Rover Two-litre

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Rover Two-litre[1]
approx 8000 made.[3]
Body and chassis
ClassMidsize car
Body style
  • 2 or 3-seater open tourer
  • 5-seater open tourer
  • Weymann Paris, Riviera or Braunston 5-seater saloon
  • coachbuilt saloon
  • sportsman's coupé
  • sportsman's saloon
  • limousine
  • chassis only[4]
Engine2 L (2023 cc) straight-6[2]
Transmission3-plate clutch with cork inserts. three speed gearbox controlled by central lever, enclosed propellor shaft - bearing midway in torque tube, spiral bevel final drive, half-floating axle. [1]
Wheelbase118 in (2,997 mm)[1][2]
Length178 in (4,521 mm)[5] (depends on body)
Width63 in (1,600 mm)[5] (depends on body)
Kerb weight
  • chassis only 18 cwt 2,016 lb (914 kg)
  • Weymann saloon 26 cwt, 2,912 lb (1,321 kg)[2]
Rover 2-litre
Configurationstraight-six pushrod ohv[2]
  • 2,023 cc (123.5 cu in)[2]
Cylinder bore
  • 65 mm (2.6 in)[2]
Piston stroke
  • 101.6 mm (4.0 in)[2]
Block materialcast iron[2]
Head materialcast iron detachable[2]
Valvetrainoverhead valves, pushrods, single springs, camshaft in crankcase[1] silent chain drive[2]
Fuel systemtwin carburettors, vacuum feed, 12-gallon tank at back[1]
Managementdistributor driven from camshaft[2]
Fuel typepetrol
Oil systemthere is pressure lubrication to every engine bearing. clutch and gearbox share oil with engine[1]
Cooling systemhoneycomb radiator in a shell with stone-guard, fan and water impeller driven from crankshaft, thermostat[2]
Power output
  • 60 bhp (45 kW; 61 PS) @3,600 rpm
  • Tax horsepower 15.7
SuccessorRover Meteor

The Rover Two-litre was a mid-size luxury open tourer, saloon or limousine produced from 1927 by the Rover Company of Coventry and available through to 1932. As usual the chassis was also available to coach builders.

The 16hp Two-litre was supplemented by then later replaced by the much more expensive better equipped 2-litre Rover Meteor 16 announced in February 1930.


Announced in September 1927[6] the Rover Two-litre was one of the Rover cars manufactured when Spencer and Maurice Wilks, who joined Rover's team in 1929 and 1930, introduced new management practices and engineering techniques to Rover.


The Two-litre was powered by a watercooled 2 L straight-6 OHV engine with an output of 45 bhp at 3600 rpm designed by Peter Poppe, which allowed a maximum speed of 60 mph (97 km/h). The bore of 65 mm put the engine into the 16 hp taxation class.[2] Poppe's new engine became the basis for all but one of the Rover engines until the new design introduced with Rover's P3 in 1948.[7]

The car was supplied with a three-speed gearbox controlled by a lever in the centre of the car. The lever was flexible, operated in a gate and had a stop to avoid engaging reverse.[2]

The engine clutch and gearbox assembly is mounted and supported at three points, the single one in front, the rear pair by horizontally U-shaped leaf spring attachments.[8]

Brakes suspension steering[edit]

The suspension was conventional for the time with half elliptic leaf springs all round mounted above the axles.[8] The pedal brakes work shoes in enclosed drums on all four wheels by rods but the handbrake uses those on the back wheels and operates them by chain. There are shock absorbers fore and aft.[2]


As with its predecessors standard bodies were very light weight rattle free fabric bodywork built by Rover under licence from Weymann. The standard 2/3-seater or 5-seater open tourer 2-litre was introduced at a price of £410. A short wheelbase two-door "Sportsman's Saloon" version became available during the last two years of production for £335. All cars became available with a 4-speed gearbox as an optional extra for £7, it was a standard fitting to the limousine.

The clutch pedal is adjustable for travel and the front seat can be adjusted over a range of six inches using wing nuts in the cushion.[2]

The short-wheelbase narrow track sportsman's saloon variant of this Two-litre car, the Rover Light Six won attention when it was the first successful participant in the Blue Train Races, a series of record-breaking attempts between automobiles and trains in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It saw a number of motorists and their own or sponsored automobiles race against the Le Train Bleu, a train that ran between Calais and the French Riviera.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Motor-Cars For 1928". The Times (44678). 5 September 1927. p. 7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Cars Of To-Day". The Times (44780). 3 January 1928. p. 17.
  3. ^ Baldwin, N. (1994). A-Z of Cars of the 1920s. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-53-2.
  4. ^ "Rover Cars". The Times (45423). 29 January 1930. p. 19.
  5. ^ a b Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.
  6. ^ "Motor-Cars For 1928". The Times (44678). 5 September 1927. p. 7.
  7. ^ Hough and Frostick (1966). Rover Memories. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  8. ^ a b "The Motor Show". The Times (44715). 18 October 1927. p. 10.

External links[edit]