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Rover P6b - what to do
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1040
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Rover P6b - what to do Reply with quote

June 1976 Rover 3500 automatic

The typical classic car owner dilemma.

A friend of a friend asked me to advise him what to do with a car he inherited from his father who died last year. This friends friend (I never met him) informs me that his father bought the car in 1996 from friends of the family who had owned the car many many years before, and always had the maintenance done by a local specialist. Just before 1996, the car had been restored there using new doors and other panels, and was resprayed. This family then sold the car as they were leaving on a world trip.
The friends friend father then used the car for a couple of years, before putting it away in a dry farm building late 1999. The engine supposedly was started every year until three or four years ago.
So I agreed with the friends friend to have a look at the car. This I did this afternoon.

It is dusty, VERY! but underneath that dust I could see no dents or rust. In fact the paint seem very good but it is hard to see right now. Checked the sills, boot floor, underside of the doors, sill ends and again no rust to be seen. Even the exhaust looked good.
The bumpers have faired less good, these have small specs of rust.
In the engine bay all is there but with a thin layer of rust. Brake reservoir is empty, engine oil is fairly clean as is the automatic trans oil (red). I forgot to look at the cooling fluid. Also, I forgot to look if it has PAS. Tried to turn the engine but could not get it turning by the (metal) fan blades fitted to the water pump. The fan turned but not the crankshaft (yes the car was in Neutral gear).
A surprise was to find that it has air conditioning, a very rare accessory here in the Netherlands (this car has been delivered here new).
The interior is a bit dirty but very good. No tears or splits in the leather and even the carpets seem serviceable. There is a proper steel sliding roof, a popular local fitment her in the Netherlands during the 70s. Regrettably the underside of this sliding panel has a split in the headlining, the remaining headlining is good.
So there we have it. A basically good rust free P6 with a good interior. Mechanics unknown - it might be that there is frost damage, engine stuck?
Brake hydraulics probably needs an overhaul.

Could be lucky - maybe easy to get the engine running again, no damage, radiator no leaks, suspension serviceable.
Could be unlucky - engine stuck, carbs need an overhaul, radiator leaking, brake booster leaking, etc etc

If the friends friend is to be believed, and I think I do, the car had no real problems when it was stored.

What is it worth?
A very nice P6 with good paint, mechanics and interior is worth about 6000 onwards.
A good running P6 with APK (yearly test) which would need work to paint, chrome, mechanics or interior is worth from 1500 - 6000.
This car?

That said, this car has some positive things: air con, sliding roof, good interior, good paint, no rust, original Dutch car, low mileage, history
Negatives: it is brown!, engine/gearbox a gamble, bumpers

Should I advise the friends friend to put it for sale? He probably will ask me to do that because he knows nothing about old cars.
Or should I buy it myself, thoroughly clean it, get it running and then sell it? Could make a nice profit.

Your views?




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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1329
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the price was right and I had the brass - plus enough for a thorough brake overhaul - I would be tempted to go for it, time permitting and conditional on having a proper look underneath. I wouldn't condemn the engine as stuck without trying a spanner on the crank (or even a spare battery), I've known several sound engines that wouldn't turn over by the fan blades. Come to think of it if the engine would turn over from the fan I'd be inclined to think the fan belt was adjusted a little too tight, but that's just IMO.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20267
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have the time, space (and energy) to fix it up, then it might be worth an offer. The colour puts me off a bit, as does the auto box, but I imagine it'd make a fine car once fully sorted.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Ellis



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 1365
Location: Betws y Coed, North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A late P6, there cannot be many left in that condition but I can relate a cautionary tale if it will be of some interest to you.

A friend's father inherited a 1968 Rover P6 3500 from his father who had bought it new. It was in dark green with a black leather interior. He used it as "high days and holidays" car until about 1985 when the car was laid up in a dry shed in company with a 1957 Austin A35 2 door.

There it remained until a few years ago (2010)until the owner and his son decided to disinter the P6 and evaluate it for refurbishment or sale. I saw the P6 myself and I can confirm that it was in good condition with only 60k miles. Cotton sheets had protected the paintwork and the interior was near pristine. The engine ran well, the auto gearbox performed as it should but the brakes needed attention.

It was advertised on Ebay as a genuine barn find type vehicle and failed to sell twice with a 500 reserve. On the third time, without reserve, it was bid up to only to less than 500 and the buyer made no contact. The penultimate bidder was contacted and he opted to buy at his last bid of 450. Please remember this was a complete history car with all it's handbooks, service history and invoices and 2 owners only from new.

An absurdly low sum for an early 1968 model.
I have no idea of P6 values in the Netherlands but the differences between there and the UK cannot be that large.
If you offer to buy, badhuis, then offer low. The low prices of Rover P6 and Mark 1 Triumph 2000 have been discussed on here before.

The Austin A35 in similar condition sold for around 800 with enthusiastic bidding.
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L5Foye



Joined: 26 Sep 2014
Posts: 30
Location: Laurelvale, Portadown N. Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be a Rover garage not far from me. Before they would take on apprentices ,they would be given the job of overhauling the rear brakes on a P6. If they did this successfully, they were hired.
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baconsdozen



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 1109
Location: Under the car.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to know what finally happens here.
I was in a similar position a few years back with another Rover,I bought it,as much as anything to stop myself wondering "What if" for years afterwards.
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MikeG



Joined: 16 Sep 2013
Posts: 56
Location: Cheshire/Staffordshire Border

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a small garage near to me and Leek in North Saffordshire,who makes a living from refurbishing only cars like this.This indicates to me there is a market out there.
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1040
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I went to have a look at the car again, with someone who maybe wants to buy it. He noticed the vinyl on the roof was not watertight, had small cuts and you could feel and hear crumbling steel underneath. Bad news.
But the good news is that the complete roof of a P6 can be unscrewed and removed as a complete panel.

If I would tackle this car, I would remove the roof and exchange it for a better one, without a sliding roof. I imagine there will be takers for a roof complete with a metal sliding roof, something pretty rare in the UK (although fairly common in the Netherlands).
I am not a fan of metal sliding roofs, they rust and always have trouble being watertight. This car does not need it either as it has air conditioning installed.

I am still in two minds about what to with this car. There is a similar car for sale in the Netherlands which was made roadworthy again after been laid up for 26 years. Point is that the asking price is only 3800, which says the brown car will not be worth much more when roadworthy.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oldtimers-te-koop.be%2Foldtimer-autos%2Frover-p6-3500-v8-automaat_269392.aspx&edit-text=&act=url
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2790
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see that would make a nice project but as to making a profit, I am less sure. The leather needs doing, the roof is a pain, and as has been mentioned the rear brakes on these would send many a mechanic running for the hills.

I would probably walk away but if you do take it on I have some useful tips to make doing the brakes easier for you. Please don't hesitate to ask.
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BigJohn



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 875
Location: Nr. Lancaster

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contact these guys.

https://classicroverforum.net/index.php

A wealth of information when I had a P6b
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20267
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigJohn wrote:
Contact these guys.

https://classicroverforum.net/index.php

A wealth of information when I had a P6b


Recommending other forums?? hmmm Smile

The more I look at the photos, the more it looks like a lot of work to get it into average condition, and a heap more work to get it into good order.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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BigJohn



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 875
Location: Nr. Lancaster

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, I also recommend THIS forum, but a narrow field of expertise requires narrow minds, so anorak groups are sometimes required. Laughing Laughing
P6B values are low, possibly because they are over engineered and it is not economically viable to restore one unless it is a labour of love.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 2790
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possible reason why these V8 Rovers are not making big money is their prolific thirst. They drink like a fish.
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1040
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thirst may be an issue but I think that is not the main reason. The reason why these cars are worth little is because they are 4 door family cars.
Most of them will never be used again as a family car, but as a hobby car. And for a hobby car you would not need four doors, or a family car. Instead you would stay away from a family car, because your main car will be a family car already and you want something else as a hobby car.
Two doors, sportier, older, whatever.
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COMMAD



Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 160
Location: Gold Coast. Australia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:
One possible reason why these V8 Rovers are not making big money is their prolific thirst. They drink like a fish.
Very Happy Very Happy I own a 74 P6b 3500 V8, and I'm getting 29 MPG on 98 octane fuel. Quite happy with fuel consumption as the P6 is a great drivers car. Comfort at its best.
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