THE ROVER “TWENTY” SPECIAL
pEOPLE. who in the past were wont to deny that racing has had any marked influence on the design of the ordinary touring machine have now got to admit the truth of the well-worn phrase, “the racing car of to-day is the touring car of to-morrow,” for there is no modern common-or-garden standard production job made that does not embody a host of features which are the direct result of racing. In fact, so highly efficient is the average present-day car (which in the first instance was intended as a general purpose vehicle) that it only requires a little modification to transform it Into a thoroughly respectable sports model. And there is now quite a pronounced tendency in this direction, so that the old adage may well give place to “the touring car of to-Cy is the sports car of to-morrow.” This applies particularly to the 20 hip. Rover, a car which we have recently tried both in saloon and open sports four-seater form.
Having had some experience of the former type several months ago, and retained very favourable impressions of the car, we were consequently very interested to discover just how the special speed model performed, so at our request Mr.
A CAR WHICH COMBINES DOCILITY wiTH A REALLY GOOD SPORTS PERFORMANCE.
Principal Characteristics :
Engine : Six-cylinders; 72 mm. bore by 105 mm. strokec,c, capacity 2565 (19.3 h.p. R.A.C. rating, tax £20). Overhead valves, push-rod operated, battery and coil ignition, Stromberg downdraught carburetter. Transnzission : four-speed close-ratio gearbox, and enclosed propeller shaft to spiral bevel back axle. Suspension :
Dimensions : Wheelbase; 9 feet 3 inches—track, 4 feet 3 inches, ground clearance 71 inches. Overall length, 13 feet 7 inches. Overall width, 5 feet 6 inches. Price : £495 (2 or 4 seater).
Sydney G. Cummings, of 101, Fulham Road, London, S.W.3., kindly loaned us one of his demonstration cars. On our remarking at the rakish appearance of the machine, Mr. Cummings hinted that this did not belie its general capabilities, and it did not take very long to discover this fact. On the occasion of our test, time was unfortimately extremely limited, so we hastened to get the Rover out of London on to some suitable route
over which we could put her through her paces. The heavy traffic of the West End with which we mingled gave us a good opportunity,of finding out the car’s tractability, and thanks to the flexible engine, which possesses extreme docility and excellent acceleration, we soon left the maze and muddle of Hyde Ydrk Corner and other irksome spots behind and were heading for the open country. Intent on getting to our destin (continued on p. 628)
THE ROVER ” TWENTY ” SPECIAL.
ation, we paid scant attention, at first, to the instrument board, but a casual glance at the speedometer as we passed through the suburbs showed us that we were travelling at a disgracefully high speed—all unwittingly be it added. For speed on this model is deceptive.
Ability to “do its stuff ” without sound or sign of effort is one of the principal characteristics of the car, and having reached a fairly suitable stretch of by-pass highway a check was made of the maximum speeds on the different ratios. The box on this new model has close ratios and a silent third ; first is 13.9 to 1, second 7.8 to 1, third 5.3 to 1, and top 3.7 to 1. In second 41 m.p.h. was -touched, third gave us 61 m.p.h. and in top we attained 84 m.p.h. Unfortunately on the three occasions when we decided to try for the maximum speed an immense amount of traffic (including a police car) appeared so we had to curtail our little speed burst. But it was clear that eighty-four was not the limit of the Rover.
The brakes, which are assisted by a vacuum-servo motor, have a smooth and progressive action, and the pedal operation is neither too ” touchy ” or too heavy. Under test, they brought the car to a stop from 40 m.p.h. in 38 yards. The steering, as with other Rover models is light and self-centering, though personally we would prefer it to be a shade higher geared. The suspension is half -elliptics all round with shock-absorbers, of course, and although the vehicle
appeared to hold the road well at high speeds even when the surface was bad, comfort was not impaired in the least. Under all conditions the six-cylinder engine (which has bore and stroke dimensions of 72 mm. by 105 mm., and a cubic capacity of 2565 c.c.) is smooth and quiet, and both when turning over at its peak and ” burbling ” along in top at 30 m.p.h. or so it strikes one as being a very pleasant motor.
It is hardly necessary to mention that the bodywork of the car has very sporting and graceful lines—the photographs show this. As for the equipment, this is as complete as anyone could desire, comprising :— speedometer, revolution indicator, dual windscreen wipers, clock, water temperature gauge, oil and petrol gauge, ammeter, driving mirror, and warning light. We liked the Rover very much
indeed, and taking into consideration its good performance and its price2495—it is, without doubt, a welcome newcomer to the sports category.
A KING’S CUP ECHO. our of the
IN our report of the King’s Cup Race, which was given in our last month’s issue, certain errors occurred, in regard to the cause of the retirements of various competitors—and what befell them. We would explain that the report’ was written shortly before we went to press, and before we could, obtain confirmation of the details which were received by telephone.
It has since been learned that the retirement of the Arrow ” Active” (which we stated suffered engine trouble) was in fact due to thick weather, while FlightLieut. Atcherley landed owing to a leak in his petrol tank. We also did not do Mr. Law justice in saying that he broke his prop in landing ; what actually happened was that the airscrew snapped in the air and by skilful piloting he got down without straining a wire. Further, the cause of the retirement of Miss Winifred Brown and Mr. A. C. Johnstone was solely the weather, and, not through any mechanical failure.
All these competitors were using Hermes engines, and we are told by the CirrusHermes Engineering Co., that these and all other aircraft which were so powered in this very trying race functioned perfectly.
STEEPHILLS OF GREAT BRITAIN.
THE Automobile Association’s booklet showing Steep Hills in England, Wales and Scotland has been revised.
The new edition, containing over seventy pages, gives details of hills with a gradient of 1 in 12 or steeper, the roads on which they are situated, and, any special features.
A copy of the booklet may be obtained free by members from the Secretary, The Automobile Association, Famun. House, New Coventry Street, London, W.1., or any A.A. Branch Office.