Review – Wheeler Dealers – Rover P5B Coupe
Wheeler Dealers is a British TV program whereby the two presenters buy a classic car, do some basic restoration and try to sell the car for a profit. recently there was an episode featuring the Rover P5B Coupe. Having watched the episode, I thought it worth posting my thoughts on the program.
Firstly, the advice they gave on what to look out for when buying a P5 (mainly corrosion, particularly in the rear D-pillar) was accurate, although naturally a TV program can’t go into all the detail a buyer would need. If you’re thinking of buying a P5, I suggest taking a look at our P5 Buyers Guide page here.
The Wheeler Dealers car was bought for £3,850, which in my experience was an extremely good price. When buying my car 2 years ago I looked at several cars around £5,000 and they were all poor bodily and hadn’t been maintained well, so the Wheeler Dealers were either very fortunate or I was very unlucky! Either way, I do think it sets a somewhat ‘challenging’ expectation for prospective owners, but good luck to you if you are looking to buy a car.
My main issue with the program was that I couldn’t believe they decided to spend almost £2,000 on a pair of custom-built Stainless Steel exhaust manifolds, with the intention of extracting more power from the engine. Any gain would be marginal (a 10% gain was suggested, but that seems optimistic to me), and I don’t think many P5 owners are that bothered by the power output of the engine – a well serviced and tuned original is fine.
I realise the car already had a custom inlet manifold, carb and air filter, but there are many, many better things to spend £2,000 on – possibly having the engine bay re-sprayed and cleaned or the leather seats properly restored would have been a better idea. Alternatively if, as they said, they wanted to give the car more attitude, I’d suggest lowering it mildly, fitting uprated shock absorbers to improve the handling and fitting slightly wider wheels (alloys or my preference – widened Rostyles).
Replacing the carpets was certainly a good move, and I assume the company they visited also produce the carpets for JR Wadhams (they certainly looked identical to the set I bought) Re-conditioning the steering box was also a good idea as it was leaking oil (another common problem) and seemed to have a lot of slack.
Overall the program was enjoyable and worth watching. The ‘restoration’ was basic to say the least, but the end result looked wonderful. I’m sure close-up there are many, many minor things that still need sorting out, but it’s great to see a P5 getting some attention and hopefully it will help to raise the profile of these cars.