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Rover V8 - The Story of the Engine

Rover V8 - the Story of the Engine tells the fascinating story of the engine that created a legend in its own lifetime. Starting life as a General Motors design in 1961, but withdrawn three years later in favour of cheaper technology, it reached Rover by chance in the mid-1960s. Few other British companies then had V8 engines in production, and Rover immediately gained a special status when the V8 entered UK production during 1967.This was an extraordinarily compact design and also extraordinarily light, thanks to its all-aluminium alloy construction. It was not a temperamental high-performance engine, but had a well-proven and simple architecture that made it both reliable and easy to work on. Small wonder, then, that the Rover V8 was bought by sports car makers who needed a light, compact and powerful engine. Small wonder that Rover kept it in production for so long, developing multiple different sizes and versions. Small wonder that the engine is still revered by Rover and Land Rover enthusiasts today, or that its popularity as an aftermarket conversion has ensured that it remains in small-volume production, half a century after entering production in the UK.
Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Origins and GM versions of the engine 2 Purchase of design and manufacturing rights by Rover; preparing the engine for UK production; development 3 Production 3.5 engines, 1968-1976 4 Production 3.5 engines, 1976-1989 5 3.9 and 4.2 engines, 1989-1995 6 4.0 and 4.6 engines, 1996-2004 7 Afterlife in small-volume productionAppx A V8 engine identification numbers

About the Author

After graduating from Oxford and pursuing further academic studies at Reading, James Taylor spent 12 years working in central government. However, the lure of writing about cars - which he was doing in his spare time - proved too great and he decided to turn it into a career.James has now written well over 100 books in all, and among them have been several definitive one-make or one-model titles. He has also written for enthusiast magazines in several countries, has translated books from foreign languages, and even delivers effective writing training in both the public and private sectors. He spent the best part of ten years as the editor of Land Rover Enthusiast magazine and has always counted the products of the old Rover Company and of Land Rover as his favourite subject.As well as writing, he also co-organised the "15 Years of Rover V8" event at Donington in 1982.James lives in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, England.


Think of the Rover V8, and chances are it will be images of P5s, P6s and early Range Rovers that come to mind. delve beyond the obvious, however, and you are soon reminded how widely used this engine was: 101 Forward Control, SD1, Morgan Plus 8 and TVR Chimaera all found space under the bonnet, and is this latest offering Jame Taylor examines its history and evolution. Written with his usual authority and illustrated with a wealth of images, it covers all aspects from its GM roots in the 1950s to cessation of production in 2004. There's plenty of technical information, and few stones are left unturned - even the MG Metro 6R4 makes an appearance, having been developed with a 'cut-and-shut' V6 created from the Rover V8. - Classic and Sports Car. The full GM and Rover development history of the famous engine and all the cars that used it. Vital stuff. - Classic Cars. This book tells the story of the Rover V8 engine - its origins as a General Motors design in the 1950s and its development by Rover and Land Rover from 1967 to 2004. Packed with data plus wonderful and detailed period images as well as insight from those who worked on its design and development, it is a page-turner of a book. It is the sheer versatility and adaptability of the design that boggles the mind. Well written, well researched and informative as well as entertaining, this book is highly recommended. - Triumph World. This book tells the story of the Rover V8 engine, its origins as a General Motors design in the 1950s and its development by Rover and subsequently, Land Rover, between 1967 and 2004, focusing on production versions. Of all the Classic Land Rover Magazine team, I am probably least qualified to talk about anything technical. I am most certainly not an anorak-wearing engine aficionado. Despite that, I actually rather enjoyed it- I now know more than O did, it is well-written and has great pictures. As to whether it is any good or not? Well, it is written by James Taylor, Oxford Graduate, car boffin, and back in 1982, organiser of the 15 Years of the Rover V8 event at Donington. Suffice to say he knows a thing or two about engines, has written many a book, was the editor for a decade, of Land Rover Enthusiast Magazine. Specific to this books credibility, he has included information supplied by those who worked on the V8s design and development. Highly detailed; a definitive work.- Classic Land Rover. Like so many other motoring anniversaries this year, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of introduction of the Rover V8. As is well known, then engine has General Motors origins and its story begins with Rover MD William Martin-Husts visit to America to expand the company's market and seek a possible big-engined alternative for the new Rover 2000. The development of the Rover V8 engine over its almost 40-year life is covered in detail in this book by the author who himself owned no less that ten cars with the unit. This book by James Taylor forms a comprehensive survey of the production versions of what Engine Technology International magazine rated, in 2005, as the greatest engine of all time.- Speedscene. It isn't often that the statistics, and the relentless listing of all the derivatives which came along, can turn a worthy book into a fascinating saga, but James Taylor's magisterial study of Rover's legendary V8 engine sets a great example. This, though, it not merely a 'how to' maintenance manual of a great and versatile power unit, but as its forty-years unfolds, this is at once a chronicle, a detective story, and a tribute to a series of brave and inventive minds. James Taylor, who has been an expert on this power unit throughout its life, has provided a perfect study of a machine which had been conceived by GM, had been abandoned by them at an early stage, and after purchase by Rove had become the light, compact, powerful, and versatile engine which went on to enjoy an amazingly diverse range of duties. Magnificently illustrated, thoughtfully packages, and with the engine itself affectionately chronicled, it sets a standard which makes one wonder id any other of the world's famous power units could be so well documented. We doubt that very much. - Graham Robson. Historian James Taylor has been writing about Land Rovers even longer that I have. And he has probably forgotten more about the Rover V8 engine that I'll ever know. He is a veritable mine of information, but unlike many historians he writes about his subject in a lively and engaging way that will get you eagerly turning every page to find out more. The V8 petrol engine is the most famous ever to be squeezed under the bonnet of a Land Rover, but there is much more to it that that, as this book explains. The same engine was the mainstay to many iconic British vehicles beyond Solihull's gates, from MGB to Morgan, TVR to Freight Rover. Its longevity was remarkable, in production in the UK from the late 1960s through to 2004, yet its origins date back even further, to post-war America. There are some fascinating characters involved in the genesis of this engine, and James succeeds in bringing them to life in the pages of this brilliant book, which I have no hesitation in recommending. - Land Rover Monthly. This is a full history of the Rover V8, describing its origins in the USA detailed with fabulous pictures of GM compact cars from 1960-on using the engine, along with specification of the GM215 engine and marque usage with numbers manufactured. This is followed but the fascinating story of how the GM V8 became Rover's V8. Though the story is well known, the story expands the story considerably and even shows how David Bache's design department was involved. From an SD1 enthusiast point of view, the book describes the development of the Rover V8 for the launch of the "New Rover 3500" in 1976, and the ongoing development for emission control leading to feel injection, followed by the high-performance derivative first used in the Vitesse. There are plenty of under-bonnet pictures of the V8, including one of a very unusual variant never making production. The book is, as always, well researched and written by James and includes many pictures and stories not published anywhere else. The book includes very interesting discussions and photographs of "what if" derivatives of the engine, from the Iceberg diesel version of the engine, to a reduced-capacity V8 and V6 derivatives. - Rover. The book opens with the genesis of the motor as the General Motors 215 V8, which was used in various Buick, Olds, and Pontiac models in the early 1960s. It then runs through the adaptation of the mote by Rover, which was hoping to crack the US market with its saloons and Land Rovers. One of the great aspects of this 144-page book is that author Taylor makes good use of the personal reminiscences of people who were involved throughout the development and use of the motors, and he quotes road test, etc, to show how the motor was regarded by the press over the years. There are plenty of photos, and the book ends with six pages of identifying details for all the variations of the engine. A fascinating story, even for non-technical folks like me. - New Zealand Classic Car. Here's a new book detailing an iconic engine and one that has powered thousands of kit cars. A legend in its own lifetime. Starting life as an Oldsmobile design in 1961 and the Rover V8 arrives in production in 1967. This lovely book tells the story of the Rover V8, its origins, its development and its life in production between 1967-2004. No other book on the subject has covered it in such details. A superb effort. - TKC. With impressive visuals and in-depth analysis, James Taylor delves into everyone's favourite V8, first used by Rover in 1967. The Story of the Engine is essential reading for anyone into these powerful, compact and light engines. - Practical Classics.

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