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Rover

This name is meant to describe the character of the car.
Filed under:  Companies
 
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Rover. (England) 1904 to 2005.
The first Rover was a tricycle manufactured by J.K. Starley & Sutton Co of Coventry, England in 1884. The company was founded by James Starley and Josiah Turner in 1877. The two had formerly been partners in manufacturing sewing machines and had switched to bicycles by 1869.


rover type

Rover logo.

The first Rover was a tricycle manufactured by J.K. Starley & Sutton Co of Coventry, England in 1884. The company was founded by James Starley and Josiah Turner in 1877. The two had formerly been partners in manufacturing sewing machines and had switched to bicycles by 1869.

In the 1880s the cycles available were the relatively unstable and dangerous penny-farthings. Starley made history in 1886 by producing the Starley Safety Bicycle - a rear-wheel-drive, chain-driven cycle with two equal-sized wheels, making it more stable than the previous high wheeler designs.

In 1888 Starley made an electric car, but it never was put into production.

In 1896 J. K. Starley & Co. was renamed to the Rover Cycle Company. Three years after Starley's death in 1901, the Rover company began producing automobiles with the two-seater Rover Eight. Bicycle and motorcycle production continued until the Great Depression forced the end of production in 1924. After automobile production resumed in 1947, following the Second World War, the company began producing the Land Rover.

The 1950's and 60's were fruitful years for the company, with the Land Rover becoming a runaway success, as well as pioneering research into gas turbine fuelled vehicles and the Buick V8 engined range of P5 and P6 saloons. In 1967, Rover became part of the Leyland Motor Company, which merged with the British Motor Corporation to become British Leyland. This was the beginning of the end for the traditional Rover, as the Solihull based company's heritage drowned beneath the infamous industrial relations and managerial problems that beset the British motor industry throughout the 1970s. The Rover SD1 of 1976 was an excellent car, but was beset with so many build quality and reliability issues that it never delivered its great promise. A savage programme of cutbacks in the late 1970s led to the end of car production at the Solihull factory which was turned over for Land Rover production only. All future Rover cars would be made in the former Austin and Morris plants in Longbridge and Cowley, respectively.

In the 1980s, the slimmed down BL used the Rover badge on a range of cars co-developed with Honda. The first Honda-sourced model, released in 1984 was the Rover 200, which, like the Triumph Acclaim that it replaced, was based on the Honda Ballade. (Similarly, in Australia, the Honda Integra was badged as a Rover.) In 1986, the SD1 was replaced Rover 800, based on the Honda Legend. By this time Austin Rover had moved to a one marque strategy and renamed itself simply "Rover Group". The Austin Maestro and Montego, now badged as Rovers, were replaced by the Rover 400 and Rover 600, based on Honda's Concerto and Accord. This was to prove to be the turn-around point for the company, steadily rebuilding its image to the point where once again Rovers were seen as upmarket alternatives to Fords and Vauxhalls. The 1994 takeover by BMW saw the development of the Rover 75, before the infamous de-merger in 2000.

The company currently exists as the MG Rover Group. In 2005, they went out of business.

(text source: Brainy Encyclopedia)

Rovers are folk who rove about, rather like Vikings - hence the Viking ship emblem that has been used on Rovers in various forms since the beginning. It went very stylised and year-2000 on the original SD1s, but later models reverted to the current badge, first used on the P6.

(Text from Car magazine, July 1999. Written by Martin Buckley.)


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Rover SD1 wheel center.

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Rover P5 wheel center.

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Rover logo.

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Rover logo.

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Rover logo.

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Rover logo.

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