An old rusty Rover P5B outside Robbies Motorsport garage in Dubai, UAE, that has a history of adventure on the London to Peking Rally.
The Rover P5B was the official chauffeured mode of transportation for the British Government for almost 15 years. A Buick derived 3.5-litre V8 sat under the bonnet ensuring a succession of Prime Ministers – from Harold Wilson to Maggie T – arrived on time at the Houses of Parliament thanks to an impressive (historically speaking) 160 bhp.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, also ‘favoured’ driving her personal Rover P5B (presumably on the chauffeurs day off) and still owns a low mileage Ardent Green P5B Saloon. Not the kind of car that one would therefore expect to find parked outside a garage in Dubai then.
Robbies Motorsport, located in the labyrinth commonly referred to as the Al Quoz district of Dubai, is not the average garage however. Undertaking everything from vehicle servicing and restorations to bespoke builds of some insane machinery, there is always some crazy build going on that manages to peek my interest.
An old rusty Rover in serious need of some TLC may have been overlooked but the addition of a few names on the wings made me think that maybe there was perhaps an interesting story behind this particular P5B.
The friendly staff at Robbies Motorsport put me in touch with the owners and, a few days later, I was sitting in the company of three out of the four people whose names were emblazoned on the Rover; Jonathan Prior, his wife Mariam Al Accad and Mariam’s father Abdul Aziz Al Accad. A box of memorabilia was swiftly produced and the history of this P5B was revealed.