To their credit while Rover must have realised the cost of producing a gas turbine powered motor car for the masses was prohibitive because of the cost of the exotic materials required and because of the high fuel consumption they continued experimenting with the technology until 1966.
Today’s featured 1961 T4 prototype was their final attempt at making a gas turbine vehicle for production to replace the Rover P4 models that had been in production since 1949.
For this application Rover engineers had their gas turbine producing 140hp enough to power the T4 from rest to 60 mph in 8 seconds, about the same as would be achieved 7 years later with the 155 hp aluminium Rover V8.
Designers Spencer King and Gordon Bashford carried a number of ideas over from the Rover T3 I looked at last week including all wheel disc brakes and de Dion rear suspension.
Even though the fuel consumption was improved from 13 mpg on the T3 to 20 mpg on the T4 the notion of a gas turbine powered car was eventually put to rest with the T4 and the nose was redesigned to accept a variety of petrol engines for the P6 series Rover 2000’s launched in 1963 and later Rover 3500’s launched in 1969.
Thanks for joining me on this “T4 Turbine” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another rallying Triumph. Don’t forget to come back now !
The most striking thing about this car is the quality of the workmanship, it was very hard to take my eyes off it. This car appears to be for sale, usual ‘Caveat Emptor’ disclaimers apply.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Last Noble Kit’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Bristol Special. Don’t forget to come back now !
Continuing to clear some of the motor racing stuff I have collected over the years today’s post features a couple of MotorSport covers that are currently on line on my “lightpress” e-bay account.
First up from April 1966 the staff at MotorSport believed that the idea of an apparently arbitrary 3 liter / 183 cui limit on the size of forth coming GT regulations was not either in the interest of the sport, or the British motor industry who’s GT cars from Jaguar and Aston Martin with motors over the new limit would be rendered obsolete despite not being particularly quicker than their competition with smaller motors. The photo shows the start of the 1963 Goodwood Tourist Trophy race featuring four Ferrari 250 GTO’s, 2 Aston Martins and 2 E-type Jaguars which was won by Graham Hill in the #11 250 GTO.
The Rover P4 range of vehicles was introduced in 1949 to replace the interim out dated P3 vehicles which had been rushed into production in 1948 as the Rover company sort to rebuild itself as a vehicle manufacturer having spent the years during World War 2 manufacturing aircraft.
Drawing inspiration from the 3rd generation Raymond Loewy designed Studebaker Champion launched in 1946, at the request of the Wilkes brothers who owned Rover, Gordon Bashford was responsible for what was known in the factory as the P4. The original P4’s came fitted with a central spot lamp mounted in the grill, but this feature was dropped early in production which eased the difficulties keeping the engine cool.
The P4 was continually being upgraded and from 1954 a distinct MkII version was available that was then restyled again into the form shown in these photo’s in 1957, a Mk 2.2 if you will.
Because of material shortages immediately after WW2 these vehicles incorporated a high percentage of aluminium content and were to be seen in competitions of the day including the 1955 Mille Miglia in which Lando Barsotti brought his #347 Rover 75 P4 home in 271st place. The 75 seen here was powered by a 2.2 litre /136 cui 6 cylinder motor featuring the same overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valve design as had been a feature of the earlier P3.
The final MK II P4’s were produced in 1959 with 9,974 Mk II’s produced over it’s five year production run.
I spotted this particular vehicle at the back of the Atwell – Wilson Motor Museum. I am not sure what they planned to do with it, good working examples of the type tend not to fetch more than £ 2000 so the cost of restoration would appear to be a little prohibitive.
Thanks for joining me on this Awaiting TLC edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
In keeping with a vaguely 60’s engine behind the driver theme week for Ferrari Friday I take great pleasure in showing you, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful vehicle on the planet bar none a Ferrari P4 which I snapped at the British GP meeting in 1981.
The P4 won the war but lost it’s most important battle against the monstrous onslaught of the Ford GT40 in the 1967 World Sports Car Championship it won the championship but only on a count back of second place finishes. Most importantly the Ferrari could only manage second to the Foyt / Gurney GT40 MK IV at the most prestigious race of the season the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The P4 was powered by a 450 hp fuel injected 4,000 cc 244 cui 60 degree V12 using 3 valve per cylinder heads operated by twin overhead cams.
Thanks to ‘Macca’ at The Nostalgia Forum I believe this is chassis #0900 one of up to four continuation P4s built by David Piper using original drawings for the chassis and a collection of spare parts. As such it has no world championship race history.
Anyone notice the similarity between the rear end of this P4 and and the Fiat 850 Idromatic I started the week off with ?
Thanks for joining me for another Ferrari Friday, hope you have enjoyed today’s continuity edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ tomorrow we will be headed to P’ville NJ for an insight into the heyday of short track racing with my Rowdy buddy Ray Miles. Don’t forget to come back now !