Rover began car production in 1908, and did so with robust, middle-class vehicles that soon won it many friend. This image continued after WW2 thanks to models such as the P4 and P5, which earned the marque its ‘Auntie’ nickname. In 1963, the company went radical with the P6, which was expanded with a V8 in 1968 – the same year the firm became a part of British Leyland.
In 1976, the revolutionary theme continued with the SD1, but quality suffered and the company went into decline. Fortunes lifted by a series of Honda co-developed cars, such as the 200- and 800-Series cars, but it was not to be a permanent state of affairs. Rover (which now encompassed all of the old British Leyland) was sold to British Aerospace in 1988, which then sold the concern to BMW in 1994. The loss-making firm was broken up in 2000, with MG Rover struggling until 2005 before it went into administration. Survived today by Land Rover.