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 'Targa Florio'

The "Targa Florio" was actually a option pack on the P76 "Super". This model was created in mid 1974 to commemorate the stage win of a nearly standard P76 in the 1974 world cup rally . Driven by legendary Australian rally driver Evan Green, the speed and ability of this 4 speed manual - V8 P76 surprised the worlds best in the "Targa Florio" stage in Sicily (Italy).

Never taken seriously and considered a "token car' by most of the professional teams, the mighty P76 thundered into first place much to the astonishment of the other teams. The "P" and its drivers were to prove their abilities and gain respect from some of the top teams during many gruelling stages including the Sahara desert where the team, in true Australian tradition turned back for stricken competitors. A broken strut forced this great attempt to drive nearly 200kilometres before getting repairs ( there was no support truck following - all the parts they could carry were in the boot ). After a very high attrition rate the rally was shortened to help the many stricken teams a chance to get to the finish line.

Eventually finishing 13th overall the P76 was one on the few cars to complete the full race distance. After the rally Leyland Australia and the team were so confident in the car that they drove the car unsupported back through an older World Cup Rally route as this provided a cheaper option to return the car to Australia. In the one rally / trip this car covered over 35,000k with only one major failure ( the broken strut ). Even Green had a very successful rally career and in '75 went on to write a book about the rally titled "A boot full of right arms" and this is a must read if you want more info about this fantastic car and the 1974 WCR.

The "Targa Florio" model is easily identified by the "side stripes" and factory mag wheels and it is based on a V8 t-bar auto "Super". Like the Executive this model was only offered with the standard V8 and automatic with power steering, although a very few manual versions were rumoured to have been built for some Leyland staff - NO factory manual Targa has ever been confirmed from the chassis number.

Air conditioning was optional and is rare on all cars including Targa's. Initially a very short run in only "Omega navy" (metallic Blue) was planned for these cars.  However, market acceptance saw the run of "Blue" Targa's increase to approximately 342, with a further 73 "Nutmeg" (metallic Brown) (some supplied with the stripe set "in the boot") and finally approx 73 Targa's were produced in "Aspen Green" (metallic green) (some also supplied with the stripes "in the boot"). Although nothing actually defines a "Targa" on the compliance plate, a check of the chassis number and engine number can go a long way to confirm the originality of a Targa.

The chassis number MUST define the car as a "V8 t-bar automatic Super", built after 6-74. The engine number MUST define the car as having power steering and air conditioning if fitted.
Options that should be in a Targa.

V8 motor, T-Bar auto with full console, "Targa" Mag wheels, Side stripes, Bone interior, 2 speaker AM radio, vinyl seats, loop-pile carpets, Super interior trim, Factory reclining seats, Power steering, Limited slip Differential (only P76 to have these standard ), Super dash and badges, No map pockets in seats.

If it doesn't have these - check it is really a Targa.

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