Interesting Info about the P76

Despite the V8 model winning Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1973, sales of the P76 were adversely affected by a variety of issues: component manufacturers' strikes limiting parts availability, production problems at Leyland Australia's plant in Zetland all restricted supply of the car; the release of P76 coincided with the first Oil Crisis, when fuel prices increased dramatically. As a result, demand for all larger cars subsided.

Hence, notwithstanding generally favourable press and public reaction to the car, sales did not reach expectations.

British Leyland announced plans to sell P76 in the UK. However, production ceased before these plans could come to fruition.

The car achieved success in the 1974 World Cup Rally- winning the Targa Florio trophy. Leyland Australia celebrated this victory by releasing a limited edition Targa Florio model: the V8 Super with sports wheels and steering wheel, as well as special paintwork, including side stripes.

Source: Wikipedia Online

The P76 History

A Brief History of the Leyland P76
A Classic Australian Car

The initial Project
In about 1968 the Australian arm of the British Motor Corporation (BMCA) realised that their  approach to a "Australian" car was not getting the market acceptance they had hoped for. Many attempts had been made at producing a "six" cylinder car for Australia , but the modified English cars had limited success. Australia had a substantial influence from Detroit manufacturers and the USA manufacturers dominated the small Australian market using older American compact designs, and increasingly from Japanese manufacturers .
BMCA had formed the Long Term Model Policy Group (LTMPG) in 1966 to explore future models for Australia. One of their first results was to propose that two models for Australia were required – Model A and Model B. T The model B was to become the P76, while the Model A was to result in the Marina).
The requirement for the Model B, the car we would call "P76" needed to be about the size of a Falcon, but with more interior space than a Valiant, a boot far bigger than the Holden, and more serviceable than any of them .
Following this strategic decision, the Advanced Model Group (AMG) of Leyland Australia started to decide which engine would be used in the Model B (P76). Initial thoughts for the P76 were that it initially be fitted with the same engine as the V8 Triumph Stag and later by a locally built V8. Eventually the decision was made to fit the P76 with a reworked version of the Rover Alloy V8 engine which had originally been used by General Motors Buick. The engine for the P76 was to manufactured as a 4.4 litre. It was later in the project that a further decision was made to have a 6 cylinder engine as an option for the car. The engine selected was the 2.2 litre engine from the Austin Kimberley increased in size to 2.6 litres.
The UK board finally approved the manufacture of the P76 and provided $AU21 million for the project
With project approval given, and the decision on the V8 engine made, the next task undertaken was the styling of the car.  BMCA (Leyland Australia) never really had a styling department as did the major car manufactures and employed outside styling shops. Indeed, the P76 was an engineer's car with styling a late cousin. Styling proposals were sought for a large 4 door RWD car, a 4 door station wagon and a 2 door hardtop from Michelotti in Turin; from Karman in Osnabruck, and the Longbridge studios of British Leyland. Eventually the design contract was awarded to Michelotti, but he had to compromise his design with further ideas from the Leyland Australia stylists.
Testing of P76's started in Holden bodies with initial cars having only minor modifications and finishing with a Holden body sitting over a full P76 chassis , interior and drive train . The first two P76 body's were hand assembled in England for secret testing . One of these cars was destroyed in crash testing and the other returned to Australia . However all was not well. Leyland Australia were struggling with many pre-production problems including union and supplier delays and this caused the launch of the P76 to be delayed . With production finally starting in May '73 , the first P76 's started being shipped to their anxious dealers . The Leyland P76 was finally released to an waiting public on 26th June 1973 . (read more)