Old Rovers never die

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Sir,
The Rover Company, like any other commercial undertaking, must be very much more concerned with the future than with the past and it follows that accounts of the exploits of discontinued models are of relatively minor importance. Nevertheless, as the owner of a 1954 “75,” I feel it would be unfair to so splendid a servant if I were not to make some comment. With a mileage of 105,000, the car is still running incredibly well and a run of close on 300 miles in the day is regarded as being nothing out of the ordinary. There have been several renewals in so considerable a mileage, but so far as the “innards” of the engine are concerned the only parts which are not the original ones are piston rings and big-end bearing shells, put in when the engine was decarbonised at 50,000 miles. Even the valve springs are those given to the car at its birth and there is not the slightest evidence that renewal is required. I am not a fast driver and on our way to Westmorland three weeks ago, apart from an occasional burst of 70 m.p.h., did not exceed a maintained average of 65 m.p.h. on about 70 miles of the M.6. I should add that a stop for tea was made at the Charnock Richard Service Area. I can almost hear Mr. Boddy’s snort of contempt at comparatively slow speeds such as these, but our arrival at the Shap Wells Hotel, with 265 miles shown on the mileage recorder, was as uneventful as in the six previous years and I see this as yet another proof of the high mechanical standard of Rover cars. “Impressiveness” in a car now seems to be a drawback rather than a virtue and although I have no doubt at all that the Rover 2000 is a first-rate machine mechanically, its external appearance, in my view, leaves much to be desired. No matter how dated the 75, 90, 100, 105 and 110 may have become, they gave the impression of being cars of very high quality and this, regrettably, is totally absent in the 2000. The tail call, for no adverse comment, but the bonnet, wheels and general frontal appearance are not, in my submission, what we have learned to expect in a Rover. There are Philistines and iconoclasts who say that the 3-litre has had its day and should be withdrawn. Its overhead inlet and side-valve exhaust engine, like those of earlier types, gives a more than adequate performance with a reliability and smoothness of operation that are a delight to all those for whom the quality car still has an appeal.

Tonna. N. Paddison.

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