t the start of the 1930s, the Rover Company was in a precarious position. The slowdown in car sales caused by the Recession compounded the problems of an incoherent model-range, and in late 1931 Rover’s bank called for an independent investigation into the company’s business. That investigation called for nothing short of a re-organisation of the Board of Directors.
Yet within three years, Rover had established one of the soundest management teams in the business and had completely rationalised its product range. Rovers became the preferred choice of the professional classes: the cars were discreet, exceptionally well made, and thoroughly reliable. Above all, they had become aspirational.
Very little has been published about this pivotal period in Rover history, not least because for many years it was widely assumed that the company’s records for the period up to 1940 were lost in the Blitz bombing of the its Coventry factory that year. Fortunately, that is not entirely true. Many records certainly were lost, but enough has survived or is recoverable from other contemporary sources to form the basis of this pioneering book.
Rover Cars of the 1930s In Detail extends its comprehensive and detailed coverage back into the late 1920s, when the first of the 1930s models were introduced, and forward into 1947, when the 1930s models that had been revived after the war finally went out of production.
The story is a remarkable one, researched and narrated by today’s leading Rover historian, James Taylor. This is a book that will be welcomed by all enthusiasts of this respected marque, and in particular by those who have felt their interest in the models of the 1930s to have been ignored for so long.