Classic Car Catalogue

Rover 1931

10/25 HP 4 cyl, 1185 cc        

Great Britain

Rover 2-Litre Coachbuilt Saloon available in standard and more luxurious Regal trim. Both have 9 ft 3 in wheelbase and a 2023-cc six-cylinder power unit with four-speed gearbox. Shown is a 1930-style standard model.

Motor Sport September 1931

The imposing front view of the Rover Speed Model.
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-day is the sports car of to-morrow." This applies particularly to the 20 h.p. Rover, a car which we have recently tried both in saloon and open sports four-seater form.
Principal Characteristics :
Engine :
Six-cylinders; 72 mm. bore by 105 mm. stroke
c,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.
Transmission :
four-speed close-ratio gearbox,
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).
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. 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 Park Corner and other irksome spots behind and were heading for the open country.
A three-quarter rear view.
Note the large revolution counter and speedometer and the neatly-stowed hood.
Intent on getting to our destination, 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 price—£495—it is, without doubt, a welcome newcomer to the sports category.

The long bonnet and low built give the Rover Special a fine appearance.

The 20 h.p. Rover saloon, the chassis of which forms the basis of the new Speed Model.
Motor SportOctober 1931
Models for 1932

To the sports enthusiast, the main attraction of the Rover range lies in their recently-introduced special 20 h.p. speed model. Although quite a newcomer this car has already shown itself to be a genuine sports outfit by its performance in sundry speed events, and it is undoubtedly a most welcome addition to sports class. A road test report of this model appeared in last month's issue of MOTOR SPORT, and readers will have gathered that it has a performance of real excellence. The engine is a six-cylinder of 2,565 c.c. capacity (R.A.C. rating 19.3 h.p.), and ignition is by coil and battery and a Stromberg downdraught carburetter is fitted. A four-speed close-ratio gearbox aid in giving this speed model an unusually snappy acceleration together with a top speed of about 85 m.p.h. With a two or four-seater body of attractive design and complete equipment it is obtainable at £495. It is also marketed as a sports saloon.
Turning to the other models in the order of h.p., the Family Ten is continued with detail improvements, such as the standardisation of wire wheels with the fashionable large hubs. The range of bodywork remains the same, i.e., a full four-door four-seat coachbuilt saloon, or genuine Weymann saloon and a four-seater Weymann sportsman's coupe.
Six models are standardised, the prices of these being as follows : Saloon (pressed steel construction) £179; Weymann saloon or sportsman's coupe £185; coachbuilt saloon (Regal) £194 ; Weymann saloon (Regal) £200, Sportsman's ; coupe (Regal) £200. The Regal models have additional equipment such as bumpers, sliding roof and Protecto safety glass all round.
The new 12 h.p. six-cylinder Rover "Pilot" is made in three forms—pressed-steel saloon, Weymann saloon and Weymann sportsman's coupe. The prices are £225 for the pressed steel model and £230 each for the Weymanns.
The overhead valve engine has dimensions of 59 x 86 mm., the total cubic capacity being 1,410 c.c. ; the Treasury rating is 12.95 h.p. and annual tax £13. Lubrication is by full pressure and water circulation by pump ; the water temperature is thermostatically controlled. An 8 gallon petrol tank is placed at the rear and fuel is delivered to the carburettor by automatic pump feed.
A four-speed gear-box with silent third gear is fitted, central control being employed, and an enclosed propeller shaft transmits power to the worm-driven rear axle. Suspension is by semi-elliptic springs in front and quarter elliptics at the rear, hydraulic shock absorbers being supplied all round. The specification includes a large diameter spring steering wheel, dip-and-switch headlamps fingertip controlled and a Protecto safety glass windscreen. The tyre size is 19 x 4.75 ins., wheelbase 8ft. 8ins., track 4ft. 2ins., and ground clearance 7ins.
In the Two-Litre model detail improvements have been embodied in the chassis and the bodywork is larger. Cushions and squabs are upholstered in best quality leather and the rear seat has armrests at each side and a central folding armrest. Three bodywork styles are available—a coachbuilt saloon, a genuine Weymann saloon and a Weymann sportsman's coupé. The specification includes a Protecto windscreen, electric screen wiper and and-switch headlamps, finger-tip trolled.
The price of each model is £285 there is a choice of finishing colours.
Many improvements have been effected in the Meteor range, but the price each model remains at £398.
Among the chassis improvements be mentioned modifications to the springs and shock absorbers to give more able riding and the use of Bohnalite pistons and a Chilcott silencer. A crankcase breather has been fitted to prevent fumes entering the car and 19ins. wheels increased ground clearance and a slightly higher gear.
Body improvements include a roof of semi-flush type, rear quarter lights and a wide centre and Leveroll sliding seat fittings.
Manufacturers' address : Rover Ltd., Meteor Works, Coventry.



  Event: Entered: Raced: Finished: Best results:
17.10.1931 Brooklands Junior Short Handicap         Couper 2,565 c.c. 2nd