"Rover Recollections"

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Sir,

The item headed “Rover Recollections” brought back memories of a 1929 2-litre Sportsman’s coupe that I acquired in 1934 for £25. Indicative of the then hard times is the fact that this Rover car was brought some 20/30 miles to London to be shown to me and that as a result of my comments the steering was improved and a new battery and service starter fitted before it was handed over to me. This car had a big close-coupled drop-head fabric coupe body with a large trunk at the rear. Fitted in this trunk were two suitcases, sliding on runners, one above the other with plentiful space below. This space was useful as the car proved to be a dreadful oil burner and I always carried a drum of “garage” oil which at that time cost ten shillings for 5 gallons. Incidentally, one of these suitcases is still in use—not bad after 45 years.

It was not long before the steering began to give trouble again and above a certain speed a dreaded steering wobble set in, so violent that the entire front of the car thrashed from side to side. If one was brave enough to press on, the wobble disappeared as the speed rose, but one was then inhibited from slowing down as the wobble bartier had to be passed through on the way down. It is strange in retrospect that no one seemed to be unduly perturbed in those days about such malfunctions and that garages talked of fitting steering dampers as a cure, including one pendulum type. A popular panacea at that time for steering troubles was to fit wooden wedges between spring and axle. If they didn’t work one way you tried them the other way.

Guildford H. A. Nimmo