A SPECIAL booklet has been printed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a Rover car which left the production line at Lodes Lane on April 19, 1971.
Owner Martin Robins created ‘The Old Lady Turns Fifty’ to mark the marvellous milestone of the Rover P5B Coupe.
The Coupe was launched in 1962 as a 3litre and 3.5litre V8 models also came into production between 1967 and 1973 – the year that saw the car’s demise.
‘The Old Lady’ was produced in the April and then shipped to Solihull dealership RH Collier where she was sold on August 6, 1971, earning a ‘K’ registration plate the then new owner Henry Plester had to wait for.
On January 17, 1992, Vicky earned her British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate.
The booklet charts the history of Vicky and also provides details on the model’s interesting past.
The 3.5litre saloon was the car of choice of high-ranking Government ministers and four Prime Ministers, including Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher.
The car has 76,000 miles on the clock, averaging around 1,500-a-year.
Martin said: “She hasn’t been out much during the lockdown – we usually take her out to historic homes where she doesn’t look out of place.”
Among the houses The Old Lady has been to are Chequers and Manor House in Castle Coombe where Lady Thatcher wrote her memoirs.
“Whenever we park her up and leave her she always has a dozen people around her admiring her when we get back – it’s a very attractive-looking car.”
The P5B Coupe was designed by David Bache who was from Solihull and lived in Lady Byron Lane.
Martin added: “The story goes that he took it into Morris Wilkes to suggest it be made and Morris said ‘it certainly is a head-turner but we don’t make head-turners here.
“Eventually they did make it and it became a very much-loved model.”
Email Martin at [email protected] for more on the booklet and to obtain a copy.