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British Petroleum's 3500S


KXC391H is a Federal 3500S Automatic. She left the despatch on the 23rd of November 1969, to be registered on the 25th of that same month. After all these years, it still has its original paintwork, being Brigade Red with a Sandalwood interior and having air-conditioning, it is an imposing car, even in its current condition.


KXC391H (43300999A) was supplied directly from the factory to BP Research at Chertsey Road in Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex as research vehicle for various types of fuels to be expected in the upcoming years. Little is known about the specific research that was done, but considering they ordered KXC, it was probably aimed at the American market as it was, of course, fitted with Detox equipment. What is known, is that they found it extremely down on power, which is not an uncommon remark about the Federal specification cars and swapped the carburettors to HIF6s, as being later standardized by Rover on all 3500 engined cars. In 1971, the car was shown in The Shadow of Progress, a much televised and critically acclaimed movie by Derek Williams on emissions and the disastrous consequences.


BP Research sold the car in somewhere in the middle of the 1970s to one of their employees, who consequently sold it on to its 3rd owner, who kept in on the road until 1986.

Forwarding to 2014, the car was acquired by a well-known enthusiast and he arranged to view the car. Being parked with one side to the garage wall, it was impossible to tell whether the car had suffered much from storage. It being parked there since 1986, when it was last taxed, it is in fantastic original condition and apart from minor welding to be done on the car, it is essentially as sound as can be expected from a car that lived all its life in the UK and wasn’t a cherished car in early life as a research vehicle. After another change of ownership in 2018, it is scheduled to be restored. It is complete, making this one of few factory registered 3500S Automatic in existence today. In anticipation of completion, we must make do with the pictures kindly shared by her current owner.


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CONTACT

Thanks for your interest in Federal Rovers. For more information, feel free to get in touch and I will get back to you soon! Please contact us with cars you'd like to see featured on the website, or anything you might have that is of interest to the Rover brand and its history.

Previously, we kept a public record of chassis numbers online - we are shying away from that for privacy concerns. We do encourage everyone to register their car, and if the car comes on the market people who are interested can ask us for information. Over years, it keeps cars in sight. 

We are also happy to provide reference material for your restoration, advice or tips. 

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