Buying a Rover P5B Coupe

It’s taken almost 6 months, but finally I’ve made an offer on a car – 1968, Silver Birch over Admiralty Blue, Buckskin leather with Mortlake Brown carpets. Widely accepted to be the best colour combination available (although I really like Zircon Blue as well). The car isn’t perfect but there’s little sign of rot in the usual areas and it’s better than many of the cars I’ve seen. The car suffered an engineer fire 2 years ago, so much of the car from the firewall forwards is new and has been repaired professionally at major expense. It all looks as good as original. Everything works, and the car drives very well.

The items on my ‘want list’ after condition and originality were: colour (blue preferably – maybe I prefer Zircon Blue, but Admiralty Blue is next best); headrests (although these are an easy addition, it’s one less thing to buy); no wing mirrors; radio panel and rear speaker volume control; manual choke.

The worst bits seem to be the front seats (really dirty) and carpets (dirty and worn). There aren’t any obvious mechanical issues, although time will tell, so for now I’ll be fitting new seat belts all round, and then re-trimming in places (door pockets) and repairing the wood trim in places. Also the door seals need replacing. The headlining is immaculate, and the rear seat looks like it’s never been sat on.

Over the last 6 months (October 2013 – March 2014) I looked at several Coupes around £6K, and whilst they looked good in the photos, actual inspection revealed them to be very tatty full of filler. You would have to spend a great deal on them very quickly. Time will tell if mine does the same, but having spent an hour under / over / around / inside it, I’m hoping it will be generally OK. Priority #1 is to have the car professionally rust-proofed.

Oh, and this car doesn’t suffer from my pet-hate of having wing mirrors fitted. Door mirrors look good on a P5B. Wing mirrors have far too many caravanning connotations.

Here are the sellers pictures:

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