The Rover P5, or the number 5 post-war design, was the absolute, quintessential British car: it displayed self-effacing dignity while offering its passengers incredible luxury, at a price many could afford (under 2,000 pounds). While it wasn’t exactly cheap, the 1958 Rover P5 / 3-litre offered excellent value, with a cherry-wood dashboard, excellent thick, quality carpeting, and rich leather practically everywhere else. The only problem, if you could call it that (you can), is that the P5 was a little breathless. It’s engine simply could not keep up with its bulk, and owners complained about it. Fortunately, a solution was at hand!
The solution resided in the Buick 3.5-liter V8, which Buick had developed then abandoned. Producing 151 horsepower, it was a perfect fit with the P5, giving the oomph it had needed from the beginning, and transforming the car. The P5’s top speed was increased to 110 miles per hour, and 0-60 acceleration took just 11 seconds. Those aren’t incredible numbers, but they balanced out the car quite nicely.
Rover soon found out that they simply could not keep up with demand. The very well-priced 1958 Rover P5 / 3-litre sold very well until it was retired in 1973, gone but hardly forgotten.