazon- no sporting credentials whatsoever; more like a British Buick.

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