Rover P5/P5B (1958 – 1973) Review

Rover P5/P5B (1958 – 1973) At A Glance


+Tremendous road presence, stylish despite bulk, wonderful 'club lounge' interior, silky-smooth six-cylinder, muscular V8, coupe is a styling masterclass

-Younger people might find them a bit stuffy

When introduced in 1958, the P5 was Rover's undoubted flagship - and a return to the upper echelons of the exectuve car market for its maker. Being big, sturdy and incredibly well-made, it soon became the favoured transport of British prime ministers and royalty. Styling had been penned by David Bache, while the monocoque body (Rover’s first) had been engineered by Spen King and Gordon Bashford - all of whom would achieve superstardom because of their work on the Range Rover.

Power was from a 2995cc version of the inlet-over-exhaust that had first seen service in the P3, and which continued to deliver supreme smoothness and refinement. 

The P5 was continually developed, with upgrades such as the more powerful ‘Weslake Head’ version, and then with the arrival of the handsome coupé, keeping it at the head of the class. The most exciting addition to the range came in 1967, when the ex-Buick V8 was installed to create the P5B. The muscular new engine improved performance, and economy. It had a very different appeal to the straight-six, and quickly supplanted it - remaining in production until 1973.

Ask Honest John

Does a rare colour make a classic more valuable?

"I have owned my Rover P5B Coupe for 40 years and have recently found out via the Rover archives that only two were ever delivered in the same colour as mine. The other one disappeared of the radar in the early 80s. Does this make the car more valuable knowing it is the only surviving car produced in the colour?"
Colours do make a difference, but they're really the icing on the cake. For example, a car in a rare colour that's rusty and needs TLC won't be worth as much as car finished in a much more common colour that's been well looked after. Ultimate, a car is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it - so you may get lucky and find a buyer who has been after this colour for years.
Answered by Keith Moody

We've just retired - would it be sensible to trade-in our Skoda Yeti for a tax exempt classic?

"My wife and I have just retired and will use her small car as an everyday runabout. I have a 2010 petrol Skoda Yeti 1.8 which is relatively expensive to tax and insure and only needed for longer journeys, but we do no more than 3000 miles per year. Would replacing the Yeti with a tax free classic be a good idea to save costs, like the Rover P6 for example. Not being hands on, would this be sensible?"
Suicide to buy a 'classic' if you are not prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work on the oily bits yourself. All classics require more regular servicing than modern cars and more goes wrong with them. P5 Rover 3500S very interesting. A technical masterpiece akin to a Citroen DS. But with all the potential problem areas that entails.
Answered by Honest John
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