There have been rumours for years that The Rover Group could be making a come back, which makes one think where the iconic British company could have been today, had they not have ended production. Some say only the name would exist, pasted onto cars with no reference back to the iconic modelling styles of the 60’s, but others argue their iconic concept cars such as the Rover 75 Coupe would start production with updated hardware and instantly become modern classics. This article doesn’t have a hard set opinion; but what it is doing is collecting information from different sources to see, realistically, where the iconic company would be today.
The 1958 Rover T3 Prototype, pictured to the left, is widely known; and is reminisced as having the possibility to be an affordable supercar, if it was released. The project was code-named ‘P6BS’ because it would incorporate the chassis and suspension from the P6 Rover (the 2000) and the BS stood for Buick Special as it used the Buick 215 cid V8 engine, modified by Rover under licence from General Motors.
It was a car of circumstance, made from other production cars at the time; the thin-backed bucket-seats came from the Series 1 E-Type Jaguar; the steering rack from the Vauxhall Viva; the rear suspension was an adapted Rover 2000 DeDion tube; and to make this high-speed car stop, four-wheel disc brakes were fitted.
The project was scrapped in 1968, killed off by Sir William Lyons during the British Leyland merger. Speculation, at the time, was that he killed off the project as he feared this mid-range supercar would beat his beloved E-Type, but those are rumours that some still believe today.
To the right, the Rover 75 Coupe is still beloved to this day, even though it was only ever a concept car, one gentleman, known to car groups as Gerry, hand built a replica and he tours car shows such as the NEC Restoration Show, to show what could have been. Its distinctive style and unique Rover twist on the played out Coupe have led many to believe if this was on the line before the British Leyland merger, it could have saved Rover from going under. Speculations on this being the car that Rover would return to the British market with, if they ever do, and constant threads emerging on online forums discussing this beautiful concept car make it ever sadder that MG Rover went under.
Throughout 2000 and 2001, MG received the majority of the limelight, after the name change in 2000, while Rover stayed in the back for a while. This changed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2002, when they unveiled their radical TCV (Tourer Concept Vehicle). Designed by Peter Stevens at Longbridge, the new, sleeker, car moved away from traditional Rover styles such as the ‘Auntie’ grille, and re-invented the iconic front of the Rover brand. At the reveal of this boundary pushing prototype, the boot was opened to reveal an upright washing machine, intended to show how versatile the interior was. This was all on track to become a well-selling, modern rebranding of a classic brand; Until delays took hold before the company went under.
In conclusion, with the fan-base, iconography and huge overseas appeal, especially in China, there is a firm basis for Rover to come back. This would be great news, but until then, if you are a Rover fan and looking for historic information on vital stat on the Rover P5.