Mystery Car!

What time is it, kids? IT’S MYSTERY CAR TIME! Wrong, urchins, it’s time to get your lazy butts back out on the street and shine shoes, sell peonies, and pick pockets to earn your bowl of gruel. Now get the hell outta’ here!
Are they gone? Good, now we can play Mystery Car. Damn kids. Okay, this one is a moldy oldy from back before most of you were little more than the strongest sperm. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t pop immediately to mind as each and every one of you – well, most of you – okay a couple- oh hell, Syrax usually gets these like he’s some kind of freakin’ Rain Man.
At any rate, you know the 411, give up the make, model, engine. For good measure, also let us know tranny and any unique features it may have had. And keep those damn kids off my lawn!

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  1. Bret Avatar

    I've seen that door before… It looks kind of Lancia Fulvia-ish, in an NSXey sort of way.

  2. Owlman Avatar

    1968 Rover BS with the ex Buick alloy 3.5 litre V* tuned to 185 bhp. I think they only built one – it was registered NMT 395E – which is odd as E signified Jan – Aug 1967
    Won it in 3?

    1. Robert Emslie Avatar
      Robert Emslie

      Nicely done. I would have also accepted Leyland Eight GE. I tell you, there's nothing you people don't know.

    2. LTDScott Avatar

      Oh come on, reporting the license plate number? Good lord.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        It's British, so the permanently-assigned registration is effectively the individual car's name. In some circles simply referring to NMT 395E will tell everyone exactly which vehicle you mean.

      2. dukeisduke Avatar

        Reporting the license number? Sounds like something I'd do.

    3. tonyola Avatar

      There's an interesting story behind the BS. Rover/Alvis really wanted to develop this car and put it into production. However, just about the time that this car was shown, their parent company, Leyland Cars, combined with British Motor Holdings and the whole big mess became the notorious British Leyland. Suddenly Rover had a new and dangerous adversary as a relation – William Lyons, head of Jaguar. Lyons was powerful and jealous – he would not tolerate any other BL make encroaching into Jaguar's territory. He personally saw to it that the Rover BS was killed off. He also pulled the plug on Rover's attempt to make a big luxury sedan (P8 – see picture) and forced them to make compromises on the SD1/3500.
      <img src="; width="400/">

      1. tonyola Avatar

        Had the Rover BS made it to production, it might have been badged an Alvis and would have looked something like this…
        <img src="; width=400>

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          Good heavens! Who let the Chevy Monza spend the night with the Pontiac Fiero?

          1. zaddikim Avatar

            I was going to say the Monza cleaved to the Fiat X1-9, but bastard offspring either way.

      2. Alff Avatar

        At least the snout lived on, to some extent, on the Jensen Healey.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    Wow that's one freaky-looking car. But then the bubble on the rear deck showcasing the SUs looks neat.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Is the engine offset about a foot to one side?!?

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    Even though muthalovin was kind enough to provide the obligatory KV photo above, let me add there's nothing wrong with offsetting the engine to accommodate the transaxle. Er, 'trans' axle. Um, trans 'axle.' No, best just go with 'trans' 'axle.'
    <img src="; width="300">

  5. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    As the old saying goes, "Give an Englishman a piece of sheet metal and he'll probably do something foolish with it."

    1. tonyola Avatar

      The car was primarily an engineering mule, not a styling study. The body was intended to be functional instead of pretty. The looks would come later had the car been green-lighted.

  6. Syrax Avatar

    You know what's funny, I did know what it was right away. About two weeks ago I was seeing some old brochures for the Range Rover CSK (the "sporty" one) and that brought me to the V8, which led me LR concepts, then to BL concept cars, then Rover, where I found this.

    1. pj134 Avatar

      Just a heads up, I'm rocking a throwback to you and serial killer at jalopnik in case you were confused if you stop by.

      1. Syrax Avatar

        I'll check it out.