My '72 P6 V8 is back in use on UK roads and once again wearing its silver on black 'K' plates!


Well-Known Member
I've set myself the task of finishing rebuilding my '72 3500 in 2008. (EDIT: Ha! Ever the optimist! It's 2011 now and I'm still not finished...)
After languishing in a neglected state in my lock-up for far too long, my back-to-the-shell rebuild is now properly under way!
Over the previous winter I stripped my '72 back to a rolling shell, and removed the remains of the old underbody seal from all the areas I could reach.
In the summer the car was trailered to a professional restoration specialist. Classic Wheels Berlin GmbH are specialists in British classic cars, based in leafy Zehlendorf.
May I direct you to their website, which I designed and maintain. There you'll find a photo diary of my restoration as it progresses, amongst lots of stuff of interest to those who appreciate the best of British motoring. See Index | Classic Wheels Berlin GmbH.
Their skilled panel beater excised all the rotten parts of my Base Unit and painstakingly repaired all the rusty sections, mostly hand forming the metal work required. Currently the car is up in the air on a hydraulic lift, having had the suspension and final drive removed for refurbishing. The last vestiges of underbody seal have been removed from the underside, and the next step after fitting a chassis rail reinforcement kit will by treating the undercarriage to a new protective coat of paint. I intend to use POR15 Chassiscoat Black, and welcome any forum user experience of this product.
My DeDion elbows are off to the sandblaster this week, now I have to earn the money (and lots of it!) for a complete set of poly bushes, ball joints, a brake rebuild kit, new brake lines, etc. etc. to get the base unit back on it's own wheels.
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Happy birthday MrTask! Like me, you are rebuilding a 72 Rover far away from the British specialists. I have done all the welding on the bodywork myself, and will start to put components back on it this autumn. Part collection has been a good hobby now for several years, resulting in many nice vacations in England and full shelves at home. I have given myself till next summer to have the car on the road - Now I have committed to that.
Regards from Norway, Barten
Thanks for the birthday greetings gentlemen.
Zebedee, I look forward to the chance to meeting you and other Rover P6 owners here on the European mainland once my own project is complete. I fear I have an awful lot to do before I'm back on the road though! I'm scrimping and saving to afford all the bits I need to get the suspension and undercarriage sorted as soon as possible, then I can bring the rolling base unit back to my garage and commence reconstruction... keep an eye on my online restoration photo diary (see initial post) for further progress.
Barten, are you rebuilding your car to factory specs, or are you also planning to upgrade the performance and handling? I'm keen to correspond with any like-minded people who are also 'improving'/'customising'/'updating' their vehicles, or anybody else who is undergoing a complete rebuild to original condition. I've lots of questions!
MrTask, My car is a 3500 S 1972 and I am planning to upgrade it slightly to improve roadholding, and to get slightly more power from the engine. I have an SD1 engine I am currently rebuilding.
For the suspension I plan progressive rear springs, upgraded front springs, and a set of new Koni adjustable shock's. Also I might get a stronger front antiroll bar and will use poly bushes all around.
For the apperance I plan to fit a louvred bonnet and stainless steel exhaust manifolds and exhaust system. Not sure about which wheels to fit, but I hear that 205's is the widest to fit without big modifications. The car is Monza red and I am going to fit a Webasto sunroof.
Has anyone any experience with Xenon light upgrade on classic cars? I would love to have lightning comparable to those on my Disco 3. They're great!
regards, Barten
You can get halogen conversion kits for the P6, if they take H4 bulbs then you can add a HID (xenon) conversion to that, but you'll be looking at the best part of £300
An update: I've just taken delivery of some front chassis and suspension mount stiffening plates, and hope to get them welded in place early in the new year.
I've also treated myself to an early Christmas present, I couldn't resist a set of period 'slot mag' alloys I found on ebay from WINS Intl. New old stock, must've been in storage for over 30 years, terrific. They're similar to Wolfrace and have a nice chunky rim. They're 6Jx14 and are marked on the back MMAA MADE IN ENGLAND. A quick google search found mention made of a firm by the name of Midland Metallics. Has anybody heard of them? Any infos welcomed. They'll polish up very nicely and they're really very light weight. I'm well chuffed with them.
Does anybody have a particular underbody paint or treatment they highly recommend? Any of you used POR15 ? Feedback most welcome.
I am a big fan of the POR 15 range of paints. I have painted the complete suspension and underbody of my Range Rover with the stuff and despite some serious abuse it still looks great!
Make sure that you use the UV stabilised top coats or all your efforts that are exposed to the sun will look very ragged within a few weeks. This does not affect the protection afforded by the paint but looks awful.
Top marks for undertaking a full baremetal rebuild. I am on my second now and it is driving me mad! :p


Actually I'm not doing a "baremetal" rebuild; I've painstakingly removed all the underbody schutz and seam seal, for the most part however the original mustard-coloured paint is still present. However there are scratches in places where I accidenataly scraped the paint off as well. I was rather hoping I could apply the POR 15 Chassiscoat Black over the original paint. I don't want to go to the considerable trouble of going back to bare metal, using Metal Clean and then Metal Ready before paint. Will that work? Guy, what did you use?
Hello Mike. Thanks for your interest.
Not much has happened recently, mostly due to me being skint! I work as a freelance graphic designer, which is to say I have intermittent periods of gainful employment followed by unpredictably long periods of being short of cash. Last time I had any money spare I sent it all to a UK company, who will remain nameless for a little while longer, from whom I am very patiently waiting for a whole load of parts. I sincerely hope that sometime soon I'll be taking delivery of almost everything I need to get the suspension, steering, brakes and wheels back on the base unit! A very hefty dent in my wallet my shopping list made too; adjustable gas shocks, shorter stiffer springs, poly bushes everywhere, all new ball joints, brake rebuild with stainless pistons, an uprated front anti-roll bar, it all adds up!
Sadly the alloy wheels I got last year didn't fit, the pcd was ever-so-slightly larger (!) than the P6 hubs. I was happy to get a refund from the seller though the postage was an expensive waste of money.
In the meantime I've changed all six universal joints, had the suspension components sand blasted and primed, ready for repainting shortly.
Funnily enough after another period of inactivity I'm about to get back to work on the base unit this week. I hope to now finally get the chassis strengthening plates and beefier front lower shock mounts welded on. There's only two more small areas of corrosion to be dealt with, where the rear suspension attaches to the boot wall turned out to be less substantial than they at first appeared. Then I can prepare and paint the underside and engine bay and refit the suspension parts.
I'll update my photo diary as soon as something worth documenting actually takes place. I'm just patiently waiting for the postman at the moment...
I guess I ought to be more patient! I've just learned that my latest tranche of replacement parts will be with me next week, which has put my mind at rest. I'd begun to worry that I was paying for somebody to sip Caipirinhias on the beach in Rio de Janeiro, but fortunately that isn't the case. I'm looking forward to being able to make further progress with my project shortly. If everything fits as I hope it should I'll update my online resto diary, and shower praise on the company who is sourcing all the stuff I need. For now though, they can remain nameless.
I'm enjoying a scorching heatwave here in Berlin, but despite the weather it feels like Christmas. Why? Because I've just unwrapped a box full of goodies to get my suspension and brakes rebuilt. It is high time I give a resoundingly loud "Jolly good show" to Alan at Classeparts, who is a pleasure to do business with and more importantly makes great stuff! Too often on this forum I hear other members venting their spleen about unhelpful and/or pricey suppliers, I though it was high time somebody gets a bit of deserving praise.
Meanwhile the inner boot wall mounting points have been properly replaced, over the next few days I'll be taking the front end of my Base Unit back to metal for the addition of 'chassis stiffening plates' this coming Monday and Tuesday. Progress at last!
Hi MrTask
How are your project going?

I have ordered parts from Classeparts as well, (brakes) and I am pleased so far with the communication. The parts are to come next week or so.

What kind of upgrade have you done to the engine? And what else to the car?
Hello Blueman.
In my '73 I have an internally balanced P6 3.5 with a Kent 'fast road' cam. The oil pressure isn't that good though, I didn't build it so I don't know the condition, makes approx. 175 bhp. The 3.5 engine from my '72 resto project is currently completely disassembled. I'm still making my mind up about how to build it back up. Might yet make a stroker motor. I have a nice Callaway 4.6 injection manifold and plenum with a huge throttle butterfly that would look sweet under the P6 bonnet, better if under boost from a centrifugal blower. Will my budget go that far...?
I've spent the last 6 days with the Base Unit tipped on first one side, now the other, whilst I removed absolutely every last vestige of original underseal from the last recesses of the tunnel, and the engine-, gearbox- and suspension mounting brackets. I don't want to think about how much of my life I've wasted with a heat gun in one hand and scraper or diesel rag in the other under this car. Wish I'd tilted it in the first place, but the engine was still in it when I started scraping...
The areas where the front chassis stiffening kit will be welded on are now stripped back to bare metal, as are all the last remnants of rust around old stone chip areas. Hope to get the extra chassis plates on in the near future, then it'll be time to prepare the restored base unit as well as the sandblasted and primed suspension parts for new paint.
I'm still waiting for my shocks, springs and uprated anti-roll bar.
Re: My extensive '72 3500 restoration project - Forum users migh

Finally started to fit the chassis stiffening plates yesterday. Unfortunately work was put on hold because the welder wasn't feeding very steadily and will need to be overhauled somewhat before we can continue. Also the weld-through zinc spray was a pain in the posterior, the cans had to be shaken for so long my arms ached, and instead of a nice regular spray they briefly spat clumps of zinc followed by jets of only propellant, before the nozzle filled and nothing further came out of the can. Still, it is nice to be getting on with my project again after many weeks of delays. Meanwhile my pallet of relacement parts is now almost overflowing, I've started to amass further rebuild bits'n'bobs on a 2nd pallet. The wings, doors, bonnet and bootlid are off to be glass bead blasted and coated in a marine-use anti-rust substance, more on that when I get them back for priming and sanding.
Re: My extensive '72 3500 restoration project - Forum users migh

Hello Mr. Task,
Good to hear that you have started progressing with the stiffening plates. I also got hold of this kit last year, and are soon in the process of starting fitting them. It is a lot of welding though. In the meantime I have bought another Rover P6, a 2000 1965 in wedgewood blue. A colour that my wife approved! It will have to wait until the 1972 3500s is fisnished. Hopefully next spring. My 3,5 litre is in bits at the moment, so that will also have to be finished.
Wish you good luck, and I will follow your project closely.
Regards, Barten
Re: My extensive '72 3500 restoration project - Forum users migh

I'm delighted to be able to breath life into this tired old thread. I got my chassis stiffening plates almost a year ago, but haven't had much time of late to work on my project. This week I painted the underbody with a couple of coats of grey primer, using a brush, flows out nicely with hardly any visible brush marks, and there's not much of that nausea-inducing mustardy brown left to look at.
The newsworthy bit: Yesterday evening my long-suffering buddy Axel must've had a brainstorm, 'cos after I left the workshop he fired up his welding torch and finished the left side stiffening plates. Eureka! Okay, so he's still got the other side to do, and the welds won't win any beauty competitions, but progress is progress. I'm also told my long-awaited shorter stiffer springs are now ready, only the shock manufacturer has yet to deliver. I'm cheerier now, but that might also have a lot to do with the noxious fumes from the primer. Even in a well ventilated area the fumes made me very very groggy.
I'll take photos of the drivers side chassis kit being affixed, reckon it might be of interest to a few of you lot. More soon...