Rover 2000 TC

Anyone with about $4500 to spend for a car should at least test drive the Rover 2000 TC – no matter what type of car the thinks he wants. In our opinion the 2000 TC represents the very best in contemporary automotive design for the general marketplace. It is a car sparkling with well thought out innovations: in body design, in construction, in suspension and – to a lesser extent – in powerplant. Best of all, these innovations have been created to work together; so you don´t end up with a car that has all the roadholding capabilities of a slot car but the performance of a wind-up engine. Instead, the 2000 TC is a car that excels in every department from comfort, to handling, to general craftmanship, to high speed touring ability.

Its predecessor, the Rover 2000, was conceived in the late Fifties as a sort of dream assignment for a group of young and talented Rover engineers. After five years in the design stage, it was introduced in the fall of 1963 and was quickly hailed by the normally critical automotive press as a significant advance in the design of production cars. Now with the improved performance available with the 2000 TC (Twin Carburetor), Rover has come up with an automotive tour de force.

While the appearance of the 2000 TC is not startling, it is both pleasing and functional. The dual headlights, mounted in the grille, and fender-mounted front turn signals and parking lights provide ample road illumination. They are protected by a sturdy bumper which is properly placed to ward off damage from careless parkers. Eminently visible tail lights are also placed high enough to be out of harm´s way. The lines of the car are crisp and such that they do not restrict or interfere with visibility. It is also obvious that careful workmanship has gone into the construction of the car: the body panels all align perfectly and the finish would make even George Barris proud.

The ride is satin-smooth and absolutely free of harshness, pitch or roll. Below 80 mph the interior is silent save for the comforting, muffled drone of the 1987 cc engine and a noticeable – but not unpleasant – amount of road noise from Pirelli “Gold Stripe” Cinturato tires.

The front suspension is similar in geometry to a normal unequal length wishbone system, but the load forces are fed aft to the cowl structure rather than upward and inward to the suspension pillars. The advantage of such an arrangement is that normal inward flexing – inherent with suspension pillars – is eliminated by transmitting all pressure back to the rigid bulkhead/firewall. In addition, any tendency for the front end to dive under braking is curtailed by this arrangement. A unique “sliding tube” De Dion axle completely eliminates any camber change in the rear wheels, thereby enhancing roadholding even further. The Rover´s suspension was specifically designed to take advantage of the characteristics of radial ply tires, which, as mentioned earlier, are standard. The result is just about the best roadholding and comfort available in any passenger car.

If there is anything the original 2000 could be faulted on, it was its rather anemic acceleration. This has been rectified with the 2000 TC. The five main bearing, single overhead camshaft engine is still rough at idle. but what four-cylinder engine isn´t? Once underway it is capable of getting to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds and even at peak revs, it never sounds busy or out-of-breath. We made several extended trips at high speeds and found the engine to be willing and responsive throughout. The short throw, very positive four-speed transmission is another outstanding feature; although when the driver´s seat was properly adjusted for us, it was a long reach to find Third. Another minor annoyance is the position of the gas pedal. It is suspended from underneath the dash and our right foot often wished for a more stable arrangement.

Seated inside the car, both driver and passengers are teated to a feeling of security and reassurance; a feeling heightened by the 2000 TC´s completely predictable road behaviour. The seats are well shaped, firm and almost infinitely adjustable. The backs of the front seats are padded, which makes them safer and more comfortable for rear seat passengers. Shoulder harnesses are fitted as standard equipment and, once adjusted, they too are extremely comfortable. When you´re settled in with everything adjusted to your taste, you have a made-to-measure feeling that is quite unique.

The instrument panel is attractive and comprehensive. It´s composed of two modular units; one for dials, gauges and indicator lights, the other for switches, radio and heater controls. Incidentally, the heater is efficient and it doesn´t require a master´s degree in environmental engineering to get it properly adjusted.

The Rover 2000 series also boasts of a unit construction chassis. It is, just as the ads claim, a skeleton with a body over it, like a human being´s. The inner skeleton is a self-supporting, load-carrying structure that can be driven around without the body panels and still not lose anything in the way of rigidity or structural integrity. And when the body panels are bolted on they are not doing any work, so there is no flexing, no drumming, no fatiguing vibrations to annoy the driver. The Rover 2000 TC is a truly quiet car that stays quiet.

Recently the Automobile Association of Great Britain awarded its Gold Medal to the Rover Company “for the high degree of inherent safety incorporated in the design and construction of the 2000 car”. It was the first such medal to ever be awarded and we are wholeheartedly in favour of the choice and the recognition given this fine car.


Top speed 108 mph


0-60 mph 11.5 seconds



U.S.A. 1967