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Homepage. This page: A selection of original pre-war photos featuring open-top Rover Eight cars.
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1920s Rover 8.

The first photograph shown on this second page of Rover 8 photos was sent in by a visitor to the site in 2006, and is reproduced with their permission (thanks Chris). The second photo was sent in 2005, again requiring identification, and is also shown with the sender's permission (thanks Brian!).
This page follows on from the first Rover 8 photo page.

Rover Photo No.1

Rover 8
The Rover 8 was powered by a transverse-mounted twin cylinder, air cooled, engine, and built between 1920 and 1925. The original design was by John Young Sangster, which was then purchased by Rover in 1919, and manufactured in a newly-purchased factory at Tyseley (previously used for WW1 munitions). Around 17,000 examples were produced. Chris sent in the photo above of his great great Grandfather, taken around 1923. I was able to identify it, having been sent the photo shown below a year earlier by another visitor to the site.

Rover Pic No.2

Rover Eight
In the second photo, it shows Brian's Grandparents sat in the front of the '20s Rover. They were from Broadstairs in Kent. His Grandfather was keen on cycle racing (initially with Penny Farthings!), and later using more conventional bicycles. Brian's Aunt is sat in the back.

Rover Eight Photos No.3 & 4

The following two photographs came in a selection I purchased in 2008, both showing the same Rover 8, registration BW 6190. The first shows the Rover with its owner alongside, stood next to a Shetland pony. Handily both photos have handwritten notes on the reverse side, this one reads: "Our Shetland 'Silverdale' and the Rover car 'Geraldine'". Neither photo is dated but they look to be images taken in the 1920s. This Rover 8 is shown with the roof folded and sidescreens fitted. The screens don't seem to fit very well with the screen angled back as it is.
Rover 8 car
The second photo looks to have been taken at the same time, the trees suggest that the photos were taken in late autumn, or winter, which may explain why the sidescreens were in place. The second shot of BW 6190 is a side-on view, showing the owner sat in his car. The note on this photograph reads "I in Geraldine. She is a wee snug little thing - just the right size for me to go up & down from Portsmouth to Looe (or possibly home) plus luggage". A photo of another car belonging to the same chap, a vintage Wolseley, can be seen here.
Vintage Rover Eight car

Rover 8 - Photo 5.

This next photo of a Rover 8 isn't in the best of condition, but still worth including on this page. It shows a vintage motorist alongside his Rover, the car's registration plate is just about visible but I can't quite make out the number - possibly HR 5339, a Wiltshire series used from 1919 to 1924. The lighthouse in the background looks interesting - Peter L on the Old Classic Car Forum has identified the location as the lighthouse at Portland Bill in Dorset (thanks Peter). There is an address written on the reverse side, suggesting that this image was posted to a Mrs B Pitt, of 26 Lambridge Place in Bath, Somerset.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Another vintage Rover 8 touring car

6. A Rover and a vintage Wolseley.

Jenny emailed over this interesting shot of her father's Rover 8, parked nose-to-nose with the towering 1923 Wolseley limousine that he received on his 21st birthday. He was the proprietor of Welland's Garage in Burnham-on-Sea, and many nostalgic photographs and items relating to motoring that came from this garage now feature on the site.
The two cars couldn't be more different - the Wolseley a grand carriage of significant proportions and presence, versus the diminutive 8hp Rover two-seater tourer, designed with frugal motoring in mind, yet I'd have no hesitation in choosing the latter if offered the choice of either by a wealthy relative one day. In the background is an old-style "finger-post" road sign, here displaying distances to Weston-super-Mare, Lympsham, and Burnham.
The Rover's windscreen is set at a rakish angle, and unusually the standard scuttle-mounted headlamps have, on this example, been supplemented by larger lamps in the more traditional, frontal, location. No doubt running a garage enabled Mr Welland to lay his hands on a suitable set of lamps for minimal expense. A cracking photo, thanks for sending it over!
A Rover parked facing an elderly Wolseley

7. A Rover Eight in Moss Side, Manchester.

Phil sent the following picture over, despite his initial misgivings over its condition. Of the Rover and the child sat in it, he can add the following background information:
"I came across your site whilst looking for information on the Rover 8 of the 1920's. Loved your selection of pictures of this model, and am therefore a bit reluctant to send you my offering. This is very small faded snapshot of my father (born in 1923) in my grandfather's car. The location, I am certain this is their home address at 6 Parker Street, Moss Side, Manchester. Hope this of interest and you agree that the car is a Rover 8. I am told that the cylinder heads of the flat twin motor bike engine used protruded at each side of the car bonnet to provide adequate cooling and, under heavy use, they would glow a deep red colour!"
"If possible could you include the little boy's name, my dad Geoffrey Moran, that way his brief moment in the car is preserved for posterity!"
It's my pleasure to include the photo of your dad on this page, thanks for sending it over Phil.
Another photo of a Rover Eight, this one in Manchester

8. An example shown in Australia.

Photos of the air-cooled Rover 8 continue to turn up occasionally. The following shot was sent over by Deb Godley, on behalf of Mr Warren Woodley of Tamworth, Australia. The other photos of similar cars on OCC helped identify the car in Mr Woodley's photo, now he wonders whether the people in the photo could possibly be identified, and whether there are any examples of the 8 preserved in his country today? I'm sure that a visitor to this page will be able to answer the second question, and who knows, maybe someone one day will be able to shed light on those shown with the diminutive vintage Rover. Stranger things have happened.
Deb adds:
"Mr Woodley and his family have owned car dealerships in Australia since the 1920's, and recently found this photograph in some personal papers. He did not recognise the vehicle at first, but was able to thanks to your website ... As I have mentioned, he is very interested in the car industry, and is very excited to find out as much information as your followers could muster!"
A Rover 8 shown in Australia

9. Side view of an air-cooled Rover.

Original photographs of these unusual air-cooled Rovers continue to surface. Two very similar photos from the 1920s turned up a couple of years back, the following is the better of the two images which has a frowning lady at the car's sizeable steering wheel (perhaps she was looking into the sun at the time). A much older lady, and a child, are in the other (un-published) picture. Little information accompanies the photos, although the date is given - September 2nd, 1928. Details such as the scuttle-mounted headlamps and horn, can be clearly seen.
Side view of the air-cooled Rover

10. A long-wheelbase Rover 8.

Once again a visitor to OCC has been in touch with another excellent old photo to feature in the image archive - thanks Phil. He'd been researching this car, and had already come up with an identification for it, before emailed the photo over. Through a process of elimination he'd identified it as an air-cooled Rover 8, and comparing it with the cars already shown on this page, he'd noticed that it is in fact a late-ish example of the Rover 8, with the slightly longer wheelbase. Compared with the cars above, the gap between the rear edge of the spare wheel, and the rear mudguard, is greater on the following example. It turns out that in 1924, the wheelbase was extended from 88 inches to 94 inches, to enable a pair of usable rear seats to be fitted in the rear compartment.
The photo belonged to a late friend of Phil's, and the lady in it is either this person's mother, or their aunt. They lived in Darwen, Lancashire, so chances are that this photograph of a rural scene was taken in the area. Thanks for sending it over.
A long wheelbase Rover 8
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