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Classic AutoRAI 99: pre-war cars:

Rover, Spijker & Vauxhall

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Rover_14_1936.jpg (48681 bytes)Rover is a British car manufacturer with a rich heritage, dating as far back as 1885. The first Rover car was produced in 1904 and Rovers soon acquired the name of being reliable middle class cars.
Spencer Wilks reorganized the very diverse Rover model range in 1933, bringing it down a limited number of high-quality models. One of these models was the 14, introduced in 1934 as an upmarket offer to the basic 10. It was handsome and elegant and rather successful. Power came from a 1577 cc straight 6 unit, developing 48 hp @ 4600 rpm and giving the car a top speed of about 120 kph.
Even today the design of this convertible looks appealing and its curvy lines are enhanced by the cream and black color scheme.

Spijker_20-28hp_1907_front.jpg (59784 bytes)Although a wide variety of entrepreneurs tried to establish themselves as a car manufacturer in the Netherlands, only two marques really succeeded. In the pre-war era Spijker (or Spyker in international spelling) was the most famous Dutch car builder. In the post-war era DAF was of course the most important car manufacturer in the Netherlands.
Those two marques catered to completely opposite segments of the market. Spijker built cars for the top-end luxury car market and DAF aimed at the entry-level small car market. But the two makes shared their interest in innovative technical designs.

Spijker_20-28hp_1907_side.jpg (47687 bytes)The Spijker 14/18 HP of 1904 is probably one of the best known Spijkers nowadays. It featured in several movies among which "Généviève" is probably the most popular. The shown 20/28 HP looks quite similar but is more modern. It has a bigger 4 cylinder in-line engine that develops 28 hp and a set of electric lights instead of one gas light up front.
From 1900 up to 1927 Spijker produced over 3000 cars, but few of them still remain. This tonneau-bodied car was one of the high points of the 1999 Classic AutoRAI as far as I am concerned. It's a wonderfully restored, great looking rare car.

Vauxhall_Sedanca_23-60_1917.jpg (46201 bytes)Yet another member of the General Motors clan: Vauxhall. This old British marque from Luton was acquired by GM in 1926 after it had some financial problems.
Nowadays Vauxhall makes almost identical cars to the German Opel products, but before the GM take-over it was renown for its big, stately cars. It produced luxury cars in small numbers which were also successful in trials and races in the hands of those typical English gentleman racers.
This 23-60 model has a classic "Sedanca" landaulet-brougham style bodywork by top-notch coachbuilder Mulliner. It's powered by a big 4 cylinder in-line side-valve engine that produces 60 hp.

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