In the mid 1960s, when Rover discovered that Buick had developed a compact V8 which proved unsuitable for their own, US Interstate-cruising sized saloons, they bought it. The small-block, aluminium 3.5 litre engine generated some 50% more power than Rover’s existing staple.
Although the Rover 75 was intended to be an updated version of the Rover 600, BMW’s takeover changed all that. The German company — following its promise to treat the Rover marque as the embodiment of traditional British automobile engineering —promptly decreed that the planned 75 would be an entirely new luxury saloon car. By coincidence, the Rover 75 was launched at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show, which also saw the first appearance of the new S-Type Jaguar. The two cars had similar retro styling, and the consensus was that the Rover stood up well against its Ford-owned rival. Continue reading “Rover 75 – 1999”
The Rover SD1 of 1976 inspired either ecstasy or apoplexy. As a member of the new British Leyland group, Rover now had major in-house competitors like Triumph and Jaguar, with whom it expected to share parts and develop discrete elements of the company’s extended range. It also had a brand-new factory of its own to produce the fruits of its Specialist Division — but that couldn’t happen until the Division had learned the lessons of compromise from its early efforts. Continue reading “Rover SD1 – 1976”
The P6 would be the last of Rover’s P6 classification model lines but –even after it was finally discontinued –not many people knew that, because the three P6 models were invariably known by the engine size-2000, 2200 or 3500.The Rover 2000 replaced the P4 in 1963 and was an entirely new design.
The Rover P5 appeared in 1958, replacing the much-loved but elderly P4 (then a tired 25-year-old). The P5 was a larger car that took the Rover line up market, appealing as it did to senior businessmen and civil servants. It was also a very good car, soon becoming established as one of Britain’s best-selling luxury motors of the 1960s.
The maker of the Victorian Rover Safety bicycle started producing motor cars at the dawn of the 20th century and became one of the most famous — and enduring — names in the pantheon of British motor manufacturers. Rover moved up market in the 1930s, and maintained its appeal to middle-class motorists after World War II.