1933 Rover 14 Speed Pilot Hastings Coupe

Extensive pre-war rally history including RAC, the Scottish and the Welsh; a very rare model; extensively and professionally restored in 2011; archive footage pre-war

This 1933 Rover Speed Pilot has had a fascinating and well-documented life. ALT 551 was purchased new by Miss E M Dobson who, according to the detailed notebook on file, used it extensively in Rallys and Tours abroad.

Her first was the 1934 Scottish Rally, followed by the JCC (Junior Car Club) Lynton trial in the same year. The car was active again in 1935, with entries in the WASA (London-Exeter), WASA Welsh Trial, the JCC Lynton Trail and another crack at the Welsh Rally.

1936 saw the car complete the RAC rally (more of which anon) and the Scottish Rally and then the following year the Scottish Rally was tackled again. She entered, then competed in the 1938 RAC and WASA London-Exeter events.

She obviously liked driving the car, as also listed are four seperate European driving tours, covering Switzerland, Austria, Belgium France and Holland several times and a run to Monte Carlo in 1938/9 by which time the car had already covered 65,700 miles! 

Miss Dobson was a keen amateur photographer and cinematographer and included in the paperwork is a DVD with films covering the 1934 Scottish Rally, the London - Exeter, Welsh, RAC and Scottish Rallies. There are also some fascinating films of their continental trips including skiing in Switzerland. These films are quite extensive and are completely captivating to watch.

Purely by chance, the vendor spotted an original 1936 RAC Rally Route Card (8pp) on ebay and when it arrived, it was for competitor number 170 - Miss E M Dobson no less, driving her Rover Speed Pilot 14 registration number ALT 551! She came 9th in class of out 36.  In the 1938 RAC she missed the Ladies prize by just 1 1/2 seconds.

With that piece of good fortune, the period cine film and detailed notebook - this car has more history than most and clearly led a very active life pre-war.

It was laid up from June 1941 until August 1946, the notebook running out of entries in around 1953.

A letter on file from The Rover Co Ltd dated September 1965 responding to an enquiry shows that by then it was in the hands of a Mr Purcell in Cannock who passed it to Mr Page of Gt Wyrley, Staffs in 1983. Photos on file would suggest a body-off rebuild during this period and a continuation logbook and old style logbook confirm these ownership changes. He was to keep it until 2007. The car comes with an original handbook.

Between 2009 and 2014, the car was given a thorough restoration by Vintage and Classic Restorations Ltd - The Anvil Garage in Nottinghamshire.

They stripped the bodywork, made repair sections to both wood and aluminium and repaired the steel wings. The sunroof was refurbished, new floorboards fabricated and the whole car professionally bare-metal painted in the correct and thoroughly researched two-tone colourway. 

The chassis had detail work to the brakes etc, the steering box was replaced and new front springs fitted and a fortune spent on fresh chrome. Meteor Spares reconditioned the steering wheel - the bill for this alone as £390. The carpets and headlining were replaced but the wonderful original leather of the seats was restored to the condition we see today. A brand new wiring loom was also installed, the radiator reconditioned and the carburettors overhauled.

A huge file of invoices accompany the car which detailed every element of the restoration, which has been done to an extremely high standard, its then owner deciding not to add up the bills!

It was then little used and was passed onto our vendor through one of our sales a couple of years ago. Fine tuning continued and the car runs very sweetly thanks to a recent tune up of the tripple SUs. Other work at this time included a full engine service, rebuilt front brake cylinders, rebushing of the ignition adjustment, replumb of the fuel system and removal and overhaul of the water pump. The bill for this work came to £3,850.

The end result is superb. The Hastings Coupe body is an extremely attractive design and the car sits on very smart black wire wheels with period-style triple-stud tyres. 

Such is the detail on file, that a European tour, tracing one of its Pre-War routes would be a good thing to plan for starters.

For more information - contact Matthew.parkin@brightwells.com

Reg No: ALT551
Chassis Number: 36165
Engine Number: MC9680B
Engine Size: 1500CC
Docs: V5C, Hand Book, Photographs, RAC Route Book, Correspondence, Invoices.

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £28,000-30,000

Lot 309

Lot ended

Thursday 23/06/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Not Sold

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