Leyland P76 V8 - today's tempter

By: Kian Heagney, Unique Cars magazine

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leyland p76 leyland p76

Seventies sensation

The Leyland P76 was British Leyland’s brave and short-lived attempt at taking on the big three in a highly competitive 1970s family sedan market with their own home grown soldier.

At first glance, it appeared all the ingredients were there. The P76 was a spacious, four door sedan with a bunch futuristic engineering, including the all-alloy V8 up front that saw the P76 win the coveted Wheels Car of the Year award on debut in 1973.

However, it was the shoddy execution of the P76’s futuristic ideas that caused its quick downfall. Build quality problems plagued the P76 from day one, and issues both overseas and at home for BL meant that just 12 months after the P76 hit showrooms, the factory was closed and unsold cars were left to rot.

The short lifespan means that few P76s are roaming the roads today, and with the obsession for Australian automotive history higher than ever, the notion of having a P76 in the collection doesn’t seem so silly decades later.

Today’s example is a super tasty one, but if you’re in the market for a completely untouched example then you may want to keep looking. However, the modifications are sensible ones that – if well executed – should make this a solid steerer.

The 4.4-litre alloy V8 has been treated to a thorough modernisation, with a sequential EFI conversion and custom extractors.

The three-speed auto transmission has reportedly been given a beef up, as has the rear end with an Eaton TruTrac  LSD diff centre and billet axles. Stopping has also been improved with an AP racing brake upgrade.

The seller claims an all original body that’s critically rust free and finished in a lick of burnt orange. The interior looks as magnificently 70s as ever and features integrated air conditioning, and the exterior appears standard too – save for the Centre Line Trigon spinners, which are an acquired taste.

Values of these are hard to pinpoint, because (as mentioned) few were made and even fewer hit the market all these decades later. However, at $33,000, the odds of you finding a Kingswood, Falcon or Valiant of the same vintage in this condition at even close to the same price is laughable.

You can view the full listing for the P76 here.

See our Leyland P76 buyer guide from 2017

(Note that prices will have moved since this story was published.

 

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