News : Rover Tomcat record-breaking run to be re-enacted

The Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club and Rover Coupe Owners Club are teaming up to  commemorate a historic event that took place 30 years ago at Millbrook.

You could be part of the event, which takes place at the original venue on 28 August – read on to find out more.

The Tomcats out on the Millbrook bowl

The Rover 200 Coupe was launched in 1992, designed as a unique derivative of the highly successful Rover 200/400 Series range. To establish the car’s credentials as a potent and reliable high-performance Coupe (codenamed Tomcat), a group of Rover employees working on the about-to-be-launched model established ‘The Tomcat Affair’ team. Their activities centred on the building of two special cars to break as many official UK Land Speed Records as possible, using the high-speed circuit at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. The group also provided all the necessary support services. All this effort resulted in 37 records being broken in 1992.

The Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club and the Rover Coupe Owners Club are joining forces and planning a unique celebration of the achievement on Sunday, 28 August 2022, 30 years to the day after the first record-breaking attempt. The clubs have teamed up with UTAC, the owners of the Millbrook Proving Ground, to recreate aspects of the original event, including an opportunity to drive on the same banked, high-speed circuit, this time at closer to UK motorway speeds, not at the 156mph originally achieved!

Back on 28-29 August 1992, the first record-breaking run was curtailed due to driveshaft problems, so it was re-run on 26-27 September. This second run was hindered by fog during the night but, between the two runs, 37 UK Land Speed Records were broken, 36 of which still stand today. Around 200 employees were involved including Drivers, Engineers, Technicians, Logistics Experts and the Longbridge plant fire crew.

Owners of original, or near-original, road-going Rover 200 Coupes are invited to complete an application form for this exclusive event.  Priority will be given to full members of the Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club and Rover Coupe Owners Club. Participants in the 1992 Tomcat Affair project will be in attendance on the day too and this is being arranged in conjunction with the Austin Rover/Rover Group alumni page on LinkedIn.

A 15-minute video of the 1992 event is available on the Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club’s YouTube channel. The Rover 200 & 400 Owners Club and the Rover Coupe Owners Club wish to express their gratitude to UTAC for allowing access to the proving ground, making this celebration possible.

The record-breaking cast and crew

4 Comments

  1. I had nothing to do with it but I recall some lads from the flight shed phase 2 engine performance test beds being involved (amongst many others areas I’m sure) seems like yesterday.

  2. great cars and the most under rated and under valued classic on the market,whats not to like, T series engine 200bhp torson diff,150mph 0-62 in 6.4 seconds and 30+ to the gallon and the japanese spec got all the toys,AC leather

  3. I remember the 220i version being used by the Ian Taylor School of Performance Driving at Thruxton in the mid 1990s to train people in motorsport driving. It was a great car to drive and the instructor told me off for changing up to a higher cog too early on. I recall changes between 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th needed to be done at around 4,00RPM. When driven ‘properly’ it was plenty fast and I seriously questioned why anyone needed the extra poke of the Turbo version.

    Sadly I don’t see many 200 coupes on the road these days, while the majority of those that I do see, even at events, have sadly been modified or neglected. I wonder how many of the original K401 – K410 AHP press demo cars are still around as it would be nice to see those attending this event too?

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