With reference to the letter by Mr. P.L. Ullathorne entitled “Old Rovers Never Die,” I would like, if I may, to add to this theme. A rebore, a new petrol pump diaphragm, and a new set of brake linings, plus stronger rear springs and shock absorbers of a different rating fitted on the front, have been the repairs and the modifications on the Rover, now in my possession, since it was built. This may seem like expensive motoring for an initially expensive car.
Consider, though, that this car will do up to 30 m.p.g., use little oil, offer a comfortable ride and is used daily for considerable mileage, often with a trailer in tow, plus the four weeks or so in the year when it is used for pulling a 17 cwt. caravan round this island. This has little significance until I say that the Rover has been giving similar service for 15 years, and that it was used regularly for 16 years before that.
The car is of the sports saloon type with a lightweight aluminium body and 12 h.p. engine. This combination accounts for the original condition of the body and adequate performance. Like Mr. P.L. Ullathorne’s 95, the 12 is also capable of turbine-like power plus tremendous torque at low speeds. Stopping is effectively achieved by the wide 10 in, drums.
At 31 years old the car cannot claim any longevity prizes by any means, but considering the above record and the fact that 80 m.p.h. can be attained in silence, comfort and safety, the car is worth every penny of its £201 (present day value).
Finally—basic defects still remain, i.e. the semaphore trafficators and the bump prone steering, though the latter is only as marked as on my previous car (the Rover was my father’s), a 2.4 Jaguar. Comparatively analysed the Jaguar was much faster, handled better, but had an inferior gearbox to the Rover’s, and the Jaguar was much heavier to manipulate in city traffic. Apart from four repairs to the fuel pump and two to the braking system, the Jaguar gave excellent service for eight years, until its sleek body half disappeared in reddish-brown powder beside the sedate Rover!
What a waste! Though I suppose it keeps the ball rolling.
Birmingham. G. Bailey.