Cohort Outtake: A Rover Lover Lives Here – And What’s That Hiding In The Bushes?

Rover driveway

Somebody in British Columbia loves them some vintage Rovers, Land and P4s. Roger Carr just recently covered the Land Rover’s history in great detail here. But we’ve yet to cover the Rover P4 or P5; I’m sure Roger will get to them eventually. These are identified as 105s by nifticus, who posted this shot at the Cohort. These have some Studebaker genes in their DNA. But what’s that little truck behind the bushes?


Studebaker 1947 Champ 4 door

The P4 was Rover’s first new postwar car, and they wanted it to have the latest “pntoon” or “envelope” styling. But they needed some inspiration and help with that, and rather than go to Raymond Loewy, who undoubtedly would have fixed them up with a nice scaled-down adaptation, like he later did with the ’53 Studebaker for Rootes. Instead, Rover just went out and bought two new 1947 Studebakers, and cut up one of them and mounted it on the Rover frame, as a mule. And then adapted the design for their needs.

Rover 1949 P4 75

Here’s how the “Roverbaker” turned out, as the 1949 Rover 75. Not too bad, although it is a bit stumpy, and the droopy tail doesn’t work as well in a shorter format. Curiously, the 75 had a “third eye” in the middle of its front end, a bit of a foreshadowing of the bullet-nose on the revised 1951 Studebakers.

The P4 had a good long run, until 1964, but it had been supplanted with the more refined-looking P5 since 1958.

Now about that little truck….