1974 Leyland P76 V8 in the build

After saving a classic Jag from the crusher, Mike Rotchburns moves onto restoring a rusty, factory 4.4L V8 P76 Leyland Deluxe


“An acquired taste is this 1974 Leyland P76. It took me a year of staring into the abyss of its single-headlight grille in my backyard, but the abyss finally looked back, and like day-drinking a warm VB from under the back seat, I finally understood it! Getting hooked into its yeasty broth, I finally pushed it into my carport for repairs and cracked a warm one.

“It’s got MacPherson strut front suspension, the first large-car application of variable rack-and-pinion steering, and an ultra-lightweight aluminium Rover 4.4 V8 that’s not only lighter than its six-cylinder counterpart, but also boasts the same power-to-weight ratio of the cast-iron bruisers from the Big Three.

“And let’s not forget the 2.7:1 (this is not a joke, it’s that tall) four-link differential and rally pedigree; it has a super-groovy potential.

“This particular one has the upmarket Executive dashboard with full instrumentation and rotted chassis rails, floors, boot floor, doors, sills and other awe-inspiring additions like a rotted firewall.

“My build philosophy is similar to that of my last project car: a 1970 Jaguar 420G. That is, to have a realistically restored, daily driving interstate car painted in enamel.

“This time around it’ll have easier-to-acquire parts and hopefully not break down on my first long-distance drive. Come watch its carport restoration on my YouTube channel, @cutcat8347!”