The Rover debuted on the P4 Owners Club stand at the Bromley Pageant of Motoring along with two others, in a 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' display.


Steve did get the small block Chevy he wanted, though Paul Burnham persuaded him to go for a USAutomotive sourced TPI motor from a Corvette, complete with 700R4 overdrive transmission, and he does prefer the appearance over a carb. While the body was off the chassis, the old Rover front end made way for a 6in narrowed Series II XJ6 crossmember and suspension, with vented discs and four pot calipers. A Cavalier centre steer rack points everything in the right direction, while a Jag master cylinder and servo unit operates the brakes, with the assurance that it is already matched to the front brakes and rear discs. A Brise-fabricated ally rad now lives behind the distinctive Rover grille. The stock heater is still in place while the Jag servo looks like it belongs there.

Excerpts reproduced with kind permission of Custom Car magazine.


P4 Rovers aren't exactly the most common rodder fodder, so what drew Steve Berriman to the marque and model? "My uncle used to have one and I've always liked 'em. This is my third. I've owned it for 15 years and used to drive it around when it was standard." Then Steve saw an ad for Burnham Autos in Custom Car and the poor Rover would never be the same again.


The initial plan was for the installation of a small block Chevy and a narrowed rear end, though Steve didn't have any specific wheels in mind. This turned out to be fortuitous, as in a neighbouring industrial unit to Burnham Autos there was a pick-up that had been imported from the States and the owner wanted to part it out, including the tri-spoke Billet Specialties wheels and tyres.

Measuring 15x15 and 6x15in they were the perfect sizes for the Rover, and

appealed to Steve, especially when be managed to procure them for a

third of their retail price. Result!

The chassis mods such as the

narrowed rear and Jag IFS are

evident here. Aldan ally coilovers

suspend the 9in axle, and a Brise

fuel tank now lives between the

tyres. According to Paul Burnham,

"We built the car around those

rear tyres!"

Luckily, the P4 Rover is quite big

for an English car, meaning that

even with 15x15s under the

bulbous back end, there was

plenty enough room for chassis

rails and suspension, but rather

than go the box section back half route, Burnham Autos opted to narrow the stock Rover chassis rails to suit. After they'd carefully removed the just painted bodyshell that is. A 9in Ford axle was narrowed to suit and now features discs instead of drum brakes.

The reworked back end meant that once the body was remounted, the backrest of the rear seat had to be moved forward slightly and the parcel shelf lengthened to match, but to the casual observer the interior appears stock - far nicer than it ever came from Rover, but stock nonetheless - and this was a deliberate aim of Steve's as he likes the look of the Rover interior, bench seat, upright handbrake 'n' all.

The seats and door panels are now trimmed in beige leather and new headliner, parcel shelf, kick panels and carpets have all been fabricated to match the P4's stock looks. The original gauges have now been replaced with a set of modern period style instruments that still retain the early flavour. With refurbished wood trim, the completed interior now wouldn't look out of place if it were to reside within a concourse classic P4

Though Steve's brother in law had already painted the car, once finished it was felt that it wasn't 'red enough', especially once all the trim and bumpers had been re-chromed, so it was treated to a fresh coat of VW Tornado red, which really sets the chrome off.

The Rover debuted on the P4 Owners Club stand at the Bromley Pageant of Motoring along with two others, in a 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' display. This explains the number plate currently on the car. What were the others? The Ugly was an old breaker while the Good was a rally-going version. According to Steve "It certainly upset a few members of the owners group who viewed it from a distance. I could see them saying 'He's ruined that!'"

It also seemed to upset the nice lady from the DVLA who came round to inspect the totally disassembled car when Steve applied for the V5. When he showed her the plate with the chassis number stamped into it she wanted to know why it wasn't attached to the car and went into a rant about it being valuable and he might be selling the parts to buy drugs. Ushering her out of his garage he called the DVLA to complain, who told him to rivet the plate in place and they'd send someone else round. The V5 was issued shortly thereafter!