I refer to your road test report on the Rover 3500S. For some years now I have felt that the motoring Press has dealt a great deal too generously with manufacturers of “crummy” cars, but I was greatly cheered to read the comments of your Road Tester on this particular model. I was unfortunate enough to be persuaded into buying one of these in January of this year and after 3,000 miles was so disconcerted by its quite extraordinarily bad road holding and dangerous brakes that I disposed of it and replaced it with a BMW.
It may interest other readers who are perhaps considering a similar purchase that my particular car was returned both to the Factory and subsequently inspected by a Service Representative from Rover’s— and on both occasions it was pronounced to be “absolutely typical Rover”. This struck me as being quite an admission since when it was tested on a damp road with a Tapley Meter the maximum retardation which could be recorded was of the order of .41g before the front wheels locked. It was also possible at 70 m.p.h. to get 20º of steering wheel movement in either direction of the straight-ahead position without the car flinching. This combination of sloppy steering, inadequate brakes and an extraordinary amount of body roll puts the car, in my opinion, about on a par with a Humber Super Snipe from the mid-‘fifties. When it is considered that this car is being advertised by its manufacturers as being notably safe and possessed of accurate steering and powerful brakes—all quotes from their literature—and when their own representative states that it is perfectly normal to exhibit the characteristics listed, it underlines the value to the public of services provided by a magazine such as yours which is both able to comment intelligently on a vehicle and is not frightened to publish distasteful facts.
I would, incidentally, disagree with the fuel consumption mentioned in your report ; my particular example regularly consumed six gallons per hour on the motorway.
Harleston. C. C. Rawlinson