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Homepage. This page: A car dating to the late 1920s, a two door Rover 10/25 Sportsman's Coupe.

1929 Rover 10/25 Sportsman's Coupe.

These motoring photos came with several period pictures I bought lately. A close look at the radiator, and the mascot on top of it, confirms that this is a vintage Rover two door coupe, specifically the Sportsman's Coupe. I believe that there were two versions built from 1929, the 10/25 and the Two Litre Six - the car shown below is I'm sure the 10/25 version, as visually the Two Litre has a deeper scuttle, with a greater distance between the base of the screen, and the trailing edge of the bonnet. A photograph of the larger Rover Six Sportsman's Coupe can be seen here.
Rover Sportsman's Coupe at the Southport Flower Show
Earlier Rovers were supplied fitted with solid artillery-type wheels, but the 10/25 came with R.O. Patent Wire Wheels, designed to offer maximum strength coupled with minimal weight, or as they put it in 1929: "The R.O. Patent Wire Wheels give the greatest possible resilience, and greater strength for weight, than any other wire wheel on the market". R.O. stood for Rubery Owen, of Darlaston in Staffordshire.
A closer look at the first photo shows, in the Rover's windscreen, a sign for the Southport Flower Show, held on August 24th 25th 26th. The car is shown photographed in the beach, presumably at Southport. This would tie in with the two chaps shown in the photo below, who both look like they've been for a dip in the sea, and are now chewing on a quick Woodbine, sat on the Rover's (sturdy) running board. Note the long side door and three-hinge mountings, plus the full-length folding sunroof fitted to the fabric-covered Sportsman's Coupe.
Three people and their Rover Coupe
The 10/25 of 1929 was powered by a four cylinder engine of 1185cc, sat in a traditional, leaf-sprung chassis. The model name derived from the 10hp engine, which produced 25bhp, sufficient to propel the car to a top speed of around 55mph. Many of these 10-horse Rovers, such as the Sportsman's Coupe which would have cost 269 in it's day, had Weymann-type fabric-covered bodies. A photo of another 10/25 can be found on the Rover 10/25 Riviera saloon page. Period shots of the later, 1933-on, Rover 10 will be added on to this page.

What is a Weymann body?

Weymann-type coachbuilt bodywork featured on car chassis throughout the 1920s, and later the name would become associated with the building of bus bodies. The aim of Weymann construction techniques was to minimise squeaks from a car body's wooden framework, as the frame flexed while travelling along. The idea was dreamt up by a Charles Terres Weymann.
Traditional coachbuilt motor bodywork employed wooden (usually ash) members, connecting to one another and jointed in the familiar way to create a framework, onto which an outer metal skin would be fitted. The Weymann-type bodies did away with wood-on-wood jointing. Instead, each section of a motor-car's frame was joined to the next by metal joining plates, maintaining a tiny gap between the sections, ensuring that no two pieces of wood would connect with each other. This was then clad with a padding material, over which the outer skin of fabric would be stretched. As well as offering a much reduced likelihood of body squeaks, it was also significantly lighter than other types of coachwork. Companies who employed this type of construction paid a royalty to Mr Weymann for each car they built. By the end of the 1920s, fabric-covered bodywork saw a decline in it's popularity, in part due to it being more time-consuming to keep looking smart, and more labour-intensive to build and to repair following a knock. The Rover shown here is a classic example of a vintage car, fitted with two door coupe bodywork of Weymann construction.

The decline of Rover.

In the vintage era, and right into the 1960s in fact, Rovers were seen quite rightly as quality motor-cars, often understated, and chosen by people who placed refinement and build quality high up on their list of requirements. In the 1950s and 1960s the Rover designers were involved with some cutting-edge development work, including the gas turbine experimental cars, which led to the arrival of the advanced P6 range. As the 1970s and 1980s progressed, the Rover name would decline thanks to poorly-executed cars such as the SD1, and later the dreary re-badged Hondas that the Rover badge was glued onto. Whereas once the badge was synonymous with quality, now it is more often associated with rusting Montegos and middling hatchbacks, still being churned out of Longbridge in the early 2000s, long after their sell-by date had passed. The final nail in the coffin was the City Rover, a buzzy and cheap little hatchback of Indian origin. Very sad. What would company founders John Kemp Starley & William Sutton make of it all? Fortunately a good number of vintage and classic Rovers are still around, as reminder of what the marque once stood for.
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