1949 Rover P3 75 Sports Saloon
Rare four-light Sports Saloon; smooth six-cylinder engine; last owner 33 years; recently recommissioned following a period in storage; a very genuine example in need of cosmetic TLC
The Rover P3 was an interim model and was only in production from 1948-49. It featured a new engine that had been in preparation since the late 1930s with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves and was made in two versions: the 60 had a four-cylinder unit of 1,595cc and the 75 had a six-cylinder version of 2,103cc. The gearbox and traditional Rover freewheel were kept unchanged from the previous model 12.
Although the body was similar in styling to the Rover 12 and 16, many of the body panels were in fact new and despite having a wheelbase 4.5-inches shorter than the 16, the 75 was more roomy inside. Also new, and a first for a Rover, was independent front suspension but the brakes remained a hydraulic/mechanical hybrid system. Rather than having a complete chassis, the new frame, which was a box section, was stopped short of the rear axle and the rear semi-elliptic springs were attached to the body. This allowed the rear axle travel to be increased and an improved ride resulted.
Two body styles were available, a six-light saloon and four-light Sports Saloon. The cars were expensive at £1,080 for the 60 and £1,106 for the 75, and with early post-war production problems and material shortages it was never intended that the cars would be produced in large numbers. Eventually, 1,274 of the 60 and 7,837 of the 75 models were made before the car was replaced by the all-new P4 of 1949.
As the Heritage Certificate confirms, this P3 75 four-light Sports Saloon was built in August 1949 and was despatched to Rover agents WH Atkinson of Huddersfield. It wears the registration number NPF 150 which was issued by Surrey Council in 1949 – new cars were hard to come by after the war so presumably the first owner shopped far and wide to get it.
Old invoices on file show that by 1970 it was owned by a Douglas Allsop of London W14 who kept it until 1989 when it was sold to the current registered keeper by Eight Bells Garage of West Sussex for £3,750. Other invoices show that the front suspension and steering was overhauled in 1989 and the engine was rebuilt in 1990. A stainless steel exhaust has also been fitted at some point.
We are told that the car has been in storage for the last dozen years or more but earlier this year it was recommissioned for sale. This included overhauling the brakes, cleaning out the fuel tank, repairing the fuel pump, fitting a new battery plus various other jobs. Since arriving on site the car has been starting promptly and running very sweetly, as a good Rover six-cylinder should.
As you can see in the photos, the original green leather interior is delightfully patinated and it retains its original valve radio and full toolkit in a pull-out tray under the dash. It also retains its original owner’s handbook and service manual. The bodywork requires attention here and there (principally the front wings and the bottom of the driver's door) but it looks very solid underneath.
Altogether a very genuine example of this rare and refined six-cylinder Sports Saloon which now needs an enthusiastic new owner to tidy it up and put it back on the road where it belongs.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email email@example.com
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