penguins p6 3500

#1
Hi All, been lurking for a while, this is my P6, i bought it blind as a breaker about 2 years ago, but once it arrived back at my workshop i realized it was far too good to break. im only the 3rd owner, and its covered a mere 38,000 miles! i cant remember how long the first owner had it, but it was something like 8 years and in that time it covered a mere 8,000 miles, before being sold to a rover specialist who used it until 2002 when it was parked up in a lock up garage.

with seized brakes we had to tow it off the breakdown truck, amazingly all i had to do to get it running was file the points and put fuel and a fresh battery in it. even more amazingly to get it driveable all we did was strip the brake calipers fit new seals and brake hoses, a couple of wiper blades a screen washer motor and i was able to put an mot on it, no welding required, not bad going for a car that had been parked up for 15 years! at this stage the plan was to sell it and make some money.

at this point i will come clean, i own Ely service Ely Service | Specialists in Classic Rovers so i get to drive quite a few classic rovers, and although i have always liked driving and working on classic cars, my personal interests are more around racing bmw's than having another classic of my own, added to the fact i dont like autos, keeping the car myself wasnt on the radar, then i took it for a drive round the estate, the driving experience was somewhat floored by flat spots on all the tyres,, but other than that it drove and steered really nicely, at the time i put that down to the PAS, on second thoughts the low mileage would of played a large part, its got 100,000 fewer miles than most P6's i drive.

at this point i decided to keep it! but thats as far as it got, it spent the next year and half parked up doing nothing, i collected a few bits along the way, a 24mm anti roll bar, tr7 lt77, and a 4.6 along with some other odds and ends, but that was as far as i got, there was far too much other stuff going on in my life for me to do anything with it and ive been in the fortunate position that business hasnt gone quiet enough for me to get the staff to work on it for something to do.

lately ive been thinking about changing my daily driver of 18 years, which is a 21 year old diesel passat with nearly quarter of a million miles on the clock, i fancy a late bmw 1 series, but cant bring myself to spend that much money on a car, especially given the passat still works and probably has another 100,000 miles life in it, we have a couple of loan cars i can use, ive also got a mercedes sprinter, my wife has a nice car, and the good old P6 is stitting doing nothing, so spending thousands on another car seems a bit pointless. At this point Tom Norman appeared, Tom being one of the founders of Ely service and owner of its predecessor Ely service motor company, which lead to a conversation about Bressingham, and the forthcoming Norfolk and norwich rover owners club show. That prompted me to put a battery on the P6 chuck a can of fuel in it, a few minute later i was driving round the industrial estate in it. at that point i realized it would cost me nothing to insure, tax or even mot (it doesnt need one but i dont believe in using un-moted cars) the only thing i had to do to put a ticket on it was change the wheels and tyres, the old ones being metric donovos which by now were well and truly square, because im not sure what i want to do eventually regarding wheels i just dug out a set of steel wheels and S wheel trims, i know its not an S and we do have normal trims but i like the look of the S ones better, checking my tyre supplier the only 185/14's they had were van tyres or eye wateringly expensive, so i opted for a set of budget 195/70/14, ok they are cheap ones, but better than having ancient tyres and they fit quite nicely and look right, so thats it we are pretty upto date, ive owned it for a couple of years moted it twice, 4 miles apart ( one lap of the estate at work is a mile) and tonight for the first time in 17 years it went on the public highway went i drove it home which was all of another 2 miles! tomorrow the real test we are going to go to the inlaws in it which is a round trip of about 80 miles, what there reaction to it will be i dont know, when they see a tatty old rover with dead flat paint they will probably assume we are on the verge of bankruptcy!
 

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#2
it looks rather like its been painted in red oxide primer, its not i can only assume some point in the 70's or 80's it was resprayed in cellulose, because there are a couple of spots were the top coat of paint has been rubbed away and theres shiny Richileu Red showing through.
 
#3
it looks like a bit of a rat rod, given the condition of the paint and slightly rusty chrome, for the moment im just going to drive it around for a bit, i do plan to sort the body work, it would be criminal not to as we have a full set of panels for it in stock, other than a few scabs the base unit looks really good, although i must admit i cant remember if we took the sill covers off when i first got it, so i may have more work than is obvious. i am a car modifier at heart so i will tinker with it, over the winter i will probably fit the 4.6 simply because it would be nice to give it a decent turn of speed, i dont want to make it into a race car ( i have two of those and a p6 wont ever compete with a 900kg 270bhp e30) but in its day a 3500 was considered quite fast, now days your average diesel shopping trolley will leave a p6 for dead, so id like to make it quite fast again :) along with the 4.6 and the lt77 i will run it on injection which will pull the very tall gearing a 5 speeds give and hopefully allow me to be able to afford to actaully go somewhere in it, because as i found with my last classic car when you have a car which does 60mpg and one which will do 20 you dont tend to go anywhere in the 20 mpg car!
 
#5
Well done, that was a good find, and it has AC!
in all honesty i found me, because it looked so rough in the pictures and had to buy it without seeing it in the flesh i didnt offer much for it, and refused to increase my offer, seems the seller couldnt shift if so i got it for my offer price plus the recovery, in a way i was disappointed it was too good to break as i wanted spares not a usuable car!

yes ac , its retrofit theres a sticker in the rear window from the supplier, it must of been an expensive conversion. TBH i will probably remove it, it clearly wasnt working when the car was last in use, because theres no belt on it, but there is a belt for it in the boot. modernizing it to run todays refrigerant is likely to very costly as it will basically end up a whole new installation, that and the fact it makes an ugly addition to the dash, id rather restore the dash back to standard and when its hot open the window and listen to the engine
 
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#7
well i used some petrol today, i put about 85 miles on it, around half of that on the A14 most of the rest on country roads, on the outward journey the oil pressure light decided to stay on, but as the pressure gauge read as expected i ignored it. on the way home it stayed off, i have to say it drove well, its developed a couple of rattles, one being the exhaust at the rear and something at the front, but doesnt sound serious. it made for quite a nice car to cruise around in, tracked straight and true, it easily sat at the motorway limit and a fair bit beyond, feeling quite unstressed for a good few miles ive no doubt it would still make the top speeds rover claimed for it. i think the most urgent thing to fix is the passenger door quarter light, its got a broken hinge so make a lot of wind noise, that aside it was surprisingly quiet.
 
#8
a little progress ive fitted an uprated anti roll bar, this one came from by gone autos down under. id say its a 100% improvement with no downside, it rides as before, but the car is definitely a lot less of a boat when it comes to cornering and its sharpened the steering up, for sure its no golf gti but its definatly turned the car in the the best steering and handling p6 ive driven
 

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#9
a couple of weeks ago i took the car to Bressingham for the annual Norwich and Norfolk owners club show. it was an uneventful journey both ways, with the exception that i had to top the coolant up before the trip home . the day after the show whilst taking it back to work where i keep it, it split a heater hose, the old one had fossilized it was absolutely rigid.

At the show the car certainly attracted some attention, there were about 125 gleaming and shiny cars and my dead flat example. slightly surprisingly quite a few said i should leave it as it is with dead flat paint, but i dont intend to leave it that way.

in fact i cant decide what order to do stuff in, to make it how i want it, it needs interior, exterior, engine, gearbox, and suspension upgrades, im actually inclined to do the interior first, the main reason is my wife doesnt like the some what grubby stale smelling interior, she doesnt care about me upgrading mechanical s and doesn't mind the "rat" look exterior. but if the interior is nice she will be more inclined to have us use it.
 
#10
with the above in mind we got brave this week and took the sill covers off, i knew it would want a bit of welding as at some stage someone had welded a plate on it which disappeared under the n/s sill cover just to behind the front jacking point. Amazingly that area was the only bit which needed any welding. since i took the pictures the grotty bit has been cut out, and will get busy with underseal, but knowing that the base unit doesn't want any further welding i will tackle the interior next, ive got a set of leather seats to have refurbished and will get some new carpet.
 

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#11
i got a few spare minutes the other day and pulled the intake off my 4.6, it was an engine i bought off ebay, so no history or anything was known about it, it was a pleasant surprise when i pulled off the valley gasket to see a nice clean internals, of course it doesnt mean its not worn! it had been running on LPG so that could easily explain its cleanliness, but the cam and followers look to be in excellent shape, so i doubt the cleanliness is simply a result of LPG. i did go a step further and pulled off a head, rocker arms weren't worn, another good sign. i did lift a head nothing to report there, other than there are signs it had previously been removed, No top hat liners in the block, i have pondered as to whether to get the block linered, but have since decided if all else looks good leave alone, after all its only going to get occasional road use and if the block has lasted this long it will probably last a good bit longer
 

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cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#12
a little progress ive fitted an uprated anti roll bar, this one came from by gone autos down under. id say its a 100% improvement with no downside, it rides as before, but the car is definitely a lot less of a boat when it comes to cornering and its sharpened the steering up, for sure its no golf gti but its definatly turned the car in the the best steering and handling p6 ive driven
Hi there
Do you have a contact for Mal Clark please
I have tried email with no luck

Thank you
 
#13
Hi there
Do you have a contact for Mal Clark please
I have tried email with no luck

Thank you
not sure, using several computers and email accounts im not best at finding emails/contacts, he seemed a nice guy but it wasnt that easy to deal with him, i think in the end i stayed at work until really late and phoned him. he doesnt take credit cards or pay pal and trying to send him money by bank transfer was a total twat of a thing to do, NZ banks seem to operate differently to the rest of the world!

i actually bought two roll bars off him, as i was at the time considering building a P6 race car, but ive since abandoned the idea. Partly because i already have two race cars and partly, when i checked the regulations it wasnt going to be possible to build a competitive and reliable car within the regulations. so my second bar could be up for grabs
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#14
OK Thanks very much, I had considered phoning. I am sorted on the roll bar, but wanted to quiz him on spring rates.

Cheers
Mark
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#15
BTW
I am reading all. Good going on the 4.6.
I gave Bressingham a miss this year, always clashes with another show anyway.
 
#16
OK Thanks very much, I had considered phoning. I am sorted on the roll bar, but wanted to quiz him on spring rates.

Cheers
Mark
no worries, must admit im now on the look out for some lower/stiffer springs, without having to have something specially made or get really involved, if it was a race car i would fab adjustable spring platforms and use aftermarket coil over springs, but that seems a lot of effort for what is and will stay a strictly road car
 
#17
BTW

I gave Bressingham a miss this year, always clashes with another show anyway.
i half expected to see your car there, was a nice day out, I managed to mix a bit of work and pleasure. Work being a bit of gentle promoting of Ely service and a chance to catch up with a few suppliers and customers, as well as a nice place to meet up with my Daughter and grandchildren
 
#20
yes ac , its retrofit theres a sticker in the rear window from the supplier, it must of been an expensive conversion. TBH i will probably remove it, it clearly wasnt working when the car was last in use, because theres no belt on it, but there is a belt for it in the boot. modernizing it to run todays refrigerant is likely to very costly as it will basically end up a whole new installation, that and the fact it makes an ugly addition to the dash, id rather restore the dash back to standard and when its hot open the window and listen to the engine
I had the Alpinair set-up in a V8 l bought a few years back. We removed it & Demetris bought it from me but only the interior parts as he converted all the rest to a modern system. He actually modded the console very nicely too. He can give you the lowdown on costs l would think although he is in Greece so there may be a +/-.
 
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