The Four Door Coupe
The Mercedes CLS is rightly cited as the direct production inspiration for today’s coupe saloons, but can we look back to the Rover P5 as being the first car to offer the option of less headroom for more money? Today, I agree it looks quite good but, at the time, as a rather dogmatic kid, I found it rather illogical. It’s not as if the high-sided P5 was ever svelte, but I suppose its appeal is a slight one of menace, more akin to that of a chopped Mercury.
In fact, Rover’s decision to produce the two versions of the P5 did not come out of the blue. Like other manufacturers, in the 30s and 40s, Rover offered both taller 6 light and lower 4 light ‘sports’ versions of its saloons, the latter presumably aimed at those people who, in the privacy of their own motors, might sometimes feel able to remove their hats. The P5 coupe was really just a continuation of this tradition.