Rover 8hp Eight Logo

ROVER 8hp 'Eight'

First new ROVER after World War I

1919 - 1924

Not developed by ROVER, but brought by 'Jack' Sangster. The picture shows the ROVER - lettering of the ROVER 8hp 'Eight'.


The ROVER 8hp 'Eight' had no direct predecessor.


Successor will be the
ROVER 9hp 'Nine',
immediately followed by the
ROVER 9/20 hp 'Nine'

The ROVER 8hp 'Eight' was not developed by ROVER, but came from the outside. John Young Sangster - better known as "Jack" Sangster, son of Charles Thomas Brock Sangster, an engineer who is considered to be a pioneer in bicycle and motorcycle development, was first employed by Cycle Components Ltd as second managing director after his engineering education and military service. Since 1902 this company was especially known for its 'Ariel' motorcycles. Here also his father was managing director. Sangster designed a small, inexpensive car, which he wanted to build there. Why this did not happen is not exactly known. Anyway, the design was sold to ROVER soon.

Sangster joined ROVER as production manager and quickly got the production of the later ROVER 8hp 'Eight' going. ROVER itself had no experience with air-cooled engines and - the most important thing - did not offer a vehicle in this class. The 'Eight' was first introduced as Cycle Car, similar to the 8hp in 1904.

The audience quickly liked the small car, which was significantly upgraded even after a short time. Very remarkable is the appealing Coupé, which could celebrate nice successes as Doctor's Coupé. Attempts to establish the 8hp in interesting versions in the business world were not crowned with success. But a look at the designs is worth it.

1923 Sangster returned to his father's company and acted as deputy managing director until 1930, before taking over the company himself from the bankrupt estate and leading it to success as 'Ariel'.

After 'Jack' Sangster's departure from ROVER, Peter Poppe took over his duties. Immediately he had to find an answer to the new competition: Herbert Austin's new "Seven" had conquered the market and put the manufacturers of small cars - like ROVER with the 8hp "Eight" - in serious trouble. Poppe's answers were the stronger 8hp machine and a more extensive body range.

In our Biographies there is an interesting chapter to the life of
⇒ 'Jack' Sangster
and to his follower
⇒ Peter Poppe

1919-24 ROVER 8hp Two-Seater

The two-seater is the typical ROVER 'Eight'. It was most often advertised, its image was memorized over the years. And most of the contemporary illustrations are for this small but powerful car. And with the Dickey seat in the luggage-compartment there is even room for three adults - alternatively two children fit on the small seat.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Two-Seater

1919-24 ROVER 8hp Three-/Four-Seater

The three- or four-seater includes the space for the luggage-compartment into the body. The advantage over the two-seater with 'Dickey' seat is the larger hood, which also covers the rear seat if required. There one adult can be accommodated crosswise, or two children. There is not much knee space for the rear seated passengers.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Three-/Four-Seater

1919-24 ROVER 8hp Four-Seater

The four-seater with extended chassis is not engraved in the memory. There are only a few documents and inadequate illustrations about it. The car actually offers four easily accessible seats for adults. In this vehicle class this is not often found.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Four-Seater

1919-24 ROVER 8hp Coupé

The line of the 8hp Coupé is very elegant. It offers two persons good protection against bad weather. Therefore it is often referred to as 'Doctor's Coupé'. At that time, patients were visited and treated at home; the doctor was grateful for good weather protection.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Coupé

1923 ROVER 8hp Commercial Traveller's Car

The ROVER 8hp for the commercial traveller: two seats at the front, a spacious 'box' at the back for merchandise. Actually a clever idea - unfortunately it did not become generally accepted. It was therefore an unsuccessful attempt to expand the sales potential of the car.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Commercial Traveller's Car

1923 ROVER 8hp Utility Car

This version of the ROVER 8hp can only be found in the brochure of a Dutch ROVER dealer. It is not known if this version was only offered there. Here the rear 'box' is designed in such a way that two adults can be accommodated there if required. Whether and, if so, how many cars of this version were sold is unknown.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Utility Car

1923 ROVER 8hp Light Van

The small delivery van based on the ROVER 8hp is very practical. The General Post Office had a version with barred side windows put into operation for test purposes. Whether this became an order is not known. The small delivery van was probably built only in small numbers, at present only one vehicle is known in a museum.

Read more about the ⇒ ROVER 8hp Light Van

1924 ROVER 8hp Weymann Saloon

From 1924 also a ROVER 8hp Weymann Saloon is mentioned. However, there are no data and no pictures available for this model.

Production Years and Prices of the ROVER 8hp 'Eight'
Two-Seater deLuxeX£200Xn.a.X£172**
Doctor's CoupéX£240X£225X£225
Four-Seater deLuxeX£210Xn.a.X£172**
Utility CarXn.a.Xn.a.
Light VanX£155X£155
Commercial CarX£160X£160
Comments * =Also listed with 250 guineas; ** = with 1135 ccm - Engine;
1925 presumably only stock was sold
Production Numbers
Total ca. 17.700Pre-seriesca. 5000ca. 5000ca. 3700ca. 2850ca. 1150unknown
A l l   i n f o r m a t i o n s   w i t h o u t   g u a r a n t e e


A YouTube video about the reconstruction of a Rover 8 hp is available, which you can
⇒ watch here.

REM May 2007 Rover Enthusiast Magazine
September 2007

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