West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional example of this 1972 Rover 3500S which is a rare factory 4 speed manual transmission car that was upgraded to use the 5-speed gearbox from a later Rover in 2001. This RHD car was cosmetically and mechanically refurbished over a long period starting in the late 1980s and wrapping up in the early 2000s as documented by its restoration log. The car is powered by the aluminum 3.5L Rover V8 mated to the upgraded gearbox. This Rover was imported to the US from the UK approximately 8 years ago and will be sold with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate.
The car has very striking classic 'Cameron Green' color paint and a beautiful beige leather interior and has alloy wheels which are factory pieces from an SD1 and which wear correct center caps. These wheels are a handsome upgrade over the standard steel or wire wheels used on P6s and look perfectly at home on this car. The car has no signs of any accidents or rust and it drives very well.
The Rover P6 series (named as the 2000, 2200, or 3500, depending on engine displacement) was a saloon (sedan) car produced by Rover and subsequently British Leyland from 1963 to 1977 in Solihull, West Midlands, England, UK.
The P6 was the first winner of the European Car of the Year award.
The 2000 was advanced for the time with a de Dion tube suspension at the rear, four-wheel disc brakes (inboard on the rear), and a fully synchromesh transmission. The unibody design featured non-stressed panels bolted to a unit frame, inspired by the Citron DS. The de Dion set-up was unique in that the "tube" was in two parts that could telescope, thereby avoiding the need for sliding splines in the drive shafts, while still keeping the wheels vertical and parallel in relation to the body.
The Rover 2000 won industry awards for safety when it was introduced and included a carefully designed "safety" interior. The engine compartment width (with slightly amended shape) facilitated the accommodation of the Buick-derived Rover V8 engine made available in the P6 from April 1968, The Citron DS19 inspired the Rover 2000 design, Sculptor Flaminio Bertoni's Citron DS body inspired David Bache. With a nod to the new Kamm tail, the finished Rover appearance incorporated a necessarily enlarged boot filled otherwise by Rover's de Dion rear suspension. Luggage compartment space was limited due to the complex rear suspension and, in Series II vehicles, the boot mounted battery. The spare wheel competed for space also, and was stored either flat on the boot floor or vertically to the side. Series II models briefly offered Dunlop Denovo Run-flat tyre, eliminating the need for a spare, though this was not commonly selected and is very unusual on surviving examples.
Rover saw Buick's compact 3.5 L V8 from the Buick Special as a way to differentiate the top-of-the-line P6. They purchased the rights to the innovative aluminum engine and once it was modified to allow its use by Rover, it became an instant hit. The Rover V8 engine, as it became known, outlived its original host, the P5B, by more than thirty years.
The 3500 was introduced in April 1968 (one year after the Rover company was purchased by Triumph's owner, Leyland) and continued to be offered until 1977. The manufacturer asserted that the light metal V8 engine weighed the same as the four-cylinder unit of the Rover 2000, and the more powerful car's maximum speed of 114 mph as well as its 10.5-second acceleration time from 060 mph were considered impressive, and usefully faster than most of the cars with which, on the UK market, the car competed on price and specifications with the Rover 3500 auto tested by Motor magazine in the issue published on 20 April 1968 achieving a maximum speed of 117 miles per hour/060 mph in 9.5 seconds, with a standing quarter-mile in 17.6 seconds.
It was necessary to modify the under-bonnet space to squeeze the V8 engine into the P6 engine bay: the front suspension cross-member had to be relocated forward, while a more visible change was an extra air intake beneath the front bumper to accommodate the larger radiator. There was no longer space under the bonnet for the car's battery, which in the 3500 retreated to a position on the right side of the trunk. Nevertheless, the overall length and width of the body were unchanged when compared with the smaller-engined original P6.
Having invested heavily in the car's engine and running gear, the manufacturer left most other aspects of the car unchanged. However, the new Rover 3500 could be readily distinguished from the 2000 thanks to various prominent V8 badges on the outside and beneath the radio. The 3500 was also delivered with a black vinyl covering on the C-pillar, although this decoration later appeared also on four-cylinder cars.
A 3-speed Borg Warner 35 automatic was the only transmission until the 1971 addition of a four-speed manual 3500S model, fitted with a modified version of the gearbox used in the 2000/2200. The letter "S" did not denote "Sport", it was chosen because it stood for something specific on those cars: "Synchromesh". However it is important to note that the 3500S was noticeably quicker than the automatic version of this car with a 0-60 mph time of 9 seconds, compared with 10.1 for the default, i.e. automatic, car. Moreover, due to the fuel-guzzling nature of automatic gearboxes of this era, the manual car's official cycle was 24 mpg compared to the automatic's 22 mpg.
You will look long and hard to find a finer example of this rare late model and top-of-the-line P6 Rover 3500S with an upgraded 5 speed manual transmission and in such a striking and classic British color combination!