Rover had already proved what a good engine their new V8 was in 1967 with the successful P5B 3.5 Litre model, the next transplant would involve the smaller P6 model. The P6 2000 models were selling well in the executive market and so a more powerful flagship model could only improve the range, enter the Rover P6B 3500.
The 3500 became available in 1968 and looked very similar to its smaller engined relations. Notable differences were the enlarged under-bumper air intake, bonnet bulges (although these were later standard on all P6 models) and extra badges. The rest of the body was unchanged and needed no extra strengthening. The engine itself was little different to the P5B unit and although an automatic gearbox was standard to start with later models had a manual option.
The Rover 3500 remained in production until its replacement, the SD1, arrived in 1976. The 3500 had been a success for Rover and also proved to be popular with the UK Police forces as a traffic patrol car.
Buyers Guide Rover P6 featured in Practical Classics July 2006 – available from our sister site Bookbase. Click here to view.