EVERY NOW and then you see a car which really hits you. It hits you with such an impact that you momentarily lose a bit of bladder control – and this Rover P6B racer is one such glorious machine…
As someone with a bad addiction to BMC and BLMC Competitions Department (or Comps) cars, JXC 808D, is the ultimate hit – in every sense of the word.
Campaigned at the 1970 Marathon de la Route – held at the Nurburgring – it packed a monstrous 4.3-litre Traco Olds V8 engine. Driven by Roy Pierpoint, Rover Enever and Clive Baker, it was as awesomely quick as it looks.
A former press-fleet 2000, it was transformed at Abingdon into a Stage III beast that lead all the Works cars (Porsche included) by 50 miles after 15 hours. Sadly this untested car had to be retired with severe propshaft vibration.
Shortly afterwards, BL pulled the plug on Comps and this car, the department and its vast potential became history.
I’ve often wondered where this car is, and now I know. Currently sporting a different big-capacity V8 (hence the air scoop), but retaining its original and unique independent rear suspension (which its sister-car 806D lacked), 808D has undergone some restoration and is once again running again.
Talk about schoolboy levels of excitement, it’s like stumbing across the Holy Grail. Watch this space…