A Bit about the Name

The name of the P76 derived from the car's codename while in development (Project 76). Speculation surrounds the naming and parentage of the P76. One story says the name was apparently the platoon number of British Leyland head Donald Stokes. Another story is that the P76 was based on a Rover design, and that the "P" coding signified that it emanated from Rover. Rover's coding for its models included the P4, P5, P6 and P8 (although the P8 never reached mass production).

The official line was that the P76 was an original Australian designed and built Large Family Car, with no overseas counterpart and that P76 stood for "Project 1976". The Rover SD1 (released in 1976) shared several engineering features with P76 — including MacPherson strut front suspension, the aluminium V8 engine and a live rear axle.

Source: Wikipedia Online

Leyland P76 'Executive'

The "Executive" model created a new niche in the Australian car market . Leyland Australia, recognizing that a long wheelbase luxury model would still be some years away, decided to create a model above the oppositions short wheel base luxury packs , yet based on their SWB car .

In comparison - this strategy placed the "Executive" above the SWB "Ford Fairmont" yet below the LWB "Ford Fairlane" and in a market area on its own . Although the opposition were to eventually respond to the Executive in the years to come - Leyland created the market with this model . The "Executive car market" still survives in Australia and is now one of the most fought over markets with all manufacturers producing models in this area . Since the P76, the model name "Executive" has been cloned by Holden, Nissan, Mitsubishi in their attempts to dominate this sought after area .

The Executive shares the external body and chrome fittings with the "Super" model , with the addition of rubber "bump" strips on the front and rear bumpers and the centre grill badge has a red edge line where the super has a black background . Available only in V8 t-bar automatic form and with most options fitted as standard , factory air-conditioning was one of the few build option available .

Executives has power steering fitted as standard and reclining cloth covered seats. Luxury "cut-pile" carpet was placed on the floor , Features included - rear map lights that could be individually controlled , lights under the arm rests that illuminated the curb when the door was opened and the first "door ajar" light system in this class of car . Like the "Super" the front sun-visors were recessed in to a padded enclosure (a first for an Australian car). Sound proofing was nearly doubled from the Super , with thicker proofing under the carpets and in areas such as the engine bay walls . Boot and under bonnet lights were also provided . Map pockets were fitted to the back of the front seats and the boot was carpeted.


Executive cloth trim , Patterned in small circles this cloth is similar to material used in the later "minis" but with larger circles . Available in all P76 interior colours , this particular "stark white" colour is unusual and appears to have been fitted only to very late build cars , NZ cars and (in vinyl) the force 7 coupes . Black and blue interior cars did have a "stark white" headlining

Back to P76 Models