About the Rover P4
Click here to see Classic Car Weekly's Rover P4 Buying Guide
The Rover P4 was introduced at the September 1949 Earls Court Motor Show as the Rover 75. It was a radical departure for Rover with its up to date styling (influenced by the Studebaker Champion Regal Deluxe), a painted grille instead of a chrome grille and central “Cyclops” pass light. The car was fitted with a 2103cc 75 bhp 6 cylinder engine, 4 speed gearbox and freewheel. For the 1951 model year the rectangular instruments were replaced by round instruments to achieve wider appeal. For the 1952 model year a chrome grille, without the central pass light was introduced. The chrome grille remained a feature of the P4 range throughout its remaining life, albeit mildly modified over time.
The 1954 model year saw the introduction of the Rover 90 with a 2638cc 6 cylinder engine and the Rover 60 with a 1997cc 4 cylinder engine. All models received a floor mounted gear lever to replace the column change fitted to the earlier cars. Additionally, the handbrake lever was relocated to the side of the driver’s seat from its original position under the dashboard. The 1955 model year saw the return of the shepherd’s crook handbrake lever under the dashboard along with major changes to the rear end of the car which were designed by David Bache. The rear wing/boot height was raised and a wrap around rear window introduced.
For the 1956 model year the 90 model was available with overdrive as an option. The 1957 model year cars benefited from a new style front wing along with the introduction of the twin carburetted 105S and automatic 105R variants to replace the 90 as the top of the range models. A new style of two-tone paintwork became available as an option for the 1958 model year with the join of the two colours positioned at the waist height. Towards the end of the 1958 model year the 105R model was dropped due to poor sales and the 105S was renamed the 105.
The 1959 model year P4 saw the introduction of changes to the grill (recessed bars), new bumpers, over-riders and revised interior trim details (e.g. glove-box handle and padded dashboard top rail).
The 1960 model year saw the introduction of the 80 with a 2250 cc 4 cylinder OHV engine and the 100 with a 2625cc 6 cylinder IOE engine to replace the 60, 75, 90 and 105 models. The 4 cylinder engine was a development of the Land-Rover engine and the 6 cylinder engine was a development of the 7 bearing crankshaft P5 3-litre engine. Both new models benefited from power-assisted brakes; discs (front) and drums (rear).
The 1961 and 1962 model years introduced very few changes to the 80 and 100 models and are mainly confined to the available colour schemes and aspects of trim, e.g. reclining front seats.
The 1962 model years saw the replacement of the 80 and 100 models with the 95 with same engine as the 100 but without overdrive and the 110 with a Westlake head (from the P5) providing 123 bhp. Rover P4 production finished at the end of May 1964 after a total of 130,342 cars were produced.
Click here to see a P4 Features page.
Click here to download a checklist for use when buying a P4