[ROVERNET - UK] 1951 Rover P4 Cyclops
Hank and Sally Manwell
hdmanwell at alumni.bates.edu
Tue Jul 11 15:08:19 BST 2006
Yes, the freewheel has some scary features - and an added one for absent
minded people (like me). I remember seeing a brand new SAAB w/freewheel
that had been out on a test drive from the dealer in Salida, Colorado. It
was driven to the top of Monarch Pass, 11,000 or so feet, and parked at the
observation center - and left in gear. As soon as the driver walked away
from it, it rolled off the edge and found a tree a few hundred feet down the
mountain and hit dead center condensing the grill into the dashboard.
With that memory I was never willing to use the freewheel either in my SAAB
or the various Freewheeling Rovers we had. I ran down the street as fast as
I could once to catch my Father's Rover 90 after my wife left it only in
gear at the curb in front of the house.
We do have a lot of P4 parts around here in Central New York including doors
with trim (same as cyclops, I think) and hoods (which I think are somewhat
different in the front than 1952 and later cars.
And we've got a solid 1960 100 project car that's up for grabs.
----- Original Message -----
From: "S Manwell" <s_manwell at alum.swarthmore.edu>
To: "Steve Smith" <ltsmiths at peoplepc.com>; <rovernet at lyris.ccdata.com>
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 11:10 PM
Subject: Re: [ROVERNET - UK] 1951 Rover P4 Cyclops
> 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
> 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.
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