1907 ROVER 6hp TWO SEATER
Registration No. Not registered
Chassis No. 1449
Engine No. A1449
Engine: single cylinder, side valve, 780cc, 6hp; Gearbox: three speed manual with reverse; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: contracting band on two rear wheels, operated from foot pedal. Right hand drive.
Rover had a background in the Coventry cycle industry of the 1880s and progressed to car manufacture through the familiar route of motor cycle and tri-car production from the turn of the century.
The 6hp Rover with a 95mm by 110mm bore and stroke (780cc) single cylinder engine, three speed with reverse gearbox, wire wheels, with a two-seater body on a conventional chassis frame was first shown to the public at the Birmingham Motor Show of January 1905. It was a well-engineered machine that could average 18-20 mph (the legal limit in Britain was 20 mph) and was priced at 100 guineas. Mechanically it closely paralleled Rover's first four-wheel car, the 8hp that had been introduced during 1904 but it did not use that model's backbone chassis. Production was well under way by the middle of the year and the cars immediately sold successfully.
From 1905 to 1912 Rover offered a 6hp car that was largely unchanged from that first introduced, retaining the 6 foot wheelbase, 4 foot track, single-cylinder engine and 3 speed with reverse transmission. For 1906 a 'Special Finish' version was available at £120 that had wooden wheels with 3 inch tyres, and this became the standard car for 1907. However, whatever improved examples were offered the basic 100 Guinea model remained available at least until the 1910 season.
No figures have survived for the number of cars made, but from the examples that exist today it has been calculated that some 1000-1200 6 hp cars were built over the eight year period of production, largest output appearing to be in the years 1906 to 1909.
This charismatic example of the 6hp Rover, has recently been discovered and is in remarkably original and complete order. At some stage the upholstery has been refurbished in black leather, and then the bodywork stripped and primed, though never repainted. It is clear from surviving paintwork that the original livery would have been dark green, and it was noted that a single headlamp must have originally been fitted on a bar across the front of the car.
After some basic re-commissioning it was made to run within an hour or so, and certainly has good compression. Naturally after its long period of storage, a more in depth service of the mechanical aspect would be advisable, but with this completed, and a sympathetic repaint, it would no doubt make an attractive usable small Edwardian car.