The Rover P6, then, was quite a revolutionary car for its time. After the war, many car companies simply went back to producing their pre-war designs, which suited the English middle-classes quite nicely. Change was slow and the long production cycles of the P4 'Auntie' Rover and P5 (beloved by royalty and government officials alike) were looking quite old fashioned when the 60s came around. Rover couldn't rely on that aging customer base for much longer, especially with the onset of the baby boomers. Enter the much sleeker looking Rover P6.
Fortunately, when the 3500 came out in 1968, petrol rationing had long since been forgotten and North Sea oil was beginning to be explored, so 17.2mpg - the typical fuel economy figure quoted in the test - could be tolerated. At least by those who could afford it.
But, that V8 did have more positives. Firstly, it improved the weight distribution of the P6. It was an ideal 50:50 split when you had a full tank of fuel. Refinement was better compared with the cast-iron four-cylinder and the new all-aluminium engine was about the same weight of the smaller unit as well. The only thing that spoiled the 3500 was the three-speed Borg-Warner automatic transmission and its rather long gearing - you could reach 60mph in first. It made the car more of a "very refined high speed touring car" rather than a "super high performance saloon". We'd have to wait until 1971 for the sportier 3500S to come out.
So, is this Rover still PistonHeads material? I think it can be. The P6 isn't the usual slow classic you might be expecting and it is perfectly usable in everyday motoring. And the P6 had a starring role in the crime thriller Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, where debt collector Vinnie Jones first used it to write off a Ford Cortina estate, before testing the build quality of the driver's door on Dog's head. Well, everyone has to earn a living, and that V8 is rather thirsty...
SPECIFICATION - 1970 ROVER 3500 V8
Engine: 3,528cc, V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 170@5,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 210@2,600rpm
CO2: Vast quantities of
First registered: 1970
Recorded mileage: 67,484 (March 2017)
Price new: £1,801 (£38 10s 8d for a radio)
Yours for: £14,950
See the original advert here.