Rover 14

<I> This picture of a Rover Speed 14 from 1936 was shot by Martin Hooper at the British Motor Heritage Trust Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England</I>
This picture of a Rover Speed 14 from 1936 was shot by Martin Hooper at the British Motor Heritage Trust Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England

In 1932 the bank decided that their appointed accountant, Howe Graham, should have an decisive influence over the Rover company economy. Spencer Wilkes was appointed managing director and Howe Graham head of economy.
A new company-strategy was made up: Rover was to produce long series of small and cheap cars, but also short series of exclusive and expensive cars. Comfort and quality would be better than the average and production would be as smart as possible. As many parts as possible would be used in as many models as possible.
From 1933 a full range of cars developmed by the Wilks brothers were at hand: 10 HP, 12 HP, 14 HP and Speed 14. With these new cars an era of prosperity for Rover started.

Rover 14 in Australia

The dashboard
The dashboard

 The engine and enginebay
The engine and enginebay

Rover 14 from 1933


This Rover 14 is a 1933 model. The body was built by Richards, a bodybuilder in Adelaide in South Australia. The car still has the old South Australian number plates. It has been brought from South Australia to Queensland and is now almost ready for registration.
The pictures of the car has been kindly sent by "Jim".




The engine has a reverse manifold port layout to the 1934 and 1935 models. They are on the far side of the head in this picture.
The engine has a reverse manifold port layout to the 1934 and 1935 models. They are on the far side of the head in this picture.

Rover 14 Streamline from 1934/35

Rover Speed 14 Streamline 1934 or 1935
Rover Speed 14 Streamline 1934 or 1935

In 1935 Gordon Callow bought this Rover Speed 14 Streamline. He lived in Essex, England. The car was probably comandeered during the war.
These pictures were taken about 1940 when he took his girlfriend Norma and her mother on a tour in the car, and as you can clearly see Norma was the main target for his interests in those days.
The car itself has beautiful lines and aluminium body.
The pictures have been sent to this site by Norma and Gordon's nephew Tony Clarke who much regrets that this beautiful car was sold many years ago. Tony himself is an old car nut who owns one old MG and the old British bikes.

Gordon Callow died in February 2007 at the age of 95, while Norma is still vital at the age of 85.


You can see the front of the car in the background, but as you can see, Gordon's main target for the photo is his girlfriend Norma.
You can see the front of the car in the background, but as you can see, Gordon's main target for the photo is his girlfriend Norma.

Rover 14 Sport Saloon 1936


I have the history of the car almost from day 1. The first 5 owners were from Scotland, having been stored for a period of time during WWII. Eventually, about 1980 a gent from Canada traveled to the UK for the sole purpose of buying a small English car. After importing it back home to Canada he spent over $38,000 in restoration (I have those receipts and frankly I think he was taken on much of the charges).
Somehow Hyman Sales in St. Louis, Missouri acquired the car where I purchased it in July 2000. I purchased the car knowing that a major engine problem existed because I saw evidence of a botched job of patching a crack in the block under the carb. There was also a wide oil leak down the side of the block from this area. I felt that I was able to negotiate a "fair" price accordingly. On further examination it was determined that the crack was probably repairable but with no guarantee.
My wife and I have other British cars which we tour many miles each year, up to 5000 miles each. Since we are retired we have time to attend many shows and festivals all over the mid-west. This Rover was to be campaigned this summer (2001) a like distance.
Our other cars are a 1930 Ford Deluxe Phaeton, 1936 Packard, 1938 Packard, (2) 1950 Jaguar Mk V Saloons, 1974 Triumph TR6.
All of these cars are restored to original, which made our decision with the Rover initially difficult. We decided to make this a trustworthy traveler by using a non-Rover motor and transmission. Not an easy decision but one we have not regretted as the transformation was very successful, easy, and did not require doing anything at all that is not reversible. No cutting of chassis, etc. was required. A 2.5 litre GM (95hp) with 5 speed tranny sits in this little Rover and most comments are it "looks like it belongs in the chassis."
I've driven the car 160 miles and it handles very nice. At 60 mph the tach (added) shows 3000 rpm. A friend has the expertise to install a cut down Toyota rear axle with a much higher final ratio but still use the original wire wheels. I doubt that I will exceed 60mph as the suspension and brakes come in to play then. I still have in my possession the parts removed so that should someone wish to reverse what has been done, it would be easy.
The whole project has cost a fraction of what doing an original power-train would have cost. Visibly it still looks very much the car it was and should be a good long mile car. I've yet to add a single running light on the front as many of the pictures show on originals (an accessory I assumed). I am also contemplating adding wide white wall tires, knowing that some Brit sport cars look terrible with them and other Brit Saloons, like our Jags look great!
I know that all of the above upsets some, but again it is not irreversible.

I am a retired teacher and have had the old car hobby for 24 years. In our retirement my wife (Marj) and I sell new log homes with much enjoyment.
Russ Bees from Iowa, U.S.A.

Rover 14 from 1939

This Rover 14 from 1939 belonged to Barry Lafbery in the mid 60s.

The majestic front

Rover 14 DHC

<I> This picture was shot soon after Michel bought the car in The Netherlands. </I>
This picture was shot soon after Michel bought the car in The Netherlands.

This Rover 14 Drop Head Coupe from 1936 belongs to Michel Bonhomme in France.
Michel's own words about the car:
You may remember (did I tell you ?) that the car feeled very weak when I first tried it on the slope behind the country house.
Well, there were some reasons : timing was out, and brakes "freezed" in mud, rust and old dried grease (the Luvax system is no longer on the car, and I don't have one for replacement).

A (proper ?) refurbishement of the car was then endeavoured, began in the summer of 2000, "developped" last winter, and eventually lasted during all spring and until late in summer.
The frame was cleaned and repainted (without removing the bodywork itself), electrical system was thoroughly rewired, dash board and instruments cleaned, panel removed, fixed and repainted, brakes dismantled and rebuild, as well as the front screen.
Radiator also was replaced, inlet manifold repaired (missing part on the upper side), carburettor dismantled, cleaned, some gaskets replaced.
The engine was opened, cleaned, a little service given to the valves, surfacing of the cylinder head, and cleaning oil pump, water pump, sump, repairing the oil filter which was more like a series of holes, etc, completed the job.
Furthermore, distribution timing was properly "redefined", which definitely helps a car for running, you will agree.

My friend Didier Moigneu (on the picture), who must be born with the hands in a car, was of a tremendous help in all this.

At the end the work was topped (the cherry on the cake) with repainting the engine bay and engine itself. Looks much more shining this way!
But in no way this helped the engine starting, until we discovered a connection on the coil was not that tight (try it, it's a good way to wonder why a car does not start!).
The car is now back on the road, and has run about 200 miles, her first for a long time, I believe.

After the first kms with sparking plugs, the overall power seemed to be so low that I was about to enlist in a snails race.
It appeared that those plugs were of one of the thousand wrong type for this engine, and a proper replacement following Mike Couldry's precious advise gave much better output.

Now the car is running, has participated in her first rally, and is very pleasant to drive.

Still many things to do:
- try to understand why the dynamo looks so lazy at charging he battery,
- find other cables for the sparking plugs, to have the engine run on its six legs, every time,
- probably refurbish the steering box one day in the future,
- also the clutch, which feels a little sick,
- and possibly fixing the carburettor, as the car runs quite rich.

But it's definitely a fine car.

Regards Michel Bonhomme

The rallycar! With helping friend Didier Moigneu

This Rover 14 Streamline Saloon from 1935 "lives" in Belgium. 
The model is rare. Only two are known to have survived.
This Rover 14 Streamline Saloon from 1935 "lives" in Belgium.
The model is rare. Only two are known to have survived.

Rover 14 Drophead


These photos were taken by Paul Dene in Belgium 1993.



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