The Fred Flintstone Modification

The events behind this story started way back in September 1988, when all on a sudden I found myself to be the happy owner of a Rover Three-Thousand-Five built on December 19th in the glorious year of 1969 and imported to Denmark shortly after.

All too soon I learned that my newly possessed and much beloved belonging was - although attracting to me - itself even more attracting to what is in this country referred to as steel worm. The generous use of salt on Danish winter roads had for numerous years worked as a catalysator to this species.

Also the fuel consumption and the access to spares were not quite up to today's standards.

Very soon after I also became a member of a couple of clubs: Rover Owner's Club - Denmark and P6 Rover's Owner Club. Particularly the newsletter of the latter soon made me aware that I was not alone in some of the concerns: Other owners suffered from those same drawbacks.

Figure 1. Standard Series 1. As purchased

Reading about the different special versions I soon thought: "Could I make it my own Special? - and, if so, what should it look like?".

I thought about possible solutions for quite a while. This went on until a morning at a hotel - in Amsterdam, as far as I remember - I had turned the TV on, trying to wake up.

On one of the channels - I think it was the BBC - appeared a good old Flintstone cartoon.

Suddenly, like being struck by a lightning, the thing was clear in my mind: Fred's car was the ideal target

.....and probably a lot of other minor things which I did not have the time to think about. Breakfast was waiting. I eat the British way: Enough.

The P6, being a base unit construction, simply had to be the ideal starting point for one such, and soon after returning home, I made the first modification. For simplicity I shall refer to it as FF Mk.1. See Figure 2.

Figure 2. FF Mk.1. Standard suspension still in place

The engine, the doors, all seats, all windows, all interior trim, all electrical wiring and all painted, exterior panels were removed.

This even had a couple of unforeseen advantages. For example because of the absence of an engine it does not classify as a motor car any more. In this country it means that I am relieved from a lot of taxes. Also drunk driving - being hypothetical before, considering my normal behaviour - now is simply impossible. It is basic to mention, that also speeding is now a bygone thing.

Being on this base state, the modification fulfilled all expectations. The car was much easier to handle, it could actually be pushed with one hand, the fuel consumption was non-existing, and - I have to admit it - the car attracted much more attention from the wondering public than before.

Yes, after all: Quietly - in our hearts and in our minds - we admire our classics ourselves, but the admiration from complete strangers take the price.

On the personal side, the independence from having to purchase old fashioned, leaded 98 octane fuel (The more correct 100 octane has for long been unobtainable), made my wife, who has strong environmentalist's opinions (militant non-smoker), appreciate me to a much higher degree. She now accepts to assist in the daily cooking - several times a year.

Having had so much success with the first stage I next went on to improve the design even more; ending with what I myself think may be very near to the ultimate car: The three wheel push-around Fred Flintstone turn-on-a-teller P6 (TWPAFFTOATP6), or, for brevity FF Mk.2. This latest modification stage can be admired on Figure 3 and Figure 4.

Figure 3. FF Mk.2 from the front. Fully swivelling front wheel can be clearly seen.

Among the numerous additional advantages, I would like to draw your special attention to the following few:

Figure 4. FF Mk.2 (European Continent spec LHD) with test driver in seat. Checking weather conditions

Having spent a lot of time Rovering with this conversion, your family may feel a little neglected. This is your chance to recover your popularity - at least if you have a couple of kids:
The amusement park
Because there is no connection between the steering wheel and the front wheel, you can safely insert an additional steering wheel, effectively serving two "drivers".

Push the car around with two kids in it, and you have saved the entrance fee to the nearest amusement park.

Note: This exercise will let you rightfully deserve a cold beer.

The Finishing Touch

Because the car now lived up to all operational expectations I thought it suitable to give it a finishing touch, adding a coat of proper weather protection. For such a rugged car the original Arden Green colour would look rather odd, so I decided to do it the bare metal way. A professional treatment with sand blasting and a subsequent spray with liquid zinc gave it the real Flintstone concours condition granite look: Enjoy it at Figure 5

There it is shown in its custom designed and equipped (internal hoisting device) closed Mercedes Benz transporter, ready to be unloaded for a show.

Yes, this P6 project has been both highly experiencing and promising. The only regrettable thing is that I really do not know what to do next.

Figure 5. FF Mk.2 ready for the road. Zinced exhibition state

Who can do it?

The modification may be done by anyone with basic skills and a minimum of tools.

Possible pitfalls:

PS: Patent was applied for, but refused.

PPS: Heaven forbid, but should I ever want to, then the modifications allow me to bring the car back to standard specifications any time.

Beware of the wild Danes..........

Anders Hedelund Larsen, Copenhagen.


Opdateret d. 3.11.2004