The Rover P6B & The New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement

 

During the 1970’s, Rover 3500 P6B Automatics were shipped to the New Zealand Motor Corporation Nelson Assembly Plant as CKD units. Official production figures from the New Zealand Motor Corporation and provided by John Miller, author & publisher of the book From Cotton to Cars reveal that 1,345 CKD Rover 3500 P6B Automatics were assembled for the New Zealand market between May 1971 and April 1975. Concurrently, 1,806* CKD Rover 3500 P6B Automatics were assembled for the Australian market between June 1972 and October 1976 and exported under the New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement.

*The NZMC magazine Torque quotes more than 2,400 NAFTA P6B cars being produced for the Australian market.

Grateful acknowledgement is given to John Miller and Honda New Zealand Ltd Archives for permission to reproduce the following images.
For further recommended reading, refer to ‘From Cotton to Cars’,  © John Miller, Nelson, New Zealand, 2009.

• Download press release | Leyland merger NZ May 1972 PDF

 Click on to the thumbnails to view larger on-screen images.

Associated Motor Industries Ltd newspaper advertisement 9 May 1974

The car in the photo below may look a little unusual but is easily explained. The construction of the Rover P6 is based around a base unit with bolt on exterior panels. It is a very strong structure. To reduce freight costs, the roof was cut off before shipment and re-attached (in a jig) at Nelson. Photo circa March 1974.

Underbody preparations being made and some of the rear suspension being fitted. Note that the car has none of its exterior panels fitted. Circa May 1974.

Final detailing work is taking place, May 1974.

Awaiting despatch from Nelson. Look closely at the bumpers. They are covered in thick underfelt. Circa May 1974.

The end of the NAFTA deal with Australia. The final shipment of Rover 3500 P6B cars awaiting loading on the docks at Nelson. This picture would have been taken about October 1976. NZMC magazine Torque.

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The NAFTA Rovers | Magazine Article
With acknowledgement to the Rover Car Club of Queensland magazine Queensland Rover, June 1993, and to John Miller for the supply of the copy.
 Click on to the thumbnails to view larger on-screen images.

 

 

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Examples of NZMC Rover 3500 P6B Colours

Above: Honeysuckle 1975 Rover 3500, Oran Park Raceway, NSW, 2/12/1975. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Ice Blue 1976 Rover 3500, Weston Park, Yarralumla, A.C.T., 28/11/1986. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Ice Blue 1974 Rover 3500, Cataract Dam, NSW, 15/2/2012. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Tumeric Rover 3500, Bowral, NSW, 29/3/2009. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Tourquise 1976 Rover 3500, Gold Creek Village, A.C.T., 30/9/2006. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Spanish Olive 1976 Rover 3500, Sutton Forest, NSW, 15/12/2010.

Above: Bitter Apricot 1976 Rover 3500, Black Mountain Peninsula, A.C.T., 1/10/2006. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Honeysuckle 1974 Rover 3500, Goulburn, NSW, 24/3/2001. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Saffron 1975 Rover 3500, Mittagong, NSW, 27/4/2013. Photo by Webmaster.

Above: Country Cream 1974 Rover 3500, Melbourne, Victoria, 13/5/2012.  Photo courtesy Rover Car Club of Australia.

Above: French Blue 1976 Rover 3500, Tasmania, December 2013. This car was supplied by Regent Motors, South Melbourne, Victoria and delivered new by Fiske Bros. Motors, Box Hill, Victoria on 12 May 1981. This would have been among the very last batch of NZMC assembled Rover 3500 P6B cars to be sold new in Australia. Paperwork with the car shows the purchase price was A$16,525 which included A$950 for air conditioning & A$200 for accessories. Photos and information courtesy of the Webmaster of the Rover Car Club of Australia & the car owner.

Above: Pimento Red 1976 Rover 3500, Victoria, photographed in 2014. Photo courtesy of the Webmaster of the Rover Car Club of Australia & the car owner.

Above: Cameron Green Rover 3500, Tasmania.
Photo courtesy of the Rover Car Club of Australia.

Above: Country Cream 1974 Rover 3500, Melbourne, Victoria.
Photo courtesy of the Rover Car Club of Australia.

Above: Arden Green 1974 Rover 3500, photographed in Sydney, NSW, 6/3/2011.


Above: Arden Green 1974 Rover 3500 photographed in Newcastle, NSW, 31/7/2010.
Note that the wheels are non-standard, being from a Series 1 Rover SD1. Photos courtesy the owner & the Rover Owners Club Inc. NSW & ACT.

Above: Maple 1976 Rover 3500, photographed in Victoria.

 

Australian Market P6 Compendium