1933 Rover 14/6 Speed Pilot Sports Tourer Coachwork by Carbodies Registration no. BPB 54 Chassis no. 36173 Engine no. 36173
Rover's 14/6 Speed Pilot model was launched in the autumn of 1932 on a lengthened under-slung chassis, deploying its Pilot predecessor's 1,577cc, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine in tuned, triple-carburettor configuration. The new frame enabled the adoption of low-line bodies, among them attractive 'streamline' versions of both saloon and coupé, while there were also bespoke creations by independent coachbuilders. Chassis specification included a four-speed freewheel gearbox, hydraulic brakes, Luvax-Bijur automatic lubrication and electric windscreen wipers. Tested by The Autocar in April 1933, a Rover 14 Speed Pilot four-seat tourer reached 50mph in 12.8 seconds and achieved a maximum speed of 77mph, highly respectable figures for a car of its class.
Pioneered on the expensive Speed Pilot, also known as the 'Speed Fourteen', the new under-clung chassis soon found its way onto the rest of the Rover range. The Speed Fourteen's arrival signalled a change of direction for Rover, bringing a welcome injection of style to a range that hitherto had been regarded as worthy but dull. This new policy is best exemplified by the 'Hastings' close-coupled coupé made by Carbodies of Coventry, who would enjoy close links with Rover throughout the 1930s.
Another stylish Carbodies creation, this Speed Pilot four-door sports tourer was owned for many years by the well-known Dutch Rover enthusiast, Harry Hildgerdenaar and is believed unique. (According to club records a less original two-door version still exists). Restored over a long period and very well maintained since completion, the car is beautifully finished in two-tone pale grey with charcoal leather interior to the original pattern. The engine benefits from a recent total rebuild and the car is described by the vendor as in generally excellent condition. Fitted from new, the gearbox is an ENV four-speed manual with synchromesh and freewheel, rather than the standard Rover 'box.
Taxed, MoT'd and offered with Swansea V5, the car also comes with a substantial history file containing numerous invoices dating back to 1934, together with others relating to the recent engine rebuild. The Rover Speed Fourteen is exceedingly rare with only a relative handful surviving; thus 'BPB 54' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a unique and highly desirable example boasting practical open tourer coachwork.
There is no current MoT offered with this vehicle.