No Reserve: 1965 Rover P6 2000

The Rover P6 was a model that showed remarkable longevity. Initially released in 1963, it soldiered on gallantly until 1977. This 1965 P6 2000 looks like an absolute beauty, and it now needs a new home. Its needs are minor, and it could be the chance for someone to slip behind the wheel of a classic British sedan at a very affordable price. The Rover is located in Flanders, New Jersey, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $2,025 in what is a No Reserve auction.

The styling of the P6 could be described as conservative but elegant. It isn’t dripping with chrome trim, and the body lines are smooth and sleek. This Arctic White example presents well, and the owner reveals that it has received a high-quality repaint in its original color. This appears to be flawless, with no evidence of any scratches or chips. The panels are laser straight, and there is no external rust for the buyer to contend with. When you look below the surface, you find an underside that is as clean as you could ever wish for. There are no signs of any existing rust or any previous repair work. The trim and chrome are in excellent order, and the original hubcaps show no visible damage. The same is true of the glass, which looks to be clean and free from flaws.

I would describe the interior of the Rover as being a good 9/10. The only issue of any significance that I can spot is some staining of the headliner, along with a seam separation. I think that it might be possible to address these problems, but if they can’t be fixed, it isn’t the end of the world. Replacement headliners are surprisingly easy to find in the US, and they can be purchased for under $100. Beyond that, the interior looks impressive for a car of this age. The upholstery looks soft and supple, the carpet is free from wear and stains, while the dash looks immaculate. Apart from the headliner, the only trim fault that I can spot is some stretching of the driver’s door trim. However, I think that this could be pulled back into shape fairly easily. The wheel also shows some discoloring, but restoring this in a home workshop would be possible. This isn’t an interior that is loaded with luxury extras. However, an AM radio should provide entertainment on those longer journeys.

The P6 was available with several engines during its production life, but this one features the baby of the bunch. This is the 1,978cc 4-cylinder engine, which should be producing 106hp. This is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission, while the Rover also features power brakes. By modern standards, the 2000 is not a fast car. The trip from 0-60mph takes a full 15 seconds, but the vehicle can cruise at highway speeds all day. This one is in sound mechanical health. The owner says that the engine runs nicely and that it sounds good. The clutch operates correctly, and the transmission shifts smoothly. All of the fluids are up to date, and the suspension and brakes are perfect.

Classic British sports cars are wonderful vehicles, and they have a character of their own. However, they do have a few limitations. The first is that values are increasing steadily, making them less affordable with each passing year. The second issue is one of seating. Most of them are designed to carry two people, and those that will seat more have limited rear-seat room. That can make longer journeys uncomfortable for some people. That’s where cars like this 1965 P6 2000 come into the equation. They offer a chance for people to secure their slice of classic British motoring, but in a package that is both practical and affordable. I have to say that I’m surprised that the bidding has remained so low, and if it doesn’t take off very soon, someone has the potential to end 2020 with a very canny buy.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I saw my first and only Rover P6 in person when I was 15 and looking for my first car. It was a beautiful royal blue P3500 sitting on a Fiat dealer lot. I was drawn to the 3 hood scopes thinking this was cool. Pop said no way! There is a clapped out P6 in the local Craigslist and I’m glad it’s beyond hope because I would be tempted to do something foolish. Neat cars which had some innovative designs. Just not the most loved car mostly due to the British motor industry falling apart in the 70’s.

    Like 3
  2. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    I too remember the P6 well and these were aspirational segment Brit cars. Good quality as long as the tin worm stayed away.
    But still not quite the same charm as the P5B we had in the UK.

    Like 2
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      The Rover P5 B was a wonderful car. My car had a rough auto box but once it was on the move, oh boy. Wish I still had it. (Along with many others I should never have sold!) Ken Tilly UK

      Like 10
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        Sweet looking car. I’ve heard of the Rover P5 and Rover P6. My favourites have always been later P5 and early P6.

        Like 1
  3. mackey4cars mackey4cars

    i love the old 4dr. cars and 4dr wagons too.

  4. mackey4cars mackey4cars

    i love old 4dr. cars

  5. That AMC guy

    Yikes, I’ve always been fascinated by these and this one is in a place that I could conceivably drive out to. Depending where the bidding goes it might even be affordable. Fortunately I really have no room for it in the garage! (Last thing I need is another needy classic to wrench on, particularly one with such unusual engineering features.) Also while the body looks good there are no underside photos and it’s in salt country.

  6. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    @Car nut Tacoma. I forget to mention that the P5B also has a V 8 engine, originally by Buick I believe.

    Like 2
  7. Stan Kaminski

    I believe all the body panels bolted on and Rover had an magazine ad saying so. It proclaimed you could order an extra body set in a different color should you want a different color car. I believe the ad showed the car minus all of its body panels. That had to be expensive. I remember ads pointing out the ergonomics used in designing the dashboard switchgear. First I’d heard of ergonomics.

  8. Peter Pentz

    I owned a Rover 3500 back in the 80s.
    The only part of the car that was total junk was the instrument panel. Every time you turned it on it was a case of “guess which instruments wouldn’t be working.
    It was a very advanced design – the rear suspension was De Dion independent, and the front suspension was cantilever with horizontal springs (intended to keep the bonnet height as low as possible).
    It was a wonderful open road cruiser.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Peter Pentz,

      Back in the 1980s & early 90s I had several P6 3500S V8 Rovers, and yes, that instrument panel had a problem with the main connection in the back. The solution was to clean all the connection points and cover them with a special dielectric grease that keeps the connections free from corrosion.

      The one change I did to 2 of them was replace the original intake manifold & SU carbs with the 4 barrel carb & manifold from the Buick motor. On both cars the fuel economy improved.

      Even the Lucas electrical systems on the P6 3500S cars was reliable [except for the aforementioned inst. panel]. Between the local NAPA parts store and the local Beck-Arnley parts store, I rarely had a problem finding what I needed in parts. Of course being Irish and knowing Mr. Murphey very well, I always traveled with Tools and the P6 service manual.

      If I was looking for a nice, reliable “Banker’s car” from the UK, the P6 3500S would be on my short list.

  9. wardww

    Visually beautiful but I would not touch it. The later gens of the p6 with the 3500 were spectacular and far more refined. Much more aggressive stance and nose. They looked like they were hunting. The earlier versions looked like they were being hunted.

  10. Martin Horrocks

    Very hard to find these in such good condition. Someone take care of this one, please!

    The early P6 was as good a car as ever made in post WW2 UK. It was influenced by European cars like Citroen DS (bolt on panels), Lancia (de Dion rear suspension), elegant modern design by David Basche combined with a high British quality which was old school Rover. Car and Driver, Road and Track, Motor Sport all loved the combination on offer, particularly the twin carb 2000TC.

    The V8 version came later, was quicker and better but the company was heading into British Leyland and very soon the Rover quality was gone. The 3 scoops which Alphasud mention were a US market hack to stop the V8 overheating. BMW and MB would have engineered the problem away but BL didn´t care. How we won the war and lost the peace….

    Like 1
  11. Mike

    Looks like a fedora was used as a design inspiration.

    Like 1
  12. Willowen Member

    A girl-who-was-a-friend’s family were well-off car freaks; each kid got the car of his or her choice for their 16th birthday (hers was an MG Midget). Papa’s car was the upgraded version of this Rover; she picked me up in it one night and we took off through the hills above Palo Alto. After twenty minutes or so she pulled over and said, “If you so much as ding this we’re both dead!”, and swapped seats with me. It was the most “grownup” car I’d ever driven over these roads, but I knew them well and enjoyed the experience. Did not drive hard enough to test the car at all, but had the sense of good manners and a willingness to push a lot more than I felt safe in doing.

    As for the one up here, I had ridden in one owned by a co-worker, but that was stuffed into the back seat with two other people on a lunch run. Twice, I think. The car was not quite roomy enough to make that pleasant, but aside from that I have no conclusions to draw.

    Like 1
  13. Ian

    The P6 won European Car of the Year when it came out and was used in 2000 and more 3500 for by many police forces. The ‘basic’ 2000 is a very good drive and gets better if you can work your way up through the models (like the the 2000TC best } Strong UK following and rising prices (spares fine to generally ) make this car a snip

    Like 1
  14. chrlsful

    I remember the later TC 3500 a ’69 update to this. I think it’s Y they bought the famous buick alu bent8. Man we (usa) losta goodun there.
    THAT wuz the 1 w/the 3 hood scoops…

    Like 1
    • Martin Horrocks

      The 3 scoops hood was US market only – a cheap British Leyland fix to reduce overheating in the sunshine states. The old Rover company would have engineered a proper solution. Even the all new SD1 Rover had holes cut in the bonnet for the US market……

      This P6 is from the era when Rover was independent but the company´s name and reputation for quality were later hi-jacked and applied to the whole range of BL products, hence Rover Metro and a series of Rover-badged Hondas. Sad end to a proudly independent and innovative company which was as old as the industry.

      Willowen is quite right to recall that the rear seats were tight for 3 people, being two beautifully sculpted individual leather seats with a central armrest.. So nice a lot have been turned into high end furniture over the years.

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      chrlsful,

      You are correct, GM should never have sold all the rights to the 215 motor. It’s actually the only motor GM ever sold out-right, not just a license to build a variation. It’s also the only GM motor of the 1960s, so well designed, that as of this year is still meeting US and European emission regulations!

      I’m told that the reason GM sold the rights was because, being a die-cast block and heads, it’s block was much more expensive to build compared to cast iron blocks.

  15. angliagt angliagt Member

    It’s at $2125.00,with 14 hours to go.As this is a
    “no reserve” auction,someone might get a good deal.

  16. Willowen Member

    As I recall, the engineers at Rover found quite a few problems in the design details and worked to correct them. I also remember that Rover had asked for a license, and it was GM that wanted the thing simply gone, and insisted on selling it. Then, after Rover had refined the design, GM asked if they could pretty please have it back, and Rover told them to go pound sand.

    The Rover 3500 (I think it was called) is the only one I can remember seeing up close. It was very popular among the young Italian professional class, and the manager of the travel agency in Bari that straightened out my badly misguided return itinerary in 1979 had a yellow one parked right out front, and did me the unintentional favor of getting into it and blasting off as we were returning to our Fiat.

  17. SubGothius

    Amazing how even now, these still manage to look both classic and radical at the same time.

  18. Joe

    My mother bought one new in 1969. Cool car, but lots of annoying issues. Brakes, Windshield wipers, other electrical things. Oh, and I failed my first road test in that thing!

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