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Homepage. This page: Early (post-cyclops) Rover saloon, plus a later P4 in a car park (1969).

P4 Rover saloon

Two period photographs of the classic British Rover P4 saloon.
Return to Motoring Photographs Page 2.
Shown below in this original black and white photo is a P4 saloon, product of Rover's manufacturing plant in the 1950s. This particular car has been finished in a two tone paint scheme and is registered RBP 175. It is highly unlikely that this quality car has survived into preservation - many were scrapped due to rear chassis rot, and a good number demolished in the delicate hands of the banger racer.
P4 Rover
The very early P4s had an unusual lamp arrangement at the front, where a third lamp was mounted in the centre of the grille, earning it the nickname of 'cyclops'. This appears to be slightly later, and has a more traditional look to it. However it is still an early-ish car, due to the curvier front wings found on this model, and the shape of the rear wings and boot area that slopes down much more than on later cars. Note the suicide rear doors, and semaphore indicators, or 'trafficators', fitted to this P4. It also has a roof-mounted aerial, and a large pair of chrome spotlamps fitted ahead of the Rover grille. A close look also reveals an AA badge on the front bumper.

A later P4 Rover.

And now for a colour photograph, dated January 1969, showing a two tone green example of Rover's P4 saloon. Note how the two toning has been handled differently from that seen on the earlier car above. The fencing in the background reminds me of the type often seen around military bases and airfields, so perhaps 756 SFK (a Worcester number) is parked outside just such an establishment. Also in view is a grubby 2 door Minor, and a Hillman Super Minx.
Another Rover P4 car
In the 1960s the P4 was discontinued, Rover's sales continuing thanks to the substantial P5 and P5B saloons and coupes, and by the rakish P6 2000, the 2200, and the V8 3500 which as a range replaced the P4. After that, things went downhill in my opinion. In the 1970s the wedgy SD1 was Rover's offering. It was an advanced design in some ways, but production issues and union woes led to quality suffering with the SD1s, and they never really recovered their reputation. Later Rovers were heavily based on contemporary Hondas, became very dated, and soldiered on against increasingly modern competition, until production of the all-new 75 stopped altogether just a few years into production. Its a shame as the 75 seems to have good reviews in the magazines, and the MG versions were definitely lively machines.

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