Rover Cars of the 1930s In Detail

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By James Taylor

ISBN 978-1-914929-02-1

192 pages, Hardback

270mm x 210mm

Over 280 illustrations

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This is a book that will be welcomed by all enthusiasts of this respected marque. It extends its comprehensive and detailed coverage back into the late 1920s, when the first of the 1930s models were introduced, and forward into 1947, when the 1930s models that had been revived after the war finally went out of production. The story is a remarkable one, researched and narrated by today’s leading Rover historian, James Taylor.

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At the start of the 1930s, the Rover Company was in a precarious position. The slowdown in car sales caused by the Recession compounded the problems of an incoherent model-range, and in late 1931 Rover’s bank called for an independent investigation into the company’s business. That investigation called for nothing short of a re-organisation of the Board of Directors.

Yet within three years, Rover had established one of the soundest management teams in the business and had completely rationalised its product range. Rovers became the preferred choice of the professional classes: the cars were discreet, exceptionally well made, and thoroughly reliable. Above all, they had become aspirational.

Very little has been published about this pivotal period in Rover history, not least because for many years it was widely assumed that the company’s records for the period up to 1940 were lost in the Blitz bombing of the its Coventry factory that year. Fortunately, that is not entirely true. Many records certainly were lost, but enough has survived or is recoverable from other contemporary sources to form the basis of this pioneering book.

Rover Cars of the 1930s In Detail extends its comprehensive and detailed coverage back into the late 1920s, when the first of the 1930s models were introduced, and forward into 1947, when the 1930s models that had been revived after the war finally went out of production.

The story is a remarkable one, researched and narrated by today’s leading Rover historian, James Taylor. This is a book that will be welcomed by all enthusiasts of this respected marque, and in particular by those who have felt their interest in the models of the 1930s to have been ignored for so long.

Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgements     6
Chapter 1    Rover in the Thirties    8
Chapter 2    The Ten family 1928-1933    20
Chapter 3    The Two-litre 1928-1932    37
Chapter 4    Light Six 1930 and Light Twenty 1931    56
Chapter 5    The Meteor 1930-1933    64
Chapter 6    The Scarab and the Tractor 1931    71
Chapter 7    The 20hp Speed models 1932-1934    89
Chapter 8    The Pilot 1932-1933 and Speed Pilot 1933    99
Chapter 9    The Special Bodies (including those built overseas)    114
Chapter 10   The Wilks Ten, Twelve and Fourteen 1934-1936 (including the Colonial models)    127
Chapter 11    Boom Years 1937-1940    144
Chapter 12    Looking to the Future    158
Chapter 13    Wartime Diversions 1939-1945    162
Chapter 14    Still One of Britain’s Fine Cars 1946-1947    167
Appendix A    The People    178
Appendix B    The Factories (including New Zealand and the Shadow factories)    182
Appendix C    Production and Sales figures    186
Appendix D    Rover Finances    188
Appendix E    Body Numbers    189
Appendix F    1931 Extras    190