The P7 car and project

<I> So alike an ordinary P6 - and yet so different!</I>
So alike an ordinary P6 - and yet so different!

Ian Glass of Llandyrnog, Denbigh, North Wales, owns the only surviving P7. Here is his personal story about the car, with a lot of facts previously unknown - at least for the RCoS webmaster.

Firstly the thinking behind the car. Rovers always built 4 and six cylinder engines ( apart from the twin cylinder eight!).
Unfortunately, when they designed the P4 they put the six cylinder 75 into production first. When the 4 cylinder 60 arrived on the scene the poor thing had difficulty hauling itself around and acceleration was measured with a calendar! Seriously steep hills meant passengers had to get out and walk.
When designing the P6 range they decided not to repeat the mistake they had made with the P4 and build a reasonable perrformance 4 cylinder first. Also for economy reasons it made sense to be able to build the bigger six cylinder on the same engine line. Hence the P7 is indeed a 2000 with two extra cylinders. By 1963 when the 2000 was launched five prototype P7s were being tested. Mine, 47 GYK, was actually registered in 1963.
Modification consisted of different front suspension, Girling front brakes (Dunlop still on the rear), a different frontal treatment with a small grill and faired in headlights behind perspex covers, front number plate angled to act as an air scoop to the radiator (in fact the radiator was laid on its side to ge a low profile and the filler/header tank was up by the bulkhead), different front inner and outer wings, different bonnet with louvres in it, a strip speedo reading to 140mph, a special ratio diff, and strange vents on the rear quarter panels and panel between boot and rear window which was possibly an experiment in airflow ventilation.
Problems experienced consisted of noise from the tappets (one of my spare engines came with a neat accoustic cover), and heavy steering at parking speeds, which would probably been fixed on production models by power steering.
The story of the V8 is well documented. Suffice to say that when William Martin-Hurst measured the redundant Buick on his fishing trip it made obvious sense not to have massive tooling costs to produce all the different components needed to put the P7 into production.
The car handles at speed MUCH better than a P6. It goes around corners like its on rails and accelerates like a scalded cat. 40 in first, 60 in second, 100 in third, off the clock (140) in top. I do not know what the accurate top speed is, but courtesy of our local constabulary and the Magistrates Court I know it reads 7 mph slow at 100!
Four of the cars were used for crash testing but mine escaped. Hopefully these brief details will put to rest suggestions of bad handling etc.
Incidentally, just after the SD1 came out I was cut up by one on a fast winding road in Snowdonia. When I put my foot down it was a 'no contest' and I suspect the owner of the SD1 was round to his dealer the next day to complain an 'elderly 2000' had left him standing.

Ian

Like any P6 from the back. But look at the bonnet with louvres in it. The huge bonnet with a huge engine. You can clearly see that this is a prolonged P6.

Medlemsinloggning

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