Rover Car Reviews and Road Tests

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Rover Car Company

Founded in 1877 in a partnership between John Kemp Starley and William Sutton, the Coventry based bicycle company would be at the forefront of modern bicycle design. Car manufacture would commence in 1904 with a range of single and twin cylinder sleeve-valve engines, one of their cars even taking out the 1907 Tourist Trophy race. The company would supply motorcycles to both the British and the Russian Armies during World War 1, along with Maudslay trucks and Sunbeam cars to government orders.

Models released after the war were much better sellers than the pre-war sleeve-valve models, and from the 1920’s the company expanded manufacturing a wide range of cars, although it was not until the 1930’s until the company managed to turn a healthy profit, under the management of Spencer Wilks. The Rover’s became renowned for their quality, and by the World War 2 the company had garnered an enviable reputation among the upper middle class. The 1948 P3 was the first all new iteration to follow the war, it sharing its new inlet-over-exhaust engine with the other newcomer, the Land Rover.

The P4 would follow in 1949, featuring a beautiful new saloon body and paving the way for a long line of high class and beautifully made iterations, including the P5 of 1959. Such were the profits being made from the venerable Land Rover that the company was able to experiment with such things as gas turbine power, one even competing at Le-Mans. The 1963 P6 2000 set the benchmark for executive style transportation, featuring all-round disc brakes and independent suspension. Rover would become part of the troubled British Leyland conglomerate in the 1970’s, the halcyon days now reserved for the history books.

Also see: The History of Rover
Rover P3  

Rover P3

1948 - 1949
Tim Brownell in How to Restore your Collector Car (1984) wrote, "True 'Classics' are defined by the Classic Car Club of America as follows: fine or unusual. motor cars built between and including the years 1925 and 1948, distinguished for their respective fine design, high engineering standards and superior workmanship. Strictly speaking, classics are distinguished by special styling or mechanical features not found in run-of-the-mill cars." More>>
Rover P4 (60)  

Rover P4 (60)

1954 - 1959
Conceived as a lower price alternative to the Rover 75, the Rover P4 (60) was fitted with a 2 litre four cylinder overhead inlet/side exhaust valve engine producing 60 bhp. More>>
Rover 2000  

Rover 2000

1963 - 1973
AFTER the experience of their strong efforts in international rallying, Rover took a bold step forward from their familiar image as manufacturers of the gentleman's auto when the 2000 was introduced in 1963. Instead, the accent was on the sportsman's saloon, so naturally only a manual 4-speed gearbox was fitted initially. More>>
Rover TCZ  

Rover TCZ Zagato

1967
AFTER the experience of their strong efforts in international rallying, Rover took a bold step forward from their familiar image as manufacturers of the gentleman's auto when the 2000 was introduced in 1963. Instead, the accent was on the sportsman's saloon, so naturally only a manual 4-speed gearbox was fitted initially. More>>
Rover P5  

Rover P5

1967 - 1973
The Rover P5 3 Litre range had established itself as one of the best selling British luxury cars of the Sixties. By 1967 the 3 Litre was beginning to show its age and a new powerplant was needed, enter one the famous British engines of all time, the Rover V8. More>>
Rover P6  

Rover P6

1963 - 1977
Rover announced one its most radical production designs in 1963, the Rover 2000.With futuristic looks, the body used an innovative "base unit" unitary bodyshell which then had unstressed body panels bolted onto it. More>>
Rover P6B 3500  

Rover P6B

1968 - 1977
Rover introduced the V8 version of the P6 in April 1968 as the Three Thousand Five saloon, a designation it would carry until late 1970 when it became known as the 3500. More>>
Rover 3500 SD1  

Rover 3500 SD1

1976 - 1986
The Rover 3500 V8 represented a major advance on its predecessors. The David Bache designed hatchback was well situated in performance, looks, and economy, and helped bring back perhaps some lost prestige and desirability to the famous British marque. But what made the 3500 so great was that, while broadening Rover’s appeal to other buyers, it never alienated the traditional Rover die-hards. More>>
Rover 2300  

Rover 2300

1977 - 1986
To many people it seemed strange that Rover should have bothered to produce two smaller engined versions of the 3500 - and many thought the 2600 alone would have served to capture sufficient customers down-market from the 3500. In truth the 2300, while certainly not really slow or laboured, did lack the flexibility of the 2600, and road testers of the time often commented that the class of the car was somewhat compromised. More>>
Rover Quintet

Rover Quintet

1981 - 1985
Quality components were used throughout, typical of the Honda quality at the time. A Pioneer stereo cassette/radio was standard, as was timber trim, although the latter was pretty obviously only a veneer. The seats were well shaped and finished in a Moquette cloth trim, they complementing the wonderfully supple ride of the larger Civic. More>>
Rover 825i Sterling

Rover 825i Sterling

1986 - 1988
What was happening to Rover in the mid 1980s? The company was remembered for being one of the first to get an experimental automotive gas turbine up and running with the T3 coupe in 1956, and it made a big impact on world car design with the introduction of the brilliant Rover 2000 model in the 1960s, which featured de Dion rear suspension and advanced body design. More>>
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