Classifieds Hero: TVR Rally Rover P5
If you are looking for something different, how about this rally-spec Rover P5B powered by TVR?
TVR employed several variants of the legendary Rover V8, ranging from 4.0 to 5.0-litre displacements. However, it’s rare to find it successfully employed the other way around. Therefore, delving into our classifieds, this Rover P5B pulls our attention like a rabid Labrador.
The final incarnation of Rover’s P5B saloon started production in September 1967, fuelled by a 3.5-litre powerplant lurking under the bonnet – freshly pinched from a Buick design, hence the ‘B’. Although a favourite of high-ranking Government types, including four embodiments of Prime Minister and even Queen Elizabeth II (in Arden Green, no less), the graceful and plump P5 found its true calling with families who yearned for comfort over frugality. Wayward to handle and slow on the uptake, perhaps, but the lazy V8 burbled along in a state so unstressed that the driving experience on offer could sooth even the worst of days.
However, while a regular P5 is akin to the butler offering a cup of Earl Grey while taking your coat, this particular one would greet you with a punch in the gut, before then trying to take your life. For, unusually, we have a TVR-tuned lump growling away beneath the bodywork.
Not that the body is stock – we’ve got a roof-mounted tyre rack and auxiliary driving lamps, a lowered stance over OEM wheels and beefy, fat sidewall tyres to complete the ‘Lara Croft’s Dad’ look. While purists may clap eyes on the modified louvers and weep, the alterations have been undertaken tastefully, including the addition of a front skidplate.
Even the interior has been rebalanced with a sympathetic mind, the cabin appearing mostly original with worn seats and a ‘used’ vibe. The rollcage has even been planted directly under the rear fold-down armrest. Perhaps once used for Harold Wilson’s pipe, the only thing smoked in here now is the competition.
Although there are no power-output figures, TVR-derived examples utilised fuel injection. With an estimated 300bhp on tap, this is grandad on steroids; just as at home pottering around town as it would be powersliding on opposite lock in the mud or tanking down a gravel rally stage.
Sold alongside some of the finest classic Aston Martins on the market, we can already state that this rally-prepared P5B will have been augmented to the finest degree. The dealer, well-known Aston Martin specialist Desmond Smail, sells nothing less.
Built to win, rather than to appease the P5's following, this is very much a car with go, rather than show. Besides a full rollcage, there is also a rally computer and a smattering of custom fitments to aid the cause.
Looking for a classic rally car with a difference? Look no further. You can find the Rover P5 for sale with AutoClassics.