Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Rover: Cars

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November 1904.
1904. Rover chassis.
March 1906. 10-12 h.p.
1906 Q4. 8hp.
1906. 10-12 h.p. car.
1906. 8 h.p. car.
6 hp. Published in 1906.
July 1906.
December 1906.
December 1906. 16-20 h.p.
November 1907. 6 h.p.
April 1907.
April 1907. Advert for 16-20 h.p.
Im2015Aus10-Rover1907.jpg
April 1907.
July 1908.
1908.
November 1908. 15 h.p.
November 1908. 8 h.p.
June 1909. Rover 16-20 h.p.
June 1909.
1909. Rover 15 Tourer 2,450cc. Coventry Transport Museum
November 1909.
1910. Rover Six
July 1910.
June 1911. Silver Knight chassis.
June 1911. Two-seater.
March 1912. 12 hp.
June 1912. Body shop.
June 1912. Body shop.
June 1912. Woodworking machinery.
c1913. Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum.
February 1914.
1915.
February 1915. 12 hp.
November 1919
November 1919
November 1919
November 1919. Specifications.
1920.
Rover 8-hp. Exhibit at Haynes Motor Museum.
1921.
March 1922.
November 1922.
November 1922.
1922. Rover Cyclecar
June 1923. 8 hp.
June 1923. 8 hp.
August 1923. 8 hp.
October 1923.
October 1923.
October 1923. Models, prices and specifications.
March 1924
November 1927.
June 1928. 10-25 hp.
October 1931. Speed.
March 1932.
October 1933.
December 1934.
May 1935.
October 1936.
October 1936.
September 1937.
1938. P4. Exhibit at the National Motor Museum.
Im20100808Kem-Rover.jpg
October 1940.
June 1941.
March 1944.
1946.
December 1946.
January 1947.
1947. Reg No: HKC 948.
1950. JET 1. Exhibit at London Science Museum.
October 1956.
January 1957. Rover 105.
Reg No: YJG 100. Exhibit at the Dover Transport Museum.
1969. Rover V8. Reg No: ANK 211G.
1973.
October 1973. Rover 2200.
October 1976. Rover 3500.

Note: This is a sub-section of Rover

General

1904 Three years after Starley's death in 1901, the Rover company began producing automobiles with the two-seater 6-hp 'Rover Eight' to the designs of Edmund W. Lewis who joined the company from Daimler. It sold at 100 guineas.

1906 Produced 6 h.p. (Single-cylinder), 8 h.p. (Single-cylinder) and 16-20 h.p. (Four-cylinder) models with shaft-drive. [1]

1910 The '12' appeared and sold for £350.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book.

Produced a 8-hp model with a flat-twin air-cooled engine.

1920 November. Exhibited at the Motor Car Show at Olympia and the White City with a lightweight car weighing 9 cwt and seating two persons. [2]

1948 First Land Rover appeared.

1950 Designer F. R. Bell and Chief Engineer Maurice Wilks unveiled the first car powered with a gas turbine engine. The two-seater 'JET1' had the engine positioned behind the seats, air intake grilles on either side of the car and exhaust outlets on the top of the tail. During tests, the car reached top speeds of 140km/h, at a turbine speed of 50,000 rpm. The car ran on petrol, paraffin or diesel oil, but fuel consumption problems proved insurmountable for a production vehicle. It is currently on display at the London Science Museum.

1951 Exhibitor at the 1951 Motor Show in the Car Section.

The 1950s and 1960s were fruitful years for the company, with the Land Rover becoming a runaway success (despite Rover's reputation for making up-market saloons, the utilitarian Land Rover was actually the company's biggest seller throughout the 1950s, '60s and '70s), as well as the 'P5' and 'P6' saloons equipped with a 3.5L aluminium V8, the design and tooling of which was purchased from Buick, and pioneering research into gas turbine fuelled vehicles.

1961 Had eight subsidiaries. Manufacturers of Rover cars and Land Rover commercial vehicles. [3]

1963 Rover and the BRM Formula One team joined forces to produce a gas turbine powered coupe, which entered the 1963 24 hours of Le Mans, driven by Graham Hill and Richie Ginther. It averaged 107.8 mph and had a top speed of 142 mph. This car is also in the London Science Museum.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Full and detailed description of the BRM Gas Turbine Car. Also showed 2000, 3-Litre and 110 models. [4]

In 1967, Rover became part of the Leyland Motor Corporation, which merged with the British Motor Holdings to become British Leyland Motor Corporation. This was the beginning of the end for the traditional Rover, as the Solihull based company's heritage drowned beneath the infamous industrial relations and managerial problems that beset the British motor industry throughout the 1970s.

1970 Rover combined its skill in producing comfortable saloons and the rugged Land Rover 4x4 to produce the Range Rover, the first car to combine off-road ability and comfortable versatility. Powered by the ex-Buick V8 engine, it had innovative features such as a permanent 4 wheel drive system, all-coil spring suspension and disc brakes on all wheels. Able to reach speeds of up to 100 MPH, yet also capable of extreme off-road use, the original Range Rover design was to remain in production for the next 26 years.

1976 The Rover 'SD1' of 1976 was an excellent car, but was beset with so many build quality and reliability issues that it never delivered its great promise. A savage programme of cutbacks in the late 1970s led to the end of car production at the Solihull factory which was turned over for Land Rover production only. All future Rover cars would be made in the former Austin and Morris plants in Longbridge and Cowley, respectively.

1981 Austin Rover Group was formed in 1981 as the mass-market car manufacturing subsidiary of BL.

In the 1980s, the slimmed-down BL used the Rover badge on a range of cars co-developed with Honda. The first Honda-sourced model, released in 1984 was the 'Rover 200', which, like the Triumph 'Acclaim' that it replaced, was based on the Honda 'Ballade'.

In 1986, the Rover SD1 was replaced by the Rover 800, developed with the Honda Legend. By this time Austin Rover had moved to a one-marque strategy and was renamed simply 'Rover Group'. The Austin range were now technically 'Rovers', though the word Rover never actually appeared on the badging — there was instead a badge similar to the Rover Viking shape, without wording. These were replaced by the 'Rover 400' and 'Rover 600', based on Honda's 'Concerto' and 'Accord'. This was to prove to be the turn-around point for the company, steadily rebuilding its image to the point where once again 'Rovers' were seen as upmarket alternatives to Fords and Vauxhalls.

1994 The takeover by BMW saw the development of the 'Rover 75', before the infamous de-merger in 2000.

2000 BMW retained the rights to the Rover name (and the associated portfolio of brands such as 'Mini', Triumph and Austin-Healey) after it sold the business, only licensing it to the Phoenix consortium while it was in control of 'Rover'. The BMW management knew that 'Rover' needed a new product lineup to be competitive with Opel/Vauxhall, Volkswagen, Ford and the other leading mainstream volume manufacturers. The '75' was the first part of this lineup. The MINI was the second. To replace both the 200 and the 400 with a more direct successor to the 1980s 200 was the 'Rover 55' (R30 project) intended to combat the Opel 'Astra', Ford 'Focus' and Volkswagen 'Golf' in the competitive and lucrative European small family car segment. This high volume semi-premium vehicle was cancelled in 2000, just as the Rover group was sold. The BMW 1-Series is considered by some to be the result of this project. BMW has the rights to the R30 project's engineering and design.

2005 The company continued as the MG Rover Group but production ceased on April 7, 2005, when it was declared insolvent. In July 2005 the entire company was sold to the Nanjing Automobile Group, who indicated that their preliminary plans involved relocating the Power-train engine plant to China while splitting car production into Rover lines in China and resumed MG lines in the West Midlands (though not necessarily at Longbridge), where a UK R&D and technical facility would also be developed.

Early Registrations

List of Models

  • 1906–10 Rover 16/20
  • 1912–23 Rover 12
  • 1919–25 Rover 8
  • 1924–27 Rover 9/20
  • 1925–27 Rover 14/45
  • 1927–32 Rover Light Six
  • 1927–47 Rover 10
  • 1929–32 Rover 2-Litre
  • Rover: Pilot
  • Rover: Meteor 1930–34 16HP/20HP
  • 1931–40 Rover Speed 20
  • 1932–33 Rover Pilot/Speed Pilot
  • 1932–32 Rover: Scarab
  • 1934–47 Rover 12
  • 1934–47 Rover 14/Speed 14
  • Rover: 16 (1937–47)
  • 1948–78 Land Rover (I/II/III)
  • Rover: P3 1948–49 (60/75)
  • Rover: P4 1949–64 - (93,991 produced)60/75/80/90/95/100/105/110)
  • Rover: P5 1958–73 - (48,541 / 20,600 produced) - 3-Litre / 3.5-Litre)
  • Rover: P6 1963–76 - (213,890 / 79,057 produced) (2000/2200/3500)
  • Rover: SDI 1976-86 - (303,345 produced)
  • Rover: 827 1988-91 (49,496 produced) Model 827
  • Rover: 213/216 1984-1990 (418,367 produced)
  • Rover: 400

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell in 1906.
  2. The Engineer of 19th November 1920 p498
  3. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises: Motor, Motor-Cycle and Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers
  4. 1963 Motor Show p89
  • [1] Wikipedia on Rover Cars
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  • British Motor Cars 1950/51