The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

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traineefarmer
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The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by traineefarmer » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:57 pm

It's pretty much "fact" that the coupe was Rover Group's great folly of its golden years during the '90s. Developed at some expense more or less solely for the US market which moments before its launch was lost forever.

Having been the owner of one for nearly 2 years now a notion always niggled at me...

Was there to be a convertible version?

So much of the necessary engineering seems to have already been done. Why else go to the trouble of those frameless windows on the doors with all the changes to body engineering and sealing systems?

Why else would all the extra strength be put into the modified inner sills and troublesome non structural outer sills which may actually be structural, but nobody seems to know?

The boot which is so large you cannot reach the front of it without getting inside, but which would accomodate a folded hood with ease.

The cross bracing behind the rear seats, which does not feature on the saloon.

The huge C(D?) pillar which would mirror the profile of a cloth hood when closed.

Would such a car have been a success without the US market? The Coupe was a surprisingly decent seller, although I doubt it covered its development costs. The R8 Tracer had a good following.

What do you all think?
Tom.

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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by deano » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:08 pm

As far as I know the boot in the same size, give or take, in the saloon and fastback models too
and the bracing behind the seats is left over from mk1s (and maybe even early mk2 saloons cant be sure though)

Most classic coupe comes with pillarless doors . proper coupes, not just ordinary 2 door motors
My fav one, which I one day hope to buy, is the BMW 635 from the 80`s
also the Jaguar XJC too

The thing that gets me with the coupe is they always rave on about it being 90 per cent hand finished.....
I dunno if that's a good thing or not to be honest :?
1993 Rover 827 SLI Fastback Mk2
1999 Rover 825 Sterling Saloon Mk2 (HGF)
------------------
Previously
1996 Rover 825 Sterling Coupe Mk2
1993 Rover 827 Sterling Saloon Mk2
1990 Rover 827 Sterling Saloon Mk1
1972 Rover P6 2000TC

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traineefarmer
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by traineefarmer » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:12 pm

I'm not familiar with the Mk1s, but I seem to remember my old mk2 saloon having drop down rear seats, so that's what I was thinking of.
Tom.

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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by deano » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:18 pm

but was it pre 96 ?

I remember looking the keys in the boot once, the AA man got the drivers door open but the boot wouldn't release and the back seats didn't fold down either :(
maybe that was my first sterling, mk 1 saloon
1993 Rover 827 SLI Fastback Mk2
1999 Rover 825 Sterling Saloon Mk2 (HGF)
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Previously
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1993 Rover 827 Sterling Saloon Mk2
1990 Rover 827 Sterling Saloon Mk1
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by Richard Moss » Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:45 am

All mk1s have fixed rear seats but all saloon and fastback mk2s fold
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by mjc9967 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:20 pm

I know for a fact Mk1c f/backs fold but do not split (mine does).

Didn't you have that BRG Mk1 f/back, Rich - the one whose lattice wheels I bought from you? I thought possibly it was Mk1 SALOON rear seats that do not fold?

Are we talking about folding or splitting?
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by SJG » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:33 pm

The mk1 saloon cars did not have folding seats, the fast backs do.
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by SJG » Sun Nov 08, 2015 8:35 pm

Tom, I think Chris cut the roof off a coupe that he broke to see what it looked like
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traineefarmer
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by traineefarmer » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:38 pm

Any pics on here?
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by midnite » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:07 pm

they did, here it isImage

what they should have productionised is this instead, this looks the business, looks like the british answer to the buick grand nationalImage
fleet now includes
89 827 sterling auto saloon grey dead and gone
90 827 sli auto saloon pulsar silver
91 820 i special edition flaming hell red
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by scoobyh123 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:46 pm

As Deano has put, Rover did have convertible protoypes, many of them based on the Mk1 (XX) although easily transferred to the Mk2. The Datsun Skyline coupes i had in the past were pillarless and had frameless doors, when you wound all 4 electrically operated windows down it was the next best thing to a convertible and i'm reliably informed the Honda Legend coupe has electrically operated rear windows so in theory it should be possible to convert an 800 coupe to electrically operated rear windows as well, but you still have the pillar.

Failing that, it would be very easy i would think to fit vent type opening rear windows, perhaps electrically operated. The side windows bolt on in the same manner as the 6th lights on the fastback models so if a frame was made with a hinge built in to the front edge and a catch/latch at the rear end then i can't see why it couldn't be done.

As for a full blown convertible conversion, why not give it a go? You'd need a dead coupe to practice/develop the idea on but i reckon it should be possible.

Oh yeah, the Mk1 Sterling didn't have folding rear seats but they were electrically operated to recline. In practice they didn't recline that much but i seem to recall there was a ski-hatch in the middle as well - might be wrong though.
The Mk2 gained the split fold rear seats for initially the high end saloons then later all saloons had it as well as the fastbacks. It's amazing how much you can transport with those back seats folded or even removed.
Cheers,
Dave


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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by tonewheeldude » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:03 pm

Having owned a convertible car some years ago I have always missed the ability to roll back the roof - particularly on a summers evening. As a result I have often wondered what a coupe would be like as a convertible, but i have come to the conclusion it would not work. Removing the roof would destroy the look of the car in my opinion - aesthetically it is a complete package as is. However a smoked glass Targa top might have looked good. The original roof line would remain and the pillar-less doors would come into their own.
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by scoobyh123 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:37 pm

Easiest way to visualise it is to look at the 89-95 200 coupé and convertible. The coupé has a Targa top variant and the convertible is actually based on the 3-door hatch 200 oddly as the coupé would have a stiffer bodyshell.
Cheers,
Dave


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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by Charles827si » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:24 am

The 1988-95 Mercedes-Benz 300CE/E320 would have been one of few (if not the only) direct European competitors to an 800 convertible.
Image
I prefer the 1989-2001 Benz SL personally for styling, having known a few in the mid 90's. If Rover had made a convertible version (like Jaguar were planning with the X300) the hood in the closed position could have set the car off elegantly like the 2000 Rolls Corniche convertible. 8)
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Re: The coupe. Did Rover have future plans?

Post by CHR15E » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:36 am

SJG wrote:Tom, I think Chris cut the roof off a coupe that he broke to see what it looked like
Never saw this first time round.

It was an after thought as I was cutting the rear glass out. No real time or effort was put it into it as it was being scrapped that afternoon and I needed to get gone.

Image

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