P6b stored for 21 years


New Member
Three years ago a very good friend of my sister called me to ask if I would know someone to take over the P6b of his father, which had died. We made an appointment to check on the car which was in a huge storage barn. It has been there since 1997. Barn find?

History. The car was owned previously by a friend of the family, who was the second (or first, have to ask again) owner and had the car for years. After the father bought the car, it was restored using new wings and doors, and a respray. It was used for a couple of years, then stored. They did run the engine at least once per year but the last time could have been a couple of years before. Or so he said.

The Rover itself was looking very sorry for itself, under a thick cover of dust. But a glance at the underside did not reveal any rust, quite remarkable I thought. I knew all about the rust horrors so was surprised. Also surprised to see the leather seats all intact, no rips. The paint seems to be OK although this was hard to see under that dust. So, it looked to be quite a good car however the mechanical state was unknown.

I then said that if they could not find a buyer I was willing to take on the car. Two months ago the friend asked me to get the car, which I did yesterday.
Expecting to have to retrieve the car with flat tyres and binding brakes, I brought many tools and a portable compressor. All of that was not needed, the barn owner had brought the car outside the day before. It was just a matter of putting the car on the trailer!

So, the car is now at home, in my garage. One day in the open, raining of course, made all the dust and leaves into a spongy wet mess in all of the gutters. The car now is drying out, all doors, bonnet and boot lid open.

About the car!
Outside bodyworks looks pretty good, there is a small scrape / dent in the LH front door. The front valance is not rust free but not too bad I think. Is this bolted on or welded? Paint overall is flat but maybe restorable to a more glossy finish (suggestions welcome!). The brown vinyl roof is bad and need replacement. Had small splits and some bubbling can be felt. I am not a fan of sunroofs - they always leak and cause problems. Maybe it is easier to replace the roof panel? The D posts are bad - crumbling rust under the vinyl. Are these available?
Bumpers, door handles and rear number plate surround are reasonable - some pits visible. Chrome surrounds for the rear lamps and front wing lights are the same. Maybe they can be improved a little but it will never be show quality.
Interior is pretty good. Carpet is acceptable, has overmats. Seats are fine but dirty. Rear top part of the rear RH seat has sun damage - ripped. 3500S steering wheel fitted. An electric sliding sunroof is installed, underside of the sliding part regrettably has a rip. The back rest adjustment lever of the LH front seat is broken. Difficult to replace?
Under the bonnet all is there but not looking good. Seems the radiator has a leak, and the brake master booster is looking quite bad. Also some rust on the inner wings - hope it is superficial only.
Air conditioning is installed - how rare is that? The original handbook makes no mention of the AC.

The plan is to get the car running up to MOT standards. Then see about improving it.
First and main point to do is to see if the engine is free. I tried to move the fan but it seems stuck....
Probably will remove the radiator first as this seems to have a leak. This will provide more room to try turning the engine.

Let the fun begin! IMG-20170930-WA0001#1.jpg

20181202_112818 kopie.jpg

20181202_112849 kopie.jpg

That looks a very good project with some interesting additions. I'd be interested to see more photos of the sunroof.
It looks as if it has been resprayed at some point because the sills and lower section of the front wings would originally have been black.
Every single panel is bolted on, including that front valance. Good D post panels come up for sale occasionally. At worst you'll have to buy sound ones and replace the vinyl covering.
I know nothing about the V8 engine, so apart from that, your biggest expense is likely to be the brakes. Expect to replace all the callipers or preferably have them reconditioned with stainless steel pistons. Also probably the master cylinder and servo and all the hoses. This will could come close to 1000 euros.


New Member
Thank you Unstable Load and Willy. Yes, I reckon everything regarding the brakes will need to be reconditioned.
The car has been resprayed after the fitment of new wings and doors, about 25 years ago.
But the big question for me is the engine. If it is stuck then I am stuck, it possibly is a deal breaker for me (out goes the plan of a fairly quick first fix to get the car back on the road). Pour a mix of petrol and diesel through the spark plug holes?
What would you want to see about the sunroof? It has an electric switch on the left side of the dashboard. I have not checked any of the electrics yet. Am a bit afraid that the roof will open but not close...

The air conditioning panel is interesting. In the middle there is a neat cap which can be taken off. It covers the hole for the two door window switches. Which are missing on this car as it has manual winders. I suppose the panel is similar to NADA cars?
20181204_110541 kopie.jpg 20181204_110622 kopie.jpg

Electric sunroof switch and Air Conditioning (main on/off?) switch
20181204_110720 kopie.jpg

Sunroof underside with a rip :-(
Very poor vinyl. Rust can be felt here and there. Needs to be stripped.
20181204_110809 kopie.jpg 20181204_110855 kopie.jpg

A very oxidized engine compartment!
IMG-20170930-WA0005#1 kopie.jpg

unstable load

Well-Known Member
You say you will pull the radiator, then if it were me, I'd pull the spark plugs out and try to turn it over with a spanner on the crank pulley. You could pour some Diesel into the plug holes first, it won't do any harm.
If it is seized, then evaluate the options from there onwards.


New Member
Hoi Thijs. Ben woonachtig in centrum Tilburg (oud gemeentelijk badhuis)! Wees van harte welkom als je een keer in de buurt bent - ik werk grotendeels vanuit huis (ITer) dus ben meestal bereikbaar.
Heb gisteravond jouw verhaal gelezen maar kon nog niet reageren - de forumadmin moest me eerst nog "doorzetten" naar normaal member. :D
Hallo Dion! (apologies for this little Dutch meeting here :p )

Zie het nu ook in je onderschrift staan. Woon zelf in Maastricht, kom niet zo heel vaak in regio Tilburg maar mocht het gebeuren dan laat ik iets van me weten. Vice versa geldt hetzelfde! Mijn auto heeft ook wat werk nodig (o.a. remmen, motorblok nakijken) maar is een paar jaar geleden door mezelf rijdend weg gezet. Gaat in januari over van garagebox naar garage bij mijn ouders, zodat ik er écht aan kan werken. Deze zomer een toertje door het Limburgse heuvelland maken? ;)

Ik ga je project in de gaten houden!
Thanks for the sunroof photos - I've never seen a factory steel one before. Quite rare I should think. I have a folding Britax sunroof which is very crude in comparison, but a lot larger.
I never understood why the British were so fond of their folding Webasto or Britax sunroofs. You know the vinyl will need replacement after a number of years. Plus the fact it will make more noise than a proper steel sliding sunroof.
In the Netherlands having a steel sunroof was very common in the seventies. They were installed here. When I took my fathers Triumph 2500TC to a UK club meeting most members had never seen a steel sliding sunroof. There can be problems though - I once bought a VandenPlas 4 Litre R which had been stored forever and somehow the steel sliding part had gone missing! :eek:

I would not mind exchanging my sliding sunroof panel to a decent roof panel without sunroof. My roof may need work but I do not think it is scrap. Come over for a weekend and we can swap roofs :D
Come over for a weekend and we can swap roofs :D
That is a very tempting offer!
My liking for folding sunroofs comes from owning a Triumph Vitesse saloon fitted with a Britax. To me it provided the best compromise between a convertible and a normal saloon. But then it was a noisy enough car that extra noise wasn't an issue. In fact it got quieter with the roof open to let the engine noise out!


Active Member
I have the same roof Dion and the same swith. Works like a charm and no leaks whatsoever. Only thing with mine is that they forgot to put the interiorlight in wth the new headlining.....
But a nice car with nice options indeed. Can't wait to see the rogress of this project!!
Got a surprise delivered today. OK - the seller described the book as very good condition but I did not think the Workshop Manual was brand new. Packed in its original carton box (!) together with the chapter on the BW35 and the one on air conditioning (jay!). In the box he also inserted a photocopy of the "Workshop Manual Supplement covering the HS8 carburetor fitted to 2000 TC models" and he did send it to me just like that. Amazing value for 20 pounds :):)
20181214_150105 kopie.jpg 20181214_150815 kopie.jpg


Well-Known Member
Thanks for the sunroof photos - I've never seen a factory steel one before. Quite rare I should think. I have a folding Britax sunroof which is very crude in comparison, but a lot larger.
There are a few around. I have the prototype in my garage.. as one of my factory cars was used for development purposes.
Well, last message from me on this forum I suppose.
Yesterday an old friend visited me and he said he had always wanted a V8 P6. Sooooooo we made a deal. He is going to pick up the car in the next week or so. He is not new to classics, having owned his Willys Jeep for decades, has a Landcrab Morris and a LandRover or two. He lives not too far away so I will see the progress on the car. His idea is the same as I had, get it running and roadworthy and then decide what to do else (if needed).

Loved this forum, good to see there is some web forum action around the P6.
Maybe I will get in touch later - my brother wants to sell his RHD Rover 90 (P4) to get his LHD 100 (P4) on the road again. I will probably get called in as the work will be done in my garage.