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Homepage. This page: Early 20th Century photograph of a large Rover tourer.

A vintage Rover.

Rovers of many eras have been added to OCC over the years that the site's been online, although few are as early as the car shown in the following photograph. This image of a fine motor-car was printed onto a postcard in the early days of the 20th Century. Best guess is that the car is an Edwardian-era Rover 16/20, a four-cylinder shaft-drive car that went on sale in 1906. The registration is partly-obscured, but is (I think) RI 565, which would make it Dublin-registered. Given that this registration series was first used in December 1903, it tallies with the car being of a 1906/7 or thereabouts date.
It's certainly a fine-looking car, light years away from the miserable CityRover, a cheap (and not very cheerful) re-badged Tata, on the rump of which the once-proud Rover name made its final outing between 2003 and 2006. The chap sat in the vintage Rover is prepared for anything that the Irish weather could throw at him - especially wise given the lack of windscreen. In addition to a sizeable motoring coat, he also sports a flat cap and a fine pair of gloves - no doubt excellent in keeping one's hands warm, but a little awkward to operate the car's controls with I'm sure.
An array of acetylene lamps are fitted, as is an impressive horn - with remote operation no less. The rear tyres still have a reasonable tread, not something that could be levelled at those fitted to the front. A Rover 16/20 won the 1907 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Vintage Rover car
The postcard (unused) shows its age, so is undoubtably original and therefore well over 100 years old. The corners are nibbled, and there's evidence of pins having attached it to a noticeboard or wall at some time. Presumably it was on show for quite some time as the pins have rusted, and slightly stained the corners of the picture. Clearly the photograph meant something to whoever owned and displayed it, choosing to post it for all to see rather than tucking it away in an album as usually happens.
Anyone who bought a car in those days would have had to be of adequate means, as car ownership was reserved for the wealthier members of society in general. This chap looks quite young, either his family was comfortably-off, or he was a successful businessman in his own right (perhaps posing with his first car?). Of course he may well be the chauffeur for the car's owner(s), although I'm not sure his attire is typical of people employed in such duties.
The exact details surrounding the photo will remain forever a mystery, but if anyone can confirm the identity of the car as a Rover 16/20, please get in touch. thanks.
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