1974 Rover 2200 SC P6
(Featured on 5th July 2013)
Model: 2200 SC P6
Registration: HGC 30N
Sellers original description:
An incredible 1974 Rover 2200 SC (P6) in truly exceptional condition. Effectively one owner, and just 31,678 miles from new.
Used very infrequently during its early years and dry stored since the owners death 18 years ago.
Never restored or welded and remarkably rust free the car retains all of its factory fitted glass, panels and the overwhelming majority of its original paint finish.
Almost certainly, one of the finest, lowest mileage original unmolested examples of a 1974 Rover 2200 SC available - anywhere.
Up until 1963 Rover were an independent company with the set-in-stone image of the producer of solid-and-conservative cars for a solid-and-conservative clientele. However, there was a transformation, with a sea change, happening at The Rover Company.
The existing range of cars that epitomised British style of the 1950’s, the P4 and the more recent P5 luxury saloons were beginning to look slightly long in the tooth - and even though they were respected by many existing customers, that base of buyers was ageing rapidly.
The market for middle-management cars was also something of a conservative minefield, and dominated by the larger 3-litre opposition. Rover's management team knew that in order to survive in the market, they would need to devise something significantly more interesting, as a new generation of post-war "baby-boomers" was emerging.
The Rover 2000 (P6) was the product of a new and highly imaginative engineering team that had joined Rover in the 1950s. Their idea was to produce a new and radical car to take them into the design lead sixties.
From its launch on the 9th October 1963 the Rover P6 redefined the executive car market. The idea that six-cylinder, 3-litre cars were necessary for status conscious motorists was banished to history, as this new Rover could do everything the traditional rivals could, but using less fuel, taking up less road space whilst doing so. The two-litre executive car had arrived.
The new Rover caused nothing less than a sensation when it was launched - certainly, it was a huge move away from everything that had preceded it. Apart from being entirely new, with no carry-over parts from any other Rover, it was compact, technically advanced, and relatively cheap. Also, compared with previous models, it was to be built in huge numbers without a drop-off in build quality. Without doubt, it was a clean sheet design, and a £15million gamble that Rover chose to take in order to guarantee future survival. Overnight, the company's image was lifted from that of a manufacturer of dull middle-class cars to that of a trendy front running manufacturer.
Although similar in appearance to the old 2000 model the 1973 2200 was welcome update for this popular Rover saloon.
Today, well over 30 years since the last one left the production line the Rover P6 makes a good choice for a classic car. Parts are readily available and there are owners clubs. The only downside is that good original condition unrestored examples are rare, extremely hard to find and therefore highly prized and sought after.
We have always liked the 2200 P6. However despite having tried on numerous occasions to bring a low mileage unrestored example to the market we have, in the past, always been unsuccessful.
Every car that we have looked at has just not been up to our standards. Without exception they had had replacement panels and rusted areas welded and patched.
We had almost given up hope of finding that special ‘once in a lifetime’ Rover 2200, when along came:-
On the 19 November 1974 the owner of HGC 30N travelled the 5 or so miles from his house to BL dealers Leathwoods ltd of Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon to collect his new Rover 2200 SC.
Genuine Rover badged rear seat belts, very rare in 1974, had been ordered and the car was, still is totally standard factory specification with the exception of an electric pre heat system (untested) fitted under the bonnet. This allowed the car to be plugged into the mains so it warmed up prior to starting! There has never even been a radio, aerial or wing mirrors fitted.
The owner, a professional man, was approaching retirement had always much admired the Rover 2200 and had promised himself one to see him through the remainder of his driving days.
He had studied the brochure (Copy present) for the 2200 SC and TC and on balance had opted for the single carburettor version as at 65 he thought that economy over the slight increase in power that the twin carburettors would give was of more importance.
So impressed with the look of the car on the front, and on the inside double page spread of the brochure the owner ordered HGC 30N in the same colour, Almond. If fact looking at those pictures of the car in that brochure you would be hard pushed to tell it apart from the one offered here today!.
Never intended to be used as daily transport but more of a ‘retirement’ car HGC 30N saw very infrequent use during its early years. Kept in an integral Garage at the owners house it was cherished and only aired for short local journeys during the summer months and for family holidays on the South Coast.
In 1995 the owner, now in his eighties, became too ill to continue driving. HGC 30N was laid up in the garage attached to the house.
In June 2002 ownership transferred, we assume in accordance with the law following her father's death, to the owners spinster daughter who lived at the same address. The daughter never drove HGC 30N in fact the last time it was taxed for the road was in 1994.
Today HGC 30N is on sale for the first time since it was new almost 40 years ago. Even the tyres, all 5, are the correct Pirelli Cinturato's all with good tread. The Rover has covered just 31,600 miles, is presented in outstanding condition and will rank amongst the very best of the best, if not the best lowest mileage original condition examples available.
A show winner if ever we saw one.
Finished in its original Almond with contrasting Ebony Trim HGC 30N is utterly striking to look at.
Corrosion, as we have said, can be a problem on the Rover P6 and the lack of it on HGC 30N is quite remarkable.
All of the panels remain those that were fitted on the production line.
There has never been a requirement for welding whatsoever and, of course, none is required now.
Almost all the paint work is that applied at the factory 40 years ago.
There are just a few small areas that have been 'blown in' over the years but you would be extremely hard pushed to see them and as far as we can tell not one single panel has been entirely repainted.
The paintwork has an amazing lustre and has not faded with age it is plain to see that this is a car that has been out of the elements for the majority of its life, even the rubbers are excellent.
There is a slight kink to the front bumper and slight pitting to both. The rest of the brightwork is first class.
The boot, bonnet and door shuts are truly excellent - as good as we have ever seen on an original car of this age.
Often we find a good indicator to how genuine a car is, is the condition of its number plates. A special type of number plate was fitted to P6's in the seventies and HGC 30N retains its original set and they are in near perfect condition.
Inside HGC 30N is absolutely exemplary in every way.
This is not a car that has been smoked in and the ashtrays and cigar lighter are unused.
The steering wheel is particularly noteworthy with none of the damage so often seen caused by rings or general ware and tear.
Front and rear opening quarter lights that all function as they should.
The seat facings are in Ebony box-pleated double corded brushed nylon. They are not worn or marked, even the headrest (they were an option) blanks are still in place.
Door cards, dash, centre consul, headlining are in excellent condition.
The original heavy pile carpets are unmarked have not faded in the slightest and again are as good as we have ever seen on a car of this age.
No radio has ever been fitted.
The original under felt is present, in excellent condition and shows no signs of ever having been damp.
Floors below the carpets and the back seats are as new with no signs whatsoever of rust.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Original stickers are still in place.
The under bonnet area is exceptionally clean and original with no signs anything untoward.
The original turquoise engine paint is still clearly visible and the engine number, of course matches the V5 logbook.
IN THE BOOT:
The boot is in excellent condition with no tears, stains or wear to the Rubber side covering, boot carpet or spare wheel cover.
Spare wheel with Pirelli Cinturato P3 tyre, unused blue jack and wheel brace present.
The boot floor and other areas are as new with no signs of any corrosion.
ON THE ROAD:
The car starts on the button with manual choke. A new battery has just been fitted with 3 year warrantee.
This Rover is a real joy to drive with a really great classic feel.
On the road the car drives like a dream, no overheating, undue noises or smoke.
The gears change up and down just as they should.
Everything tested works as it should.