by David Hardcastle. 208pp. 11″x 8″. GT Foulis and Co, Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7JJ. 117.95.
There have been several books about Rover cars powered by the General Motors alloy vee-eight engine (I thought “V8” was a Ford trademark, but perhaps the rights have expired?), which a Rover executive discovered quite by chance and adapted to the British car when Rovers were an all British designed make. Now David Hardcastle has a book in which he takes a truly deep look at this remarkable and popular power unit, devised originally for the 1961 Buick Special and Oldsmobile F85 and available as an option for the Pontiac Tempest at a time when America was into compact cars.
The story is satisfactorily complete, from the 3.5-litre engine’s trans-Atlantic origins to its adoption by Rover and on to other production and specialist applications: in the Marsh hillclimb car, the Range Rover, the Morgan Plus 8, the Triumph V8, and other obvious implants. The book also deals in detail with the competition developments of the engine, with the specialist companies who devote their time to it, and it is useful and in depth on the technicalities of the Rover V8 engine, all simplified by many photographs. A covettable book for anyone who has worked on this impressive lightweight power unit or who has had the pleasure of driving behind it. WB.