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Homepage. This page: Interesting old photos showing drivers and passengers in their 8hp Rover Eight tourers.

The Rover Eight light car.

Firstly, my thanks to Margo for allowing me to post the first of the photographs to feature on this page. Margo contacted me, asking if I could help identify the old car shown in the photo, shown below.
Rover 8
A spot of research confirmed that the photo shows a 1920s Rover 8 tourer.
The Rover 8 was launched in 1919, although the reception was fairly mixed back in those days - it was said that it was 'very warm, fairly comfortable but frankly inelegant in design'. It wasn't designed to be a plush or expensive motorcar though, it was built to a price, making it accessible to the aspiring motorist that would otherwise not be able to afford a car. Reliability wasn't really a strong suit by all accounts, some examples being prone to losing their cylinder heads when pressing on!
In many ways the tiny 8hp Rover paved the way for future rivals that would come to dominate the small-car market some years hence - witness the Austin 7 and original Morris Minor, which took the same basic formula, updated it and made it reliable. They also offered cars in a variety of body and seating arrangements, something that could not be said for the earlier Rover.
Specification was less than lavish with the Eight, even the ignition switch was an extra. The basic cost price of the Rover was 220 pounds, which is interesting when compared with the 100 GBP Ford 8hp in later years, that made motoring even more available. The car came with a folding hood, although sidescreens to keep the weather out would cost an extra 7 pounds. Braking was to the rear wheels only, and quarter-elliptic springs kept each corner off the road.

Side views of another Rover 8, in Aberdeenshire.

Brian Kennedy popped the following three side views of a different Rover 8, onto the OCC Facebook pages in 2017, in the hope that this vintage car might be identified. The owner of the photos is Maureen Forsyth, the photos are included on this page with her permission. Maureen adds: "This car belonged to my mother's cousin. The house in the background of the first photo is "Kitchen Hill Cottage" in Maud, near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire."
The venerable Rover looks to have covered a few miles by the time of this photograph, the slightly bent running board is evidence of many occupants climbing in and out of the car's compact cabin (the Rover's spare wheel sits on the driver's side running board, so all entry and exit had to be performed via the nearside of the car). The interesting style of brickwork used in the construction of the cottage, and the attractive wrought-iron fence, is also worth a mention.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Side view of a Rover 8
The second and third of Maureen's photos also show the nearside of the car, presumably during a day out somewhere with a total of four people present - surely they didn't all squeeze into the Rover!?
Side view of a Rover 8
Side view of a Rover 8
A second page of vintage photos featuring the diminutive Rover 8, can be found here.
Return to Car & Van Photographs - Page 3.

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