70 Years of the P4
We have owned our trusty P4 for 14 years now, and have been a member of the P4 Drivers Guild for almost as long, but had not been to one of their ‘National’ rallies for a while. With this year’s event celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the P4 & being held at Burghley House, in nearby Lincolnshire, we just had to go along for the day. A bonus for us was that our route to the show took us through the very attractive Northamptonshire villages of Glinton, Barnack, etc. all built of the local stone and second only to those found in the Cotswolds.
Burghley House is a grand 16th century mansion, on the edge of Stamford, built by the Cecil Family between 1555 & 1587, and still owned by the family today. It is perhaps best known for the Burghley Horse Trials held there each year in the extensive parkland that surrounds the house, but we were fortunate in being on the lawn, directly in front of the house. As well as being an impressive backdrop this also gave us easy access to the gardens, facilities and the house itself, which many of us explored.
The weather could not have been better and I’m sure this helped, with a remarkable turnout of 150 P4’s for the event. There were also 20 other models at the show making a grand total of 170 Rovers sparkling in the sunshine. What better sight could you have.
Ten Norfolk Club members made their way to the event and it was great to see Graham Teeson picking up the Derrick Humphries Memorial Trophy for his P4, for what Stan Johnstone, Guild Chairman, called the best Car of the Show. Nigel Randall picked up the award for Best Engine Bay for his P4 and Peter Cane deservedly picked up the award for the Best SD1, which meant our Club did very well indeed.
As we all know, there were a number of variants of the P4 over it’s 15 year production life with the first back in 1949, being the now rare Cyclops. We were therefore surprised and delighted to see 6 of these at the show, with condition varying from ‘original’ to Concourse. As always the most popular cars were the 100 &110 but there were examples of all the models at the show, including Stephen Parker’s PickUp Conversion and the one after market Diesel Model. What better tribute could you have to Gordon Bashford, the car’s designer at Rover, and Jack Swain the designer of the revolutionary Inlet Over Exhaust 6-cylinder engine that went on to power the 3Ltr P5.
To mark the occasion, the guild followed our lead from our 40th anniversary celebrations at Bressingham with a splendid cake, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. It was a Great Day Out.
Russell James VP