Hopefully watching from above, John Kemp Starley, would have observed the car park at Great British Car Journey largely populated by Rovers on Sunday 14th May 2023 as we celebrated the great British institution that was Rover cars. Of course, Starley made his considerable reputation with his Rover ‘safety’ bicycle and it was not until 1904 that the first Rover car took to the road, preceded by some motorbikes and an ingenious electric tricycle.
Over the next 100 years, Rover concentrated on cars and although Starley died in 1901, his legacy was more than present in our car park for our Rover themed day.
I would like to thank all the owners of the cars who made our first Rover Day so memorable. In particular, the enthusiastic Rover 200 and 400 Owners Club and their events co-ordinator Iain Turner for putting on a great display of some of the last high volume Rovers ever made. Iain has a pristine Rover 200vi which was one of the last really hot hatches to carry the Rover name.
The famous Viking Ship logo was visible on virtually all the significant post-war models on display with a number of P6 and SD1s present representing an era when Rover lost its rather staid image with some truly inspirational models. Sadly, the Rover car story ended in 2005, when the closure of Longbridge ended production of the 75.
Rover Day however, was a celebration of the greatness of Rover and I look forward to celebrating again next year with even more cars!
Our themed events programme continues this weekend with a 75th birthday celebration of Alec Issigonis’ first great success, the Morris Minor. If you own one or just love them, join us next Sunday!
Found and CEO, Great British Car Journey