Wed, 22nd Jul 2009 13:20

The Pavilion Gardens

  Lot 71

1935 Rover Speed 14 Streamline Coupe

Sold for £19,688

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: BYP 351
Chassis No: 531114
Mot Expiry: July 2010

H&H are indented to the vendor for the following description: The Rover Company commenced the manufacture of cars in 1904 and may be said to have achieved a position of pre-eminence during the 1930s. That decade witnessed a vogue for streamlining first observed in the Chrysler Airflow and soon thereafter widely adopted by prestigious manufacturers such as Talbot, and especially Riley, with its range of Kestrel saloons. In harmony with this trend Rover developed and constructed their Speed 14 Streamline Coupe of which a total of 380 were manufactured from 1934 to 1936. The body work was aluminium and designed by Rover. The tuned six-cylinder engine of 1577cc was high compression; gas flowed and fitted with triple SU carburettors. Brakes were hydraulic in operation with finned drums and Rudge Whitworth centre lock wire wheels. The model was timed at Brooklands in 1935 at 82.57mph and being possessed of 54bhp clearly demonstrated its superiority in power and performance over its nearest competitor, the Riley 12/6 Kestrel. When the considerable saving in the purchase price over its Coventry rival was taken into account the advanced and highly specified Rover, with the Company at the peak of its fortunes, must have represented a tempting prospect indeed.

Of exceptional rarity, being one of perhaps fewer than 10 survivors of this model worldwide `BYP 351' was acquired by the vendor 10 years ago in a partly restored condition. Constant attention to detail in bringing the car to the standard in which it is presented today has been achieved with the advantage of having been able to run it successfully over a considerable annual mileage, especially to attend Vintage Sports Car Club events where its presence almost certainly encouraged the recent decision by the Club to include Rover as a mark deserving of acceptance as a Post-Vintage Thoroughbred. The car has benefited from a fully re-trimmed leather interior, a reconstructed sunroof, perfect in operation, and the coachwork re-cellulosed in a correct Rover period colour. Enthusiasm for its headlamp arrangement was evident in the description provided by `The Autocar' on October 5th 1934: "Three small but powerful lamps are fitted in a triangle, headlamps above and fog lamp below, directly in front of the radiator, so that their projected area is merged into that of the radiator.....reducing the wind resistance due to projecting auxiliary items". The sale of this car represents a unique opportunity to acquire a model of extreme rarity, style and distinction in conformity with the Rover Company's characteristically understated contemporary advertisement description as being "One of Britain's Fine Cars".

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