[ROVERNET - UK] 1951 Rover P4 Cyclops

S Manwell s_manwell at alum.swarthmore.edu
Tue Jul 11 04:10:16 BST 2006


One feature of the freewheel is quite "memorable" to me...

I found myself headed down a long hill in the 1953 P4 75 that I had over 
20 years ago with freewheel engaged and a stop sign and crossroad at the 
bottom of the hill.  The drum brakes had faded by the bottom of hill and 
it was fortunate that the road I was on merged into the road at the 
bottom (rather than meeting at right angles) and that there wasn't much 
traffic around.

The moral of the story is that the same feature that lets the car coast 
downhill with the engine at idle also gives no engine braking on a steep 
downhill.  In the wrong circumstances its dangerous, but the clutchless 
up shifts are fun and its economical and quieter to let the engine rev's 
die down to idle on a long drive with gentle downhill stretches along 
the way. 

Similarly, its not a good idea to leave a Rover parked in freewheel with 
its nose aimed downhill -- my father has a story related to this.

There are only one or two restored Cyclops' (what's the plural?) in 
North America, but its hard to say what the restored value would be.  
There are probably at least another five to ten un-restored Cyclops in 
North America including a pretty complete parts car in Maine.  New parts 
are readily available from England and there are a few collections of 
used early P4 parts on this side of the Atlantic too.  I have some mid 
'50's parts and some are useable on early '50's cars. 

James Taylor's book "Classic Rovers 1945 - 1986" says that 2,542 LHD 
export P4's were made in 1951 and does not show separate export numbers 
for 1950.  I don't know what proportion would have come to the US 
market; maybe one of the P4 books has more specific info.


Steve Smith wrote:

>    Hello my name is Steve and I just purchased a 1951 Rover 75 Cyclops.  I am looking for information on this vehicle, such as the shift pattern, availability of parts, how many were imported into the US, what is the estimated value in US dollars.  I would like to know in the interst of restoration.  The car is 98% complete but needs painted and the interior re-done.  I am missing hood chrome and window chrome.  I would also like to know how the free wheel works?  I am located in cental Pennsylvania.
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