Not a ROVER, but the genes ...

1950 - 1952

The luxurious Two-Seater, influenced by the ROVER P4 '75'.

Das Marauder-Logo

The 'Marauder' - radiator logo shows a blazing torch.

After the successful ROVER ⇒ 'Racer' was put on its wheels, Rover engineers Peter Wilks, Spencer King and George Mackie turned to developing an open two-seater based on the ROVER '75' in their spare time. It was not just a sports car, but a well-equipped, elegant 'touring car'. Pleasurable gliding was the declared goal, less the achievement of sporting success.

A shortened chassis of the just highly topical ROVER '75' was used as a basis. Also the engines and the transmission came from this model. The engine was reworked and compressed a little bit higher, whereby the power was increased to 80 bhp with 2 SU - carburettors.
According to the brochure, a Laycock-de Normanville Overdrive and the well-known ROVER freewheel could be chosen as an option, but in fact only the Overdrive was available. This allowed a cruising speed of 60 mph at low revs, the maximum speed was 100 mph.

As weather protection a light but well closing fabric hood was used, the side windows were inserted into the doors and consisted of two-part plastic sliding windows, in order to be able to give the hand signals usual in traffic at that time. The side windows could be stored in the boot. This was behind the seat and could only be reached via the cockpit, as the boot lid had been dispensed.

Peter Wilks and George Mackie left ROVER in 1950 and started production under the name 'Wilks, Mackie and Company Ltd' in Dorridge, Solihull, West Midlands. The first bodies were created in the work of Richard Mead, also in Dorridge, using body parts from the ROVER '75'. After a few copies the body production was handed over to the renowned company Abbey Panels Ltd, Coventry.

The car was officially presented in August 1950. On the occasion of the 1951 Geneva Salon, the Marauder'A' was presented at the ROVER stand. Wilks and Mackie were very optimistic about the production of 10 vehicles in the first year, then 50 vehicles per year. It is possible that these objectives could have been achieved. However, the state purchase tax for luxury goods was increased disproportionately and production costs rose considerably. As a result, the original pre-tax selling price of £950 could not be withheld for long - it rose to well over £1,000, along with the increased purchase tax rate on luxury goods, bringing the purchase price including tax to over £2,000 within two years.

In late 1950, the company moved to new premises in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and changed its name to 'The Marauder Car Company, Ltd' in 1951. But the no longer competitive prices forced a quick end - from 1952 the Marauder founders returned to their old positions at ROVER. The company continued to exist until 1967, but nothing is known about its field of activity in the years since 1952.

Altogether 13 vehicles of the model 'A' and two cars of the more powerful successor - model '100', plus a coupé built to customer specifications with a different front and boot lid have been produced. A total of 12 vehicles will still exist, whose owners will care for their cars and present them on joint excursions. The first vehicle with the registration plate KAC 313 was carefully restored in 1983 by George Mackie.

MotorSport (UK), September 1950
Automobil Revue (CH), August 16, 1950
Brochure Marauder ‘A’, 1950

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