1904 - 1914 Early Success
After John Kemp Starley developed his first “Bi-Cycle” 1884 named “Rover” which became quite successful, he founded the „Rover Cycle Company“ 1886, after he had gathered experience and practice at his father’s “Ariel Cycles” company.
Unfortunately John died suddenly 1901 at the age of only 46, his successors continued developing the Bicycles and even Tricycles(Rover Safety Bike). For a few years between 1902 und 1905 “Rover Cycles” even built Motorbikes, first the 2,5 HP - later a 3,5 HP “Imperial”. Concentrating on the new Motor Car production and developing the Saftey Bike, Motorbikes were ceased by 1906, but 1910 continued with new and better models. After more or less successful years, Rover finally stopped building motorbikes 1923, until then they had built about 10.000 bikes at all.
Already 1904 the first Rover Car was launched - the HP8 of which 1500 were sold, on par with Austin, Morris and Singer.
Early success in Sports and Marketing, winning the Tourist Trophy 1907 and being victorious later, at the spectacular racing competition between an Express Train and a car across France in 1930, were milestones.
Then the more economical built 6HP, the 10/12 model with 4 cylinder engine and the more successful 16/20. The 6HP Dogcart had the same 6HP engine and a box at the rear end in which there was place for two Hunting Dogs, but if the driver had roped them in front of the cart, the vehicle might had been a bit faster.
1911, the legendary redesign of the 10/12 by Owen Clegg was launched, it became a great success, the last one of the series with the altered signification “Rover 14” was built until 1924.