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‘The middle manager’s Rolls-Royce’

2 years ago

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Mel Nichols | Journalist


13 October 2022

It was a real occasion when Uncle Reg and Auntie Mavis came to stay. Reg always had Rovers or American De Sotos, which were popular back home in Australia. I preferred the Rovers. They oozed English class and made the De Sotos seem crass.

One year, when Reg and Mavis pulled up in a brand-new Rover P5 MkII 3-Litre Coupé after their 200-mile drive from southern Tasmania to us in the north, I couldn’t tear myself away. I thought its looks, perfected by the delicate roof’s pale grey paint above dark blue lower panels, were sensational: Rover stateliness spiced with precisely the right splash of style.

This, I thought, was how a gentleman’s carriage with a hint of rakishness should look. Forty years later, with the CLS, Mercedes-Benz would also think the racier style of a four-door with a lowered roof and more dashing C-pillar was a good idea. Others – BMWs, Audis et al – piled in. But the P5’s designer David Bache got there first.

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