In AROnline’s recent article on the design of the Rover 75, Richard Woolley says, ‘There was only one design theme and, apart from some minor changes, it became the production 75’. Now, photos of this early design have come to light, so we can see how true that is.
These photos were inside boxes recovered from a lock-up garage in Leamington Spa, containing more than 130 VHS cassettes from Rover Group’s Sales and Marketing Department. They were all due to be binned when the department moved out of Ivy Cottage, on the Canley site in the late 1990s, but luckily, they weren’t.
They remained hidden for over 20 years before they were donated to the Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club, digitised and then posted on YouTube for all to see.
A brown envelope containing these photos was also in one of the boxes. The exterior shots show the full-size Design model in the viewing garden of the then-new Design Studio at Gaydon. It carries the early ‘RD1’ codename on the number plates but is remarkably similar to the production 75.
There are several detail differences between the two, but how many can you spot? The interior photos of one theme show more changes and display just how ‘Art Deco’ the 75 could have been.
The ‘Rover D’ codename was part of the planned model line-up covering the ‘A sector’ (Mini/Metro), ‘B/C Sector’ (200/400) and ‘D Sector’ (600/800).
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