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See Homepage. This page: A mighty works-entered Rover P6 powered by a 4.3 litre Traco-built engine at the Nurburgring.
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The Traco-Olds Rover P6 4.3.

Jean-Marie attended the 1970 Marathon de la Route, held over 84 hours at the awe-inspiring Nurburgring racing circuit, and fortunately had this camera with him. He took some great photographs, including those shown below of the epic British Leyland Competitions Department-entered Rover P6 V8, entry number 21. While it'd be easy enough to assume that it was based on a standard P6 3500 V8 saloon, it was in fact a special competition car built from the ground up using a 2000 as its basis.
According to Jean-Marie, the Rover's drivers were Roy Pierpoint, Roger Enever and Clive Baker - at the same race a works Mini Cooper, piloted by Handley, Poole, and Vernaeve, was also entered by the factory but - like the P6 - didn't make it to the end of the race, the P6 retiring from a three-lap (57 mile) lead due to propshaft issues. The Rover was painted pale blue, with a white roof. Two such cars were built, JXC 808D, and next JXC 806D, the car shown here. Despite its hugely-promising debut, the Competitions Department at Abingdon was closed down and planned-for development work on the P6 racer never came to fruition. Both cars survive.
(Please click the thumbnails to view the full-size Rover images.)
Rover P6 4.3 litre V8 racing car
The engine chosen for the car was a Traco-modified, 360bhp 4.3 litre Oldsmobile V8 engine, fed by a quartet of Weber carburettors. The development work was undertaken on behalf of British Leyland by Roy Pierpoint and race-car builder Bill Shaw. Installed in the Rover, its bodyshell adorned by purposeful-looking wide arches to house the four extra-wide Minilite wheels, it certainly looked and sounded the part. It also went very well indeed, being able to clock up 176 mph by all accounts.
JXC 806D on the Marathon de la Route, 1970
Racing at the Nurburgring

Traco-Olds at the Kirkistown racing circuit, 1972.

Thanks to Julian for the following slide scans, he took these images at the Kirkistown circuit in Northern Ireland on a blustery day in 1972. The circuit first saw use in 1953 and, as with so many post-war motor racing venues, is based on a former WW2 RAF airfield, in this case RAF Kirkistown. The three colour photos below show car number 69 in the paddock, the Alec Poole (ex-Bill Shaw/BL Competitions Department) Traco-Olds Rover P6 V8. Whereas Jean-Marie's photos above feature JXC 806D, the second car developed, the red car in Julian's photos is the first - JXC 808D.
The Rover is in good company here in the Kirkistown paddock, parked alongside an orange Lotus. Various cars can be found in the background, including a brace of competition-prepared Minis, and a MkIV Zephyr 6 which, I assume, was a tow vehicle rather than track-ready warrior. By all accounts the mighty Rover was quite a handful thanks to its 4.3 litre powerplant, and something definitely to respect at all times, especially in the wet.
Traco-Olds at Kirkistown circuit
In the second of Julian's scans, the superb-looking P6 sits patiently with its driver on board, awaiting the gates to the track to be opened. Is that a modified Wolseley Hornet, converted to a single (centrally-positioned) wiper, in the foreground? The Modsports era of the 1970s resulted in a spectacular assortment of much-modified road cars heading onto circuits across the country, with cars such as the P6 shown here just one example of the type.
Kirkistown circuit, 1972
Finally in this trio, another side view of the Rover.
Side view of the Traco-Oldsmobile Rover P6
Return to Page 16 in the vintage car gallery.

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