Margaret Thatcher’s Rover P5 heads to auction

The Rover P5 that carried the newly-elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to visit the Queen in 1979 is heading to auction.

The Rover played a significant role, transporting the UK’s first female PM from the Conservative Party headquarters to Buckingham Palace on May 4, 1979, where she accepted the Queen’s invitation to form a new administration.

Margaret Thatcher Rover
The Rover was professionally adapted for ministerial use (Silverstone Auctions)

The P5 had been converted by British coachbuilder Hooper shortly after it rolled off the production line on March 24, 1973, taking it to official Government specification. This car was one of three used for ministerial duties and features an Ebony Black exterior colour with a contrast Saddle Tan hide interior.

The Rover was acquired by a private owner in 1980 – some years after the P5 finished production – with around 76,000 miles on the clock. Since then, around 17,000 miles have been added to the P5’s odometer. More recently, the paintwork has been given a refresh, while both the engine and gearbox have been rebuilt. However, the interior has been kept in entirely original condition.

Margaret Thatcher Rover
The interior has been kept in original condition (Silverstone Auctions)

Powered by a 3.5-litre V8 engine, the P5 produced around 160bhp when new and could manage the 0-60mph sprint in around 11.7 seconds.

The P5 is being offered by Silverstone Auctions on August 27, with an estimate of between £35,000 and £45,000. The auction house says that the Rover is accompanied by a ‘large history file and unquestionable provenance.’