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 'Stationwagon'

 

The P76 wagon is arguably the rarest of all the P76 variants - rarer then even a Force 7 coupe . P76 Station wagon development was well advanced when the decision was made to concentrate Leyland's efforts on the Force 7 coupes .

Three wagons were initially made (and a fibreglass mock-up) , but only one survived after the plant closure . The first two wagons ( one apparently in cream and one in white) were made by the "experimental" department of Leyland and undertook much testing before the cream wagon was eventually destroyed leaving the white "Super" wagon surviving . The final wagon was assembled on the production line and was built with a "Bitter Apricot Super" exterior , yet had a Deluxe interior complete with the bench seat and interior in cream .

Oddly enough this car had a "power tailgate" . This car was eventually destroyed in crash testing . The only surviving wagon (Arctic White Super) was used as a parts "run around" in the factory after the wagon project was shelved in favour of the Force 7's . Finally at the closure of the Zetland plant the remaining wagon was sold by tender to a then Force 7 owner . The wagon was never totally completed as Leyland had not fully decided some of the final aspects of the trim and tailgate areas .

Styled closely to the P76 sedan , the wagon had individual rear doors with the windows sweeping upright to allow better access to the rear seat and back area . Disappointingly , the sharp angle of the rear window combined with the sedan wheelbase meant the wagon had a smaller rear capacity than most of its intended rivals . With the spare wheel stored flat under the boot floor the wagon would still have been a useable size and complemented the P76 range . Rumoured to have started development with a one piece hatchback , the fibreglass mock-up's initial fold down tailgate tests used a modified HG Holden gate .The only surviving wagon is still complete and in road going condition (2010) . Although owner ship of this rarest of all P76's has changed - it remains in the hands of a collector and enthusiast .


Although many P76's have been converted to station wagons over the years , typically using Ford roof lines - few survived more than a handful of years . All "fake" wagons have used the sedan doors and window glass reducing access to the rear areas . The factory wagon remains the only car with individual rear doors .


 

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