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Rover V8 Engine: 50th Birthday

22nd Aug 2017

Internal combustion engines come in all shapes and sizes and some are more successful than others.  Arguably one of the UK’s most famous and long-lived engines - the much celebrated Rover V8 - was in fact born in the USA.

The already successful but redundant compact or “small block” Buick 215 engine came to the British manufacturer’s attention in 1961.  However, it was not until 1967 that it made its debut in the up market Rover 3 ½ Litre saloon and coupé.  Shortly after it was fitted to the 3500 and last saw action with Rover in the SD1 production of which ended in 1986.

Other desirable cars to use the venerable unit include the MGB GT V8, Range Rover, Morgan Plus 8 and Triumph TR8.   Over the years its displacement grew from 3.5 to 5 litres giving some 340 bhp in TVR’s Chimaera and Griffith lightweight sports offering blistering performance.

Although long out of production the Rover V8 continues to enjoy a loyal fan base and, as a result, a healthy supply of spare parts to keep them revving for many years to come.