Wednesday, February 25, 2009

#633 ... P76

... A challenge to the Aussie Icons.
This P76 was parked beside Harvey Norman's in Tory Street and is holding up quite well for its age. Although now rare in this part of the world ... it is probably never ever seen in th northern hemisphere !!
The Leyland P76 was a large car produced by Leyland Australia, the Australian subsidiary of British Leyland. It was intended to provide the company with a genuine rival to large local models like the Ford Falcon, the Holden Kingswood, and the Chrysler Valiant.
Before the P76, Leyland Australia and its antecedent BMC (Australia) had not fielded a direct competitor in this market sector, which dominated the Australian car market. P76 was intended to provide that competitor.
Previously, BMC and Leyland had tried to compete in this market segment with a variety of cars: the 1958 Morris Marshall (a rebadged Austin A95); the 1962 Austin Freeway and Wolseley 24/80 (the Freeway was an Austin A60 with Riley 4/72 tail lights, a unique full width grille and a 2.4 litre 6-cylinder version of the 1622 cc B-series engine; the Wolseley was a 6-cylinder version of the Wolseley 16/60); and the 1971 Austin "X6" Tasman and Kimberley (facelifted Austin 1800s with the 6-cylinder 2.2 litre E-series engine.)
Each of these cars was a compromise, and the motoring public ignored these cars as challengers to the dominant local models. Nonetheless, the Freeway, 24/80 and the X6s each developed a loyal following.
Launched in 1973, it was nicknamed "the wedge", on account of its shape, with a large boot (trunk), able to easily hold a 44 gallon drum. Although station wagon and "Force 7" coupé versions were designed, these never went into mass production.

The name of the P76 derived from the car's codename while in development. Speculation surrounds the naming and parentage of the P76. One story says the name was apparently the platoon number of British Leyland head Donald Stokes. Another story is that the P76 was based on a Rover design, and that the "P" coding signified that it emanated from Rover. Rover's coding for its models included the P4, P5, P6 and P8 (although the P8 never reached mass production). The official line was that the P76 was an original Australian design with no overseas counterpart. The Rover SD1 (released in 1976) shared several engineering features with P76 — including MacPherson strut front suspension, the aluminium V8 engine and a live rear axle.


Julie said...

thanks for the information and history lesson on this car and manufacturer.

Babooshka said...

My Dad woked at the former British Leyland in the 70's. I'm originally from Birmingham hformer home of the UK car Indutsry. Very Nostalgic image for me.

pharmacy said...

wow that's a real classic, if you look for this car now, it cost a lot more than 20 years ago.