Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

July 2009

Rover P6B

Upon the news that Jaguar could make limited numbers of old cars (C-type, D-type, Mk2) based on modern mechanicals, what would you like to have in the way of an old car reborn and (perhaps) redesigned for the modern age? Forget about brand ownership issues for a minute...

Here are my choices:
Rover P6 (how did you guess?) with modern small V8 (wot no-one makes! Boo hiss), perhaps 2.8-3.2L - V8 torque with six-pot economy. Ideally modern fully independent rear end instead of that ironmonger's shop the original had.

Rover P6BS - put a V8 right in the middle, not off to one side as on the original, come up with a prettier reinterpretation of the P6BS/P9 body, use proper modern suspension and hey presto, goodbye Mr. Boxster! Yes, I know the original never made production. Also, David Bache's front-engined fastback version, the Alvis GTS, known as Gladys, and the very little-known Issigonis-penned Alvis T350 (30MPG out of a British saloon with a 3.5L V8 - in 1954! Long before the Buick - later Rover - V8 had been built. T350 had hydrolastic suspension, too) would be able to put the wind up the Germans...

Rover P5B - based on Ford DEW98 platform as on Lincoln LS/Jag S-type/XF (so a bit bigger than the original) with (if it would fit) Range Rover 3.6L diesel V8, maybe even Audi A8 4.2L diesel V8. I'd even quite like an estate version *flame war begins*

Rover SD1 - base it, again, on DEW98 platform. Stylish, practical, fast, this time even great to drive - what's not to like? The Mondeo would have a fight on its hands, as long as the build quality was up to scratch.

Range Rover Classic - simply because it was so good and the modern Rangey is so unaffordable

Triumph Stag
Might keep the rollover bar, would definitely get rid of the fore-n-aft bar linking rollover bar with top of windscreen. Modern FIRS+V8. Shooting brake anyone?

Triumph TRanythingupto6, GT6, Spitfire - no more separate chassis, go for monocoque, plus straight-six engines.

Triumph Dolomite Sprint - the original everyman's sports saloon. To use BMW 1-series underpinnings, ideally a rev-happy Honda four-cylinder engine such as in S2000. Estate version would look good, too!

Austin 1100, ideally using my favourite badge-engineered version's name, Riley Kestrel - roomier alternative to a shouty all-uppercase MINI! A Countryman version would be possible, too.

Austin-Healey 3000 - suitably modernised, that'd give the Z4 a run for its money!

Ford Cortina - to show that cheap, practical RWD thrills are still possible.

Ford Capri - ditto. Not that awful Focus-based FWD thing they're planning.

Alvis TE21 - if I had to explain, you wouldn't understand, so here goes. Simply the definitive luxury coupé, short of a David Brown Aston. If only it was prettier...

Citroen DS - still one of the most beautiful cars EVER. This time, sort out the six-pot, maybe even RWD?! Flame war steps up again! Safari version would be, as the original is, fantastic.

Volvo Amazon - solid, respectable, notably pretty, good to drive, reliable as Toyota's CEO's Swiss watch. Still the best small Volvo ever.

Lancia Delta Integrale - if that fails to succeed in reviving Lancia, then nothing will ever do it.

Alfa Romeo 75 - practical, RWD, etc. This time, get the reliability sorted too. Same goes for most old, RWD Alfas - lovely to drive, from all I've heard, very pretty, dreadfully built. Alfa needs that character back, but with better quality.

BMW Z8 - I know, never a great car, and pretty recent, but it looked gorgeous. Now, we just need to sort out the handling issues...

Mini (the lowercase Issigonis original). I really, REALLY don't need to explain. Issigonis' even more visionary X9001 - see - would also be fantastic.

Right, yet again, a RoverP6B braindump. Sorry folks! Ideas on the back of a postcard, or better still, on this forum.
MG Midget/Austin-Healey Sprite, MGB. Ditto. Goodbye Mr. MX-5! Read more

Rover P6B

Oh, I should add, of the three BMWs we've had (E30, E46, E39), none have ever got stuck anywhere - the E30, in particular, was able to get out of extremely muddy fields in a way that many FWD cars couldn't manage. I remember one occasion where many FWD cars were just getting bogged down and were being towed out with a tractor, whereas our RWD E30 just cruised out. Oh, and the E46 drives fine in snowy and/or icy conditions even with and without rear passengers and with small and large fuel loads - and, I might add, we've never fitted it with winter tyres or chains!


Just come back from the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset as an item in our local paper said Chris Evans would be there with his collection of Ferraris for an event connected with Children in Need.

Sure enough, parked up just outside the entrance were six white and one black Ferraris.

They were:-

1959 250 GT Berlinetta
1964 250 GT Lusso
1967 275 GTB
1972 246 GT Dino
1985 288 GTO
1989 F40
and last but not least
1961 250 GTB swb California

There were about 50 people there, the cars were unlocked, the keys were in them and we were free to admire, photograph and sit in them all.

Evans himself had arrived in a Rolls Royce Phantom, Reg No FAB 1.

He was perfectly affable and effusive, posed patiently for photos for all and sundry before rounding all the cars up to head off for a drive in the countryside and lunch.

What a wonderful site and sound. V6, V8 and V12 engines wailing off up the road.

Well done to Chris Evans for being so generous with his time and toys. Mind you, the California had ropey paintwork on the bonnet. Don't think I'd have paid £6m for it, but at least I've had my bum on its seat.

{typo in header amended}

PLEASE try to be specific in your headlines. "Once in a lifetime experience" tells no one what your thred is about. HJ
Read more

Robin Reliant

Not with me it isn't - at the first sound of the ginger menace I'm
off to radio 4.

Same here. Evans sounds like one of the nicest blokes you could meet but he isn't a patch on Walker, I find the show irriteating and childish. JW often had a motoring theme with guests like Damon Hill and Murray Walker, and his music choice was much better.