12 March 2013

March Update - Rover 3500s

Whilst there is always an element of speculation as to the whereabouts of old racing cars, one thing is for sure, what we have here is an original Series 1, Group 1, Rover SD1.  Furthermore the more we dig the more it looks like the Lovett car.  So, if we are correct then what about the others?

A bit more info and speculation for you.

DPR produced the original works group 1 cars for Jeff Allam and Rex Greenslade (Triplex).  By the Silverstone round on 08 June that year, Brian Muir had joined the fun in a Patrick Motor Sport car (http://touringcarracing.net/Races/1980Silverstone.html).  DPR also produced the only Group 2 Rover SD1 and that is still around playing in the CTCRC(?)

For the start of 1981 there were four Rovers.  Two DPR/TWR works cars (Daily Express) and two PMS cars.  Although at the final Silverstone round Rad Dougall was drafted into a third PMS Rover in an attempt to wrest the class from Jeff Allam.  This was not to be.  Rad qualified his car on pole but finished third, Rex G had a big accident, (I think it was at Woodcote) and Brian Muir retired with transmission problems.  So Allam first and Lovett second in the Works Rovers (now run by TWR) that triumphed.

Moving to 1982 there were two TWR run cars for Allam and Sytner, Two PMS cars for Muir and Dougall and, interestingly a Rover 3500s run by Dennis Leech.  On a side note there were more than thirty entries for that race.  So at the start of 1982 there are five Group 1 Rovers. Come to the 5th round at Thruxton and we have four Rovers.  PMS with Dougall, Leech and the two TWR Sanyo works cars for Allam and Lovett (who had taken over from Sytner).

Silverstone 1982 round six sees the return of Muir and there are five Rovers on the grid. But back to four (Allam, Lovett, Leech and Dougall) by the next round where it generally stayed with Muir, Allam, Lovett and Leech).

So, a couple of questions arise.  Did Dennis purchase the ex Greenslade PMS chassis or did he get his car from another source?  Was the Greenslade car so badly damaged it couldn't be straightened?  The PMS car recently sold by Bonhams claims to be the 1981 car which (the brochure claimed) only entered one race and then went to the museum.

Race info courtesy http://touringcarracing.net/index.html

Food for thought.  In the meantime here are some pictures of the new roll cage in our car.  As I said earlier, we had to change the existing cage to meet the current MSA regs but we have wherever possible stayed with the original mounting points..

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