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Old 12th January 2015, 17:15   #1
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Default Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

I bought this car way back in March 2012, the restoration started the very same month, lots of hard work has gone in this project in the last 3 years.

I hope everyone enjoys the story of this restoration.

A Brief introduction of the car.
(Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rover_P3 )

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The Rover P3 series were produced by the The Rover Company Limited in 1948 and 1949 known as the Rover 60 and Rover 75. The Rover 75 had a six-cylinder engine of 2103 cc. Two body styles were available, a six light saloon and four light sports saloon.

The cars were expensive at 1080 for the Rover 60 and 1106 for the Rover 75, and with early post-war production problems and material shortages it was never intended that the cars would be produced in large numbers. Eventually, 1274 of 60 and 7837 75 models were made before the car was replaced by the all-new Rover 75 (P4) at the end of September 1949.

Now about my car :

Just after finishing the restoration of my Morris minor, I heard about this Rover which was for sale in Kanpur, the car had been under restoration by the previous owner and was totally messed up, they had started upon a full scale grounds up restoration, and lost track mid way, the entire car was opened up and many parts were lost or stolen in the process.

Here are the first few pictures I received from the seller.
Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon-rover-1.jpg
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Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon-rover2.jpg

This thread is inspired by the great restoration stories of KPS and Karl.

KPS, Kasli, Fintail,
Thanks for your words of encouragement.

After receiving the pictures, the next thing I did was to start looking at pictures of complete cars on the internet and also on our forum, the Rover P3 looked great and I got very interested in the project.

Meanwhile I received the list of missing parts, which is as follows:
1. Inlet manifold.
2. Half of door handles.
3. Dash board and the entire instrument panel.
4. Windscreen frame.
5. Seat frames.
6. Radiator.

Well, any one in right senses would have not taken up this project but I was naive and I frankly got carried away and by just looking at the pictures made the deal. The car was to be delivered in march 2012, and I started working on procuring the missing parts.

Next thing I did was to join the Rover sports Register, I began asking questions there on their great forum and also bought the workshop manual and the parts list from the club.

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Further, Chris C from RSR was very kind in gifting me an original instruction manual.

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I now had the car/chassis no. which is 8412064 and 841 indicates it is a 1948 75 6 light saloon. Further I contacted the British Motor industry heritage trust (BMIHT) and I recieved the following information from them.

"The records for details of your car Chassis No. 841-2064,are as follows, but are as are the details of all Rovers of this period are rather spartan:-

Rover P3 75 Six-light Saloon, dated 20th October .
Specification, RHD CKD. (Exported as a kit of parts for final assembly Overseas).
Despatched, 21st October 1948 to Dewars Garage and Engineering Co. Calcutta India.
Colour, No.10 Grey.

We are afraid that that is all the information that was recorded in the UK about this vehicle at the time, but one wonders if there are any surviving records in India. "

Meanwhile, I also got in touch with Mike Couldry at Meteor Spares in UK, and started procuring parts even before the car reached me.

Finally I got the delivery of the car and we unloaded at a friends farm, who also has a great collection of cars and owns a workshop here in Jaipur.

Here are the pictures the first time I saw her in person, notice the bits and pieces and what a total mess it was. I will let the pictures do the talking.

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I had bitten the bullet and had a choice to abandon the project and mark it as a total loss or to get on with the challenge, I went in for the latter and though it has been a tough as well as enjoyable project, personally I would not suggest anyone to embark on such a project with so many missing parts, but I think one learns with experience.

more later....

Last edited by GTO : 13th January 2015 at 12:54. Reason: Adding your latest update to the opening post :)
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Old 12th January 2015, 22:09   #2
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Default re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Dear Karthik,

Thanks for starting this thread and look forward to enjoying the restoration project as it plays out. I am sure this car will be a beauty under your supervision.

All the best

Cheers

KPS
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Old 12th January 2015, 23:18   #3
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Hi Kartikeya

Trust the car is coming out well and we look forward to a detailed restoration report. May this car once give you many years of driving pleasure

Cheers
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Old 13th January 2015, 00:32   #4
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Default re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Hi-

Trust that the car shall gain her former glory under your stewardship. I'd prefer to see her in black!

I presume all the original axles, engines are present?

May she prove to be a gem! Good luck!

BTW - when original these cars would've used Lucas Headlamp units, right?

Could you tell me which exact ones.

How did you manage to fabricate the dash? And the meters- how were they obtained - and actually made to work?

Regards.

Last edited by FINTAIL : 13th January 2015 at 00:34. Reason: addition of an extra question.
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Old 13th January 2015, 16:32   #5
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Hi karthikeya,
Wish you every success in your quest to restore this beauty. I'd love to see it back in pristine condition!
As FINTAIL said, black would be a great colour for this one.

Eagerly waiting for updates; I am really hooked to this thread now!
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Old 14th January 2015, 16:37   #6
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Hi Karthikeya,

Wish you very best of luck for your project. Once done it should be a real stand out. How are you planning to get the engine overhauled and will spares be available.

Another great color choice would be Silver grey, or a black or Deed brownish red combination with Silver grey.
Best of luck again! Keep posting pictures.
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Old 15th January 2015, 12:38   #7
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

On 25th May 2012 we finally decided to bring her to the workshop, the picture quality is not great as I used my cell phone, notice the damage to the running boards made by the crane.
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and by 31st may the body was off the chassis
Attached Images
          
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Old 15th January 2015, 13:00   #8
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

more pictures

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We realized that the previous restorer had closed the circled area of the floor,
this area is covered by wood/ply in the original car.

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I got the details of the ply's from RSR
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Now we set upon working on restoring the chassis and parts and also started working on the underside of the body, the idea was to restore the chassis, and the underside and bolt the body back on the chassis and then work on the body itself.

I ordered a suspension kits from Scotts old rubber in Australia.( Great source)
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By mid Sept 2012, the chassis was ready and painted.
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work on the underside of the body was also completed and we were ready to unite the body with the chassis
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Old 15th January 2015, 15:23   #9
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Excellent thread! Happy to see someone documenting the grounds up restoration of a Rover!

Rovers are stately cars and till sometime ago I used to own one albeit a P5. A bit of advice when it comes to mechanicals on Rovers take your time and do the job thoroughly, Somehow Rovers have a tendency to be very unforgiving for the slightest mistakes mechanically. After all they were built with such precision. That was my experience!

When complete I am sure she will be no less that a mini Rolls Royce herself. cheers! I already miss my car
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Old 15th January 2015, 18:13   #10
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
I presume all the original axles, engines are present?
BTW - when original these cars would've used Lucas Headlamp units, right?

Could you tell me which exact ones.
How did you manage to fabricate the dash? And the meters- how were they obtained - and actually made to work?
Fintail, Engine and axles are all original, The lucas headlamp units that came with the car's originally were Lucas 50281/50280 RH/LH. Watch out this thread for the rest of your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_asd View Post
As FINTAIL said, black would be a great colour for this one.
I am not against black, but.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by globemaster View Post
How are you planning to get the engine overhauled and will spares be available.
Spares for these cars are available easily in the UK on ebay and with specialist suppliers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the mole View Post
Excellent thread! Happy to see someone documenting the grounds up restoration of a Rover!
Thank you so much, the inspiration comes from our own forum.

Cheers
Kartik
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Old 20th January 2015, 10:38   #11
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

End 2012, we got busy with coming annual rally in Jaipur and work came to a stand still, after the rally we started working on the body , the body was repaired/restored part by part and then primer was applied.

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Work on the engine had started too and was progressing nicely, by September 2013 the engine was back in the car and significant wood work was also done.
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Old 21st January 2015, 10:05   #12
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Meanwhile parts ordered from UK had started arriving, I am posting the pictures sent to me by the suppliers, of all the parts that I had to source to make sure this car become as original as possible, and the pictures will tell their own story.

Quarter glass and rear window frames.
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Interior rear view mirror
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Tappet covers
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Radiator Mascot
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Starting handle bracket
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Spot Light
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Interior and exterior handles and parts
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Old 21st January 2015, 10:16   #13
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

More parts and their pictures here

Instrument panel and meters
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Windtone horns
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Tool Tray and original tools
Attachment 1331083

Headlamps, parts and glasses
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Interior locks, indicator and light switches etc
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Gear box rubber tunnel
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Running board rubbers
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Window regulators and sunvisors
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Brake fluid bottle, free wheel knob, Radiator and petrol cap
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Handbrake, rear number plate lights
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Last edited by KartikeyaL : 21st January 2015 at 10:19.
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Old 21st January 2015, 11:44   #14
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Quote:
Originally Posted by KartikeyaL View Post
More parts and their pictures here
Must say- restoration is of an A grade.

Couldn't help, but make this observation:
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In this pic- we can see two little boxes. Little blue boxes. Now- Look at the monogrammes on them. Doesn't it have a striking similarity with the monogram of British Leyland, thus depicted below:

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It does have a striking similarity. Think of it- Rover was a part of British Leyland as well. So- I'll presume that replacement Rover parts came with such packaging, as Rover used to be a part of British Leyland?

Come on, admit- You've been using NOS Parts, haven't you?

Credits to the logo pic: www.wikipedia.com

Last edited by FINTAIL : 21st January 2015 at 11:47.
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Old 21st January 2015, 22:00   #15
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Default Re: Restoration: 1948 Rover (P3) 75-6 Light Saloon

Tremendous dedication to restore back to original. Parts are expensive and the unfavourable forex rate must be making it quite expensive to procure the parts.

Karthik hats off to you, very few would have attempted turning around a car in such a state.

Cheers

KPS
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