In 2024, the Rover P4 series of luxury saloon cars celebrates 75 years.  The P4 was built by The Rover Company and represents a group of cars produced between 1949 (the Rover 75) and 1964 (Rover 95 and 110).  In British motoring culture, the P4 series is fondly referred to as the ‘Auntie’ Rovers although critics labelled them the ‘Poor Man’s Rolls-Royce’.

The first model of the new P4 series, the Rover 75, was unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show in September 1949.  The modern Studebakers-inspired styling surprised many motoring enthusiasts, with a chrome grille, recessed headlamps and a streamlined body.  During road testing, Bob Dearborn of Tester Road & Track is quoted as stating “…and I honestly believe (barring the Rolls-Royce) that there is no finer car built in the world today.”


The Motor magazine test drove the 2.1-Litre Rover 70 in 1949 and recorded a top speed of 83.4 mph with an acceleration from 0-60 mph in 21.6 seconds.

By 1962, the final and fastest car in the P4 series, the Rover 110, featured a 2.6-Litre engine that during a road test showed a maximum speed of 100 mph and acceleration of 0-60 mph in 15.9 seconds.

Models in the P4 Series

Rover 75 (1949-1954) – Production 33,267

Rover 75 (1955-1959) – Production 9,974

Rover 60 (1953-1959) – Production 9,666

Rover 90 (1953-1959) – Production 35,903

Rover 105, 105R & 105S (1956-1959) – Production 10,781

Rover 80 (1959-1962) – Production 5,900

Rover 100 (1959-1962) – Production 16,521

Rover 95 (1962-1964) – Production 3,680

Rover 110 (1962-1964) – Production 4,620

SMITHS Instrumentation

All the cars in the P4 series featured gauges designed and manufactured by SMITHS Instruments, although post 1963 the gauges featured a British Jaeger logo.  The gauges included:

  • Speedometer with trip counter and ODO;
  • Triple gauge for water temperature, an ammeter and fuel gauge;
  • Clock;

Famous Owners

The Rover P4 was popular with the British royal family.  However, the car’s most famous owner was actress and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.

The final car of the P4 Series was produced in 1964.  The P4 was succeeded by the P5 series which Rover had been concurrently manufacturing since 1958.  Today, the P5 is widely regarded as a great car, although very much undervalued in the classic car market.

Further information on SMITHS instrumentation is available on our website, or to discuss a specific requirement please contact us on:

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Phone:  +44 (0) 1639 732200