July 1 2013
By Jarah Weinreich
Further details contact
Phil Costello (03) 6334 8888
The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania has been transformed once again; this time, to pay tribute to one of Britain’s most respected and revered manufacturers, Rover.
“Remembering Rover” boasts a wide and complete exhibition of Rover vehicles, which will be on display until 16th September, 2013.
The Rover firm was founded by John Starley as the Rover Cycle Co. Limited in Coventry in 1896. Following Starley’s death, the company began to make a name for itself producing motorcycles, one of which is included in the display. Dating from 1912, the Rover motorcycle was sold new in Tasmania, and makes a unique and fascinating contribution to the display.
Among the other vehicles displayed is a beautifully presented Rover P4. The early P4 is instantly recognisable, thanks to its distinctive “Cyclops eye” fog-lamp, and these solid, midsize sedans helped to re-establish the company after the Second World War, boosting Rover’s reputation as a manufacturer of quality, reliable motorcars.
Also on display is the P4’s 1948 predecessor, the P3. The P3 is a traditional English motorcar in every sense of the word. Although only built for two years, the P3 typifies the distinctive style of its time.
Meanwhile, a superb example of the Rover P5B Coupe takes centre stage. These vehicles were produced for a number of years, and undoubtedly exist in the minds of many as the quintessential Rover motorcar; traditional, yet forward-thinking, and surprisingly swift, with a respectable power output.
The Rover P6 continues this theme, with the display car using the renowned Buick-derived Rover V8 engine.
A vintage Rover dating from 1925 is the earliest car in the display. With an open tourer body, coachbuilt by Launceston firm Brownlie & Keats, the car is presented in excellent condition, it represents a bygone era of pre-war manufacturing, when Rover was at the forefront of the industry.
Any Rover display would be incomplete without an example of the company’s most famous product: the Land-Rover. Two Series 1s are presented in excellent original condition, along with a unique hand-built 5/8 scale replica with a working engine. In its original form, the Land-Rover must surely be one of the most iconic and familiar vehicles of the twentieth century.
Based loosely on the wartime American Jeep, the Land-Rover was first seen in 1948. It was originally intended to serve as a sideline project to supplement the company’s post-war output. Before long, however, the Land-Rover was outselling Rover cars.
It remained largely unchanged for over three decades, and much of the utilitarian style can be seen in the modern day Land-Rover Defender, where form still follows function. Land-Rover once estimated that 70% of all its vehicles were still in use, a testament to the legendary toughness of these machines.
Today, Rovers of this vintage are among some of the most respected classic vehicles, with some models becoming increasingly sought-after and valuable.
Whether you’re reliving old memories or discovering the unique charms of classic Rover vehicles for the first time, the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania’s “Remembering Rover” display guarantees not to disappoint.