Life on Mars Rover P6 sells for £4k

Bargain TV car buy of the year? The 1972 Rover P6 used in the very first episode of cult British TV drama Life On Mars has just sold for £4k

Of all the things to first encounter when waking up in 1973, a Rover 3500 MkII is perhaps the most welcoming. In a decade stalked by hyperinflation, wailing cross-dressers and rampant football violence, Life on Mars protagonist Sam Tyler (John Simm) could easily have been greeted by a demonic Spacehopper or, worse, Fanny Craddock.

For those who suffered 1970s-esque power shortages, or perhaps weren't blessed with adequate British television series syndication, Sam Tyler was the main character of cult British TV series Life On Mars, a drama combining the elements of police procedural and speculative science fiction. After being hit by a car during routine police work in 2006, Tyler wakes up at the scene of his accident 33-years earlier.

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Staggering around on empty waste ground to the eerie tone of David Bowie’s 1973 hit-single Life on Mars?, Tyler’s first clue to his unexpected time travel is a 1972 Rover 3500 MkII – playing an eight-track, no less.

Life on Mars revitalised interest in all things 1970s and introduced one of televisions most popular characters in Phillip Glenister’s Gene Hunt. The main car worshipped in the programme remains the cut-and-shut Ford Cortina MKIII, yet for true TV provenance this Rover provides more clout than any other car in the series, as the first 1970s artefact to appear in episode 1, first broadcast on January 9, 2006.

The Rover V8 appeared for only a few brief moments but clearly left an impact on the UK culture, as it appeared on eBay last week and sold almost instantly for the cut price of £3995. The TV star appeared to be in rude health. Potentially the TV car bargain of the year? We think so.

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