Mustang-powered Rover 75 Is the Gentleman’s Muscle Car
The Rover 75 didn’t exactly set the world on fire. That is, until the British automaker stuffed a Mustang engine in it.
Unless you’re a Brit, the car you’re looking at probably seems a bit, well, odd. But this 2005 Rover 75 V8, which we spotted for sale at Auto Classics, is actually a rather rare and notable vehicle all by itself. The Rover Company enjoys a reputation of being a prestigious brand that started its existence way back in 1925. They quickly developed a reputation for building quality luxury cars, autos that rivaled just about anything shy of a Rolls Royce. But to us, the most interesting thing about this particular Rover is that it uses a Ford Mustang engine for power.
This is nothing new, of course. Marquees such as Aston Martin and Triumph has long employed powertrains from other brands. But when you stick a Mustang derived 4.6-liter V8 in a car with luxury appointments normally reserved for country club members, it makes for an interesting case. And it’s not half bad looking, either, with stereotypical mid-2000s curvy lines and tidy bodywork.
The non-V8 powered Rover 75 wasn’t exactly a hit among the Brits, however. The biggest gripe? Its lack of power. Stepping up to the Mustang V8, however, solved those little niggles. Sure, 260 hp might not seem like much these days. Nor is a 7.0-second 0-60 or 150 mph top speed anything near fast. But for its time, this Rover offered quite respectable performance. And it was more than capable of running with its German rivals of that era, at a much cheaper price.
There was just one little problem. Soon after Rover got going building the 75 V8, the automaker went into administration and ceased production. Thus, only 151 Rover 75 V8s were ever built. With only 30,000 miles on the odometer, this might just be the finest one left, too. Even better, it’s one of only 30 built in left-hand drive configuration!
It’s rather unfortunate that things worked out the way they did for the Rover 75 V8. But today, it lives on as one of the more interesting cars to ever carry a Mustang engine.