Door trim 'wood' fillets

#1
As a newbie, I am hoping that someone here might be able to throw some light on something for me.

My first car (in 1975) was a 1964 regd. 2000, which my father had before me and which he had originally bought from a neighbour, who had owned it from new.
This car was registered in June 1964 and had real wood fillets in the doors (and I can still remember sanding them back down and revarnishing them). They were definitely not the formica type.

I thought nothing of it until I read James Taylor's book on the P6 which stated that 'about the first 100 production cars had real wood'. Unfortunately I have no idea, now, what the chassis no. was, but as the car was regd in June 1964 I cannot see that it was one of the first 100. I seem to recall that the car 'might' initially have been used by the dealer (a very small rural family-run garage) as a demonstrator, although if it really was that early a production car, it must have been used on trade plates before being registered in June and I would be surprised at such a small garage having such an early car off the production line.

I do recall my father having difficulties with the exhaust when it came to replacement as none of the bits supplied would fit it, and something (I can't recall what all these years later) was changed on the front section to enable the exhaust to be replaced, and he also had a breather fitted to the rear axle, which i suspect was one of the modifications in the early years.

Does anyody know where James got the figure of 100 from, or have any more knowledge about the issue of the real wood fillets? It is purely of interest as I don't have the car, and don't know if it is still around.

many thanks. Tony
 

chrisyork

Active Member
#3
Yes and No

Suffix "A" 2000's were fitted with real wood on cars produced up to about autumn '64. Suffix A is the holy grail for P6 collectors as these are effectively hand built pre - production cars and differ from "normal" P6's in lots of ways. Undoubtedly Tonys car was one of these. He might also remember courtesy lights shining into the footwell from each end of the dashboard rail. The gearbox and diff would have given quite a lot of trouble - the box in particular picks up a new mod about once a week at that stage of production!

The link you've highlighted Richard is to a chap who makes really nice wood infils, including for the 5 dial instrument pack, not really Rover items, rather upmarket aftermarket.

Chris
 
#4
tonys said:
As a newbie, I am hoping that someone here might be able to throw some light on something for me.

My first car (in 1975) was a 1964 regd. 2000, which my father had before me and which he had originally bought from a neighbour, who had owned it from new.
This car was registered in June 1964 and had real wood fillets in the doors (and I can still remember sanding them back down and revarnishing them). They were definitely not the formica type.
Wood trim is fitted in the first approx approx 5700 cars. To the end of the 'A' suffix in chassis numbers.

JT's book is wrong on that count. A June 1964 car would have originally had the wood trims. JT, for no fault of his own, printed a lot of info he was told to be gospel by apparent 'experts' in the late 1980's, whilst better info has come to light in recent years, both from ex-Rover employees (who were still working for Rover 20 years ago) and heavy research in the archives.

My car was built September 1st and is a 'B' suffix, with plastic doors trims (which look more like wood than the real wood ones)

Cheers
Nick
 
#5
chrisyork said:
Yes and No

Suffix "A" 2000's were fitted with real wood on cars produced up to about autumn '64. Suffix A is the holy grail for P6 collectors as these are effectively hand built pre - production cars and differ from "normal" P6's in lots of ways. Undoubtedly Tonys car was one of these. He might also remember courtesy lights shining into the footwell from each end of the dashboard rail. The gearbox and diff would have given quite a lot of trouble - the box in particular picks up a new mod about once a week at that stage of production!

The link you've highlighted Richard is to a chap who makes really nice wood infils, including for the 5 dial instrument pack, not really Rover items, rather upmarket aftermarket.

Chris
The gearbox mods go into the 'B' suffix. Mine has the orange paint on it to denote it's been replaced at the factory.
 
#6
Thanks for the updates folks. I thought someone here would know! Sounds like as good an explanation as I'm likely to get and certainly fits with my experiences.

It would seem that my car was an 'A' suffix one, and that now rings a bell with me. I've still got the original regn. no. on one of my current cars, as it was a pre-suffix number and I transferred it off, so I remember the car very well. This forum has actually tempted to go and dig out a couple (unfortunately I don't have many) of old photos of the car, just for old-times sake!

I have spent a little while trawling through this forum and have been very impressed with the information on here and the willingness of people to help others out.

Do I remember gearbox issues with mine, as Nick has suggested? Funnily enough, I do. It was fine until I sold it on to a good friend of mine and the box went after a matter of days!! Fortunately, we came to an amicable arrangement over it, from memory car had done about 58,000 miles at that time. Not the thing you want to happen though, especially when you've known the buyer for years.

I also remember the old map lights fitted at the end of the dash, I thought they were very good and I don't recall any issues with the bulbs falling out, as I have seen reported elsewhere.

Having trawled this forum elsewhere, I have seen the references to Copperleaf red paint and the 'rare' warning sticker about not slamming the boot; my car had both and that 'message' about not slamming bootlids has always stayed with me; unfortunately many bootlids seem to need a slam to close nowadays. It also had the Irvin adjustable front seat belts, complete with the little logos on the catch. I seem to recall a reference to 'manufacturers of parachutes' or similar on the labels, which was quite impressive to me as a youngster at the time.

My car was Copperleaf red, with biscuit trim, which I thought was a superb combination. I can confrim there were difficulties with the Copperleaf, particularly in matching the colours. Unfortunately, about 2 days after my father agreed to purchase the car from our neighbour, and before he'd actually bought it, someone ran into the back of it at traffic lights. A low speed bump which only seemed to damage the bootlid (a small dent), which, of course, they resprayed. It was never quite right after that, and could almost look a 'greyish' colour when viewed from certain angles in certain light conditions. I had it re-done about 6 years later, but it still wasn't a perfect match.
Thanks again.
 
#7
The gearbox saga was along the lines of when the 'production' boxes started arriving from the new works at Pegrum, South Wales, they were found to be faulty - there was a major technical problem, and had to be rebuilt. This affected possibly thousands of early 2000's.

It was a major crisis at Rover at the time (Spring/Summer 1964) and even the white collar staff were apparently working 24/7 to get the new boxes installed. This is part of the reason why production didn't get up to anywhere near capability until the end of 1964. It must have been a major worry as Rover were still an independent company at this point.

The very early 'A' suffix cars, such as Roy Payne's (number 903 IIRC) had Solihull built boxes, which weren't affected by the Gremlins.
 
#8
Just located my Glass's guide for the period. It looks like 'A' suffix (real wood, no steering idler etc. etc.) ran to number 40005800A

'B' starts in August 1964 at number 40005801B. My car is 40006745B and was built 1st September 1964, so they were well underway by then.
 
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