The Story of Scott's P4B
This is some background on how I came to own a
very radical P4B. I first drove in the 90 a couple of years ago
when it was still a 'six' with vinyl seats and new jet-black
paint with a red pinstripe, it was owned by my ex-business
partner's father. Nice and comfortable, but certainly not
exciting. I didn't see the car for a few weeks until one day I
went to have lunch with him, and there in the corner under a
cover, with the bonnet on the roof sat 'Black Car'. Taking a peek
under the cover, I saw that the engine was out, "it's being
upgraded" we were told, as another cover was lifted exposing
a Land Rover V8 engine crammed full of the best bits available.
High compression pistons, ported & polished heads with
everything fully balanced, Lumenition ignition etc, the package
produced over 200HP.
The only alteration made to the frame was
replacement of the engine mounts with solid units made to take
the new motor. The oil cooler fouled the chassis, so an adaptor
plate was fitted and the oil filter located under the driver's
side wing. The exhaust on the driver's side had to be hand-made
to clear the steering box, while on the other side the exhaust
manifold from a forward control Land Rover enabled fitment with
no cutting of the chassis. Due to the lightness of the new engine
the front springs were replaced with P6B springs, and I fitted
gas shocks later, to stiffen up the ride, which helped the
handling as the front end was too light for standard springs and shocks.
Next the gearbox. After lower revs, Roverco,
now Scott's Old Auto Rubber, supplied an overdrive gearbox from a
late 100. This was totally rebuilt and mated to the engine via an
adaptor plate from a late model V8 Land Rover and heavy - duty
clutch and pressure plate. The diff was replaced with a Range
Rover 3.54 ratio, also rebuilt, for better cruising.
Having 200HP and all that gearing, disc brakes
were decided on. The same 100 that provided the gearbox donated
the discs and callipers (later replaced by me for 3.5 Litre solid
discs and later callipers) as well as the axles and diff casing
to enable the wider Rover l00 wheels to be used all round.
While this was happening, the seats from a MKII
Coupe were re-covered, along with the rear seat from the 100, in
light green velour to match the original trim. Everything used in
the rebuild was new, or rebuilt. My first drive in the car after
the new engine was fitted was of a new car, very tight and
responsive, with heaps of power and great brakes, but the light
front end meant it tended to try to go straight at low speed
corners, something we fixed later on with gas shocks. Up until this point in my
life, I was very fussy about originality, but the car felt that
this was the way it should have been. If it was for sale, I
knew I had to own it!
When he sold his business, part of the sale
left him with a Range Rover and one car too many. He left the 90
where I was living while he decided which car he would part with.
While it was there, I took it for a drive and was very impressed
with the power and the usability of the car, and the look on SDI
driver's faces as they were left for dead at the lights, or overtaken
at 120 mph + was something else! After a little time and
quite a lot of money, it found a home next to my then partners P3.
The next step was a Roadworthy and Engineer's
Report. The Roadworthy was no problem, the car passed a very
thorough examination with not one failure, and also got a glowing
Engineer's Report. The only problem was trying to get away from
the engineer after hours of talking, looking and discussing why
and how it all came together, he was very impressed.
That Christmas I drove the car to Sydney (about
600 miles), sitting on 80 mph and stopping once for fuel at Yass
(about half-way) and with a stock 11.5 gallon tank was very
impressed with the comfortable, effortless and affordable
cruising. The car worked very well.
The closed system 90 radiator coped easily with
the cooling, and the back-up thermatic fan rarely came into use.
The oil cooler and distant oil filter gave an oil capacity
of a stock 90. Using Mobil 1 it made for an expensive oil change
but the engine should last a long time.
The next step was to fit Bridgestone 215 x 15
with thin whitewalls, which further fixed the understeer problem.
Then the instrument panel was replaced by a 95 unit with 3 litre
instruments, which suited the car a lot better and made the speedo accurate. It also got a new
laminated windscreen and rubber, as well as a new rear windscreen
seal. The cheap paint job began to look very daggy, so it was
also repainted black, with red pinstripe. I used it for the
Sydney National Rally many years ago, and it did cause a
sensation, travelling to Sydney and back very fast and unfussed.
I fully intended to keep the car
forever, but getting out of a bad partnership meant sacrifices
had to be made, and part of getting away from all that unhappiness was to use the
car as a sweetener. I do
see it occasionally, but it is not half the car it was.
That was many years ago, now in 2021 it is
unregistered and and was abandoned by the owner and left in his backyard. His neighbour
could not let it stay there so he negotiated and grabbed it with the intention
of putting it back on the road, not happened so far, and I think the engine has
been damaged by an oil change gone wrong. So sad, was a very lovely car.
Postal Address: P.O. Box 105, Mount Waverley 3149, Victoria, Australia
Phone Within Australia: (03) 9545 3222, International: + 61 - 3 -
9.00 - 5.00 Monday to Friday
ABN: 54 163 105 037