Friday, 22 April 2011

Down Rover

Last weekend the roads around here were filled with remarkable motor cars- 'Drive It Day' or something. I don't know where they came from or where they ended up, but they must have been let out of the meeting paddock in staggered groups. A stately Austin Devon estate followed by a bulbous Somerset and then a few minutes later by a muted growl of MGBs. I ran about trying to photograph them, tripping up kerb stones and poking the lens through cherry blossom for effect. Nothing really worked, but then this Rover 2000TC purred into shot and I managed to catch the rear end. I remember this shape of Rover coming out, and it took a bit of getting used to after its predeccessors. But then one day in 1975 I drove one around Bradford for some reason and thought 'This is rather nice'. There was something really revolutionary about the design, like seeing a Citroen DS for the first time. It was the first winner of European Car of The Year in 1964 and was built in Solihull between 1963-1977. One for village doctors, police inspectors and regional heads of sales, usually with pipefulls of Erinmore on the go.

8 comments:

TIW said...

A bloke up the road's got one of those. Brown, immaculate and never moves. Nice boot-mounted spare wheel.

Wartime Housewife said...

Those Rovers were like driving tanks and they always smelled faintly of petrol or plastic or something.

Martin H. said...

What a splendid photograph, Peter! It could be from the cover of a 1967 Rover brochure.

A sighting of an Austin Devon estate is very exciting. There aren't many of those left! They were based on the A40 Commercial delivery van, so beautifully modelled by Dinky Toys in the 1950s (complete with Raleigh, Nestle or Shell BP signwriting).

Toby Savage said...

I remember seeing a prototype 2000 on The Fosse sweeping through those bends at Stretton on Dunsmore. It looked for all the World like a Space Ship as we gazed out of the oval window in the back of Dad's Morris 1000.

Rate My Sausage said...

Cool picture! I "think" a brother-in-law had one of those Rovers in mustard yellow? Is that likely? The only time I ever went in it was for a family day out to Skegness when I was about seven years old. I was in heaven, driving there in the Rover and driving back in Uncle Barry's Cortina.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Ah, the days of the De Dion Tube rear suspension spring to mind.

Peter Ashley said...

Oh I so want the Dinky Toy Austin van in the Shell BP livery. The combination of apple green with red and gold is irrestible. Corgi copied it in their classics series, but on a Morris Minor. Not the same thing at all.

Fred Fibonacci said...

I had one of these; a 3500 in Mustard Yellow with a brown vinyl roof. First proper car and fabulous; gorgeous even. I bought it from a dealer in Loughborough and if I close my eyes I can still smell the revolting lacquer he sprayed all over the dashboard to give it that 'new car' smell. It went like stink. If I booted it hard enough and I hadn't pushed the cassette all the way into the tape player(!) it would shoot out and end up in the rear footwell. Ron C saw this at least once.