Cheap Auntie – 1957 Rover P4 90

Not only is this the oldest car featured here, I believe, but it is also arguably the most elegant. Featuring a beautiful chrome waterfall grill, all-wood dash, and leather interior, it’s quite a luxurious vehicle that has some of the features people most strongly associate with British luxury sedans. No doubt it also smells like a 50-year-old British car: oil, fuel, leather, and who knows what other chemicals.

This particular car appears to be a top of the line model originally sold in New Zealand, judging by the front plate. The 2.6-liter six-cylinder engine puts out 90hp and pulls the car to a top speed of around 90mph. Even better, 0-60 took an epic 19 seconds. What the heck was that car geared for? Any modern 90-hp car will better that – I’d even wager my 83hp Lancia Beta is quicker. Back to the car, it’s also finished in an elegant silver/black two-tone paint job. You can find it for $2900 in Monterey, CA.

1957 Rover P4 90 front left

Apparently the car is a runner. I’ll be the first to doubt the 90hp are still coming out of this engine, but it does look reasonably free of dirt and dust, so maybe it’s actually been driven around a bit. I would count on replacing all consumables at minimum, plus maybe doing a carburetor rebuild.

1957 Rover P4 90 engine

The interior appears to be the roughest part of the whole car. While the dash appears to be in excellent shape, you’re going to want to throw some sheepskins over the front seat, since it looks like the car’s last owners were a couple of rodents. The back seat and other bits are rather hard to judge, but I’d count on at least a thorough cleaning. Bonus feature on this car: suicide door, the better to show off your dee-luxe interior.

1957 Rover P4 90 interior

The rear shows how clean this car really looks from the outside. On the assumption the New Zealand island climate is not conducive to damage-free survival of 50-year-old body components, I would want to do a thorough inspection of the car with a magnet and a screwdriver. That glossy black paint may be covering up bondo or any number of other sins, although it’d be hard to hide under the black.

1957 Rover P4 90 right rear

Anyway, generally you won’t find anything looking halfway this decent (or anything at all) for this price. No doubt this car will need a good amount of work, and the seller says as much. If you’re looking from far away, I could possibly be talked into checking this car out. Make sure to check out the dealer’s website – there are a number of other interesting cars listed there.


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