Marnix Bootsma’s P5B has been a hobby car in the family for 46 years. The story of a beautifully aged Rover.
“Our family business O. de Leeuw BV from Zwolle imported used to include Nuffield and Leyland tractors, so my father drove a car from the same group: a Wolseley 6/110. Production of those cars stopped in the late 1960s, but he wanted to keep driving a Leyland product.”
“It could be a Jaguar XJ6 or a Rover P5B. The Jaguar was sportier, stood for speed, but was less spacious and solid. It was said at the time that you would need two to drive at least one every day. In terms of appearance, the Rover was a better successor to the Wolseley, more of an executive car. Not loud, solid and with a timeless design. So it became the P5B, a comfortable car with a nice interior, upholstered in leather and real wood.”
“This is the second Rover my father has had. The first he drove for business. I remember my parents driving past my high school during the test drive. We had agreed during my break to see if I could sit in it well with my two meters. The Rover was made for English gentlemen who were behind the wheel with hats on, so that went well. That first Rover was heavily used and was due for replacement in 1975.”
“For business kilometers there was then a Peugeot 604, which had just been on the market. The P5B was new when it was no longer available. Coincidentally, we knew a lady who drove this type of Rover and didn’t think it was a pleasant car. My father then took over her car privately and that car – two years old at the time – is the car on these pages. It is one of the last left-hand drive units.”