Ultra-rare Leyland P76 Force 7V on the block

By: Unique Cars magazine

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One of a handful of survivors

One of just 10 surviving Force 7V two-door hatchbacks from the ill-fated Leyland P76 program is up for auction via Grays.

The P76 was Leyland's early 1970s attempt to tackle the big three in the world of Australian cars - that is Falcon, Holden and of course Valiant. And the Force 7 was to go up against the likes of the by then well-established Falcon hardtop, Monaro and Charger.

That was a big ask and the P76 program was let down by a combination of rushed development and manufacturing processes, and simple unlucky timing. 

That said, both the sedan and hatchback P76 offerings had their supporters. A major component in the Leyland's favour was (in addition to the six) the Rover-derived 4.4lt alloy V8. Though smaller in capacity than the premium iron V8s offered by the likes of its competitors, it was also lighter and helped to produce a better-balanced car.

The P76 program produced just 18,000 cars, while Force 7 numbers (sixes and V8s) are thought to be around 56 including prototypes, with 10 survivors.

There were three main variants: Force 7 with a six in the snout, Force 7V with the V8 and the Tour de Force, intended as a GT.

This example is a V8 auto with air and power steering, so an upmarket variant for the day. It's said to have covered just 29,000km.

See our feature on 1973 Aussie coupes, pitting the Leyland against the big three.

Read about the rocky history of the P76 program here. 

The 1974 car you see here has seen bidding reach $65,000 with two days to go.


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