Rover M1 Prototyp


Prototype of a small Rover Car

1945 - 1946

The image shows the prototye of the ROVER 'M1'. Hard to believe that this should be a Four-Seater.


When the end of the Second World War began to emerge, it seemed clear that a prolonged economic crisis would follow. Rover therefore considered whether the current vehicle supply would still be in demand. Spencer Wilks seemed convinced that now smaller vehicles would find a market. It was necessary to secure the future of the company and decided to develop a small 6hp car.

The prototypes were created between 1945 and 1946 under the designation 'M1', where M stood for miniature. The tests were successful, but the car never went into production. Contrary to all expectations, the government supported the export of mid-range vehicles and converted the motor vehicle tax to a flat-rate system that met the needs of domestic buyers. However, a considerable purchase tax was introduced, which was further increased in the following years.

The small Rover, designed by Gordon Bashford and Harry Loker under the direction of Maurice Wilks, rolled along on a wheelbase of only 77" (195.6 cm) and was equipped with a 28 hp 699 cc version of the four-cylinder IOE engine. As steel was very heavily rationed, aluminium was used for both the chassis and the body. It is hardly imaginable, but the car was a full-fledged four-seater and could reach 60 mph (97 kmh) with its small engine. The driving characteristics were considered good. The vehicle front with grill and headlight arrangement was even adopted in the early clay models of the planned 'P3' and 'P4' series, obviously influenced by American models.

All three prototypes had a closed two-door body, although an open version was also considered. One of these prototypes survived until the 1960s and was owned by the director of the Rover plant in Tyseley, Jess Worster. No further whereabouts are known.


Rover M1 Prototyp
There are very few pictures of the ROVER 'M1'. This illustration is taken from the article " Beyond the Backroom Door " in "The Motor" of August 10, 1949.

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