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Homepage. This page: A 1935 Rover Twelve features in two snowy pre-war motoring scenes.

1935 Rover P1 Sports Saloon.

The slightly later Rover P2 appears in numerous places across the site, in both closed saloon and open-top tourer form. Forerunner to the P2 though was this car, the Rover 12/4 of 1934 to 1936, later referred to as the P1 to differentiate this 12/4 from those of the late 1930s and immediate post-war years. This car, registered CTW 88, is a 1935 example first used in Essex. It's low roofline points to it being a four-light Sports Saloon, rather than the more upright six-light (ie three windows per side) Saloon. The location of these snow-laden scenes though isn't recorded, nor is the date, although guessing at the approximate time of year isn't too difficult.
In the first photograph, two gents - with shovels - appear to have cleared a lane, so that the 1496cc four-cylinder Rover can pass along it. I did wonder whether the offside front headlamp had been fitted with a wartime blackout mask, but I think the glass and reflector have gone AWOL completely. Tyre tracks in the snow suggest that a few road vehicles have passed along here, since the last fall of snow. Look closely and a small dog can just be made out, jumping around at the gents' feet.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Rover P1 in the snow
Like the image above, the following photo has been printed as a (small) postcard. The venerable Rover is shown once again traversing a snow-laden lane, with the snowbanks easily taller than the car's roof. As before, a lone gent is sat at the wheel of the Rover, driving it carefully so as not to damage its appealing lines. The shovellers are nowhere to be seen in this shot, perhaps they'd become camera-shy, or were warming themselves with a mug of tea from their Thermos flask. The car looks much the same as before, down to the AA badge fitted to the radiator grille, although the windscreen wipers are now pointing to the nearside, whereas before they were aimed towards the driver.
Rover 12/4 Sports Saloon 1935

Rover road test, 1935.

"The Practical Motorist" magazine dated February 9th 1935, features on its a cover a side view of the similar Rover "10". A two-page road test of the 10hp variant can be found in the centre of this issue, headed by fulsome praise for Solihull's mid-sized saloon: ".. an interesting medium-sized car .. which is in the De Luxe class .. it has many novel and noteworthy features".
Side view of a Rover P1 10
The features that caught the roadtesters' eyes included the centralised "Bijur" chassis lubrication arrangements, its free-wheel system, and the front bumper that incorporated a harmonic stabiliser. Regarding the latter, they wrote the following:
"The harmonic stabiliser, by the way, merits a line or two to itself. It is a small but amazingly effective instrument incorporated, as we have said, in the front bumper, but so unobtrusively as to be practically invisible to the casual observer. It has a decidedly marked influence, despite its smallness, on the car's steering and roadholding, which qualities we noted at once in the Rover as being good beyond average."
Their summary of the car was entirely positive, which backs up the long-held reputation for Rovers of that era being well-built and comfortable, high quality, cars.
Return to Page 20 in the motoring photographs archive, or visit the main index here. Another period photo of a Sports Saloon, this time a 14, may be found here.

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