1970 Rover 3½-Litre 4x4 Coupé 'Strange Rover' by Overfinch  Chassis no. 84504872
Lot 412
1970 Rover 3½-Litre 4x4 Coupé 'Strange Rover' by Overfinch
Registration no. AJB 822J Chassis no. 84504872
£8,000 - 12,000
US$ 13,000 - 20,000
amended
Lot Details
1970 Rover 3½-Litre 4x4 Coupé 'Strange Rover' by Overfinch
Registration no. AJB 822J
Chassis no. 84504872

Footnotes

  • Reputedly commissioned by Nick Ashley, son of fashion designer Laura Ashley, this unique car was constructed in the early 1990s by Overfinch, who since the 1970s have been renowned for their Range Rover conversions and upgrades. It is based on a 1970 Rover 3½-Litre (P5B) Coupé. Introduced in 1967, the V8-engined P5B was considerably quicker than its six-cylinder 3-Litre predecessor, the V8's 140-plus horsepower boosting top speed to 110mph and chopping 7 seconds off the 0-60mph time. Automatic transmission and power-assisted steering were standard features of a car that combined much improved performance with the luxury and refinement customers had long since come to expect in a Rover. The stylish low-roofline coupé version proved almost as popular as the saloon and today is regarded as the most collectible of the P5-series Rovers.

    In building its Strange Rover 'Q Car', Overfinch began with an extensively modified Land Rover 110" chassis fitted with Range Rover axles, all-round coil spring suspension, vented disc brakes and a custom-made fuel tank, which was topped off with the donor car's body. Chevrolet's 5.7-litre 'small block' V8 engine features in Overfinch's Range Rover upgrades and this was used in the Strange Rover. Considerably more powerful than the original power unit, it drives all four wheels via a Rolls-Royce four-speed automatic transmission and Schuler transfer gearbox (see bills totalling in excess of £60,000 on file).

    The current vendor describes the car as having a very good, solid chassis with generally good bodywork and interior, and 'serviceable' transmission and electrics. However, we are advised that it requires re-commissioning and thus the vehicle is sold strictly as viewed. Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned build invoices and Swansea V5 document. A wonderful opportunity to acquire a unique motor car that more than fulfilled it maker's ambition 'to create a stunning high-performance hybrid with classic style.'

Saleroom notices

  • Since going to press it has been confirmed that this vehicle was indeed commissioned by Mr Nick Ashley. However, the transmission consists of an up-rated Range Rover ZF four-speed automatic gearbox and an Overfinch/Ferguson Formula transfer gearbox, and not as stated in the catalogue (see Overfinch specification sheet on file). Tested by 'Thoroughbred and Classic Cars' magazine in their June 1995 issue (copy article available) the Strange Rover was credited with Bentley Turbo performance, reaching 60mph in 6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 140mph. This type of work and performance did not come cheap, Ashley having lavished a sum in excess of £50,000 (plus VAT) on the project in 1991/92. Invoices and correspondence between Ashley and Overfinch are in the accompanying document file. Following Nick Ashley's sale of the vehicle in 1997, it appears to have had a further four owners before being purchased by the vendor in 2011. Originally intending to re-commission and refresh it, he finds he now has too many projects so the Strange Rover has to find another home. There is a large file of documents with the car containing the aforementioned invoices and correspondence, various copy articles, sundry paperwork, old MoTs and some photographs of the construction. The vehicle also has a current V5C.
Activities
Contacts
  1. John Polson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 5803
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802