1947 Rover 16 sedan – Joe Micallef

I’m not one of those that are good at writing stories but since it has been three years since I joined the club, I will try to put few words together and hope that it will make a story about my 1947 Rover 16.

I always yearned that one day I will buy some old car, preferably a post war British car, the choice was simply nostalgic as they were the most common cars on the small ex-British colony of Malta, at the time that I was a young boy. When I was growing up I used to go and help my late father in the garage, he was a mechanic, of all things mechanical. People used to bring to him any thing from cars, trucks, motor bikes and motor scooters, to fixed engines and rotary hoes.

As a tradition, when my kids were young, and we still do it today sometimes when they are not studying, we used to go for a Sunday drive and every time we bump into a group of people having a picnic next to their old car it used to be a mandatory stop. My good wife sensed that that was a kind of love that she was happy to compete with, so she started to encourage me to buy an old car.

It was in April of 1993 that I was scouring the motor section of the Canberra Times and there among the Rovers I saw this 1947 Rover 16 for sale with a price that I thought I could manage. I showed it to my wife and she said to ring up and arrange to go and see it on Sunday and we would make it part of the Sunday drive.

In the afternoon of the next day my wife and I put the two kids in our little Prairie Station wagon and went from Latham to Farrer to see the Rover. There in a garage under a house was this old lady sitting quietly waiting for someone to take her out of there after 8 years locked up. I gave it a good check; it was complete, no damage to the body or the interior, although it had some rat damage to the felt under the dash board. The engine was intact except for the oil line to the oil gauge which was disconnected. The owner was nice and he told me that the car was last registered in Cooma and it used to be used for weddings. Prior to that, in 1972 the car was garaged in Penrith, this I know from the certificate of permit that I have to operate the unregistered vehicle.

After about half an hour of looking, checking this and that and asking questions I said to the owner that I will go and think about it and I will give him a call during the coming week. We buckled back the kids in their child seats and carried on with our usual Sunday drive and you guessed it, the topic of the afternoon it was about the old Rover.

My wife liked it and that was it. On Monday the next day I rang Bill
and negotiated a price that he and I were happy with. On Tuesday I organised a tow truck to bring the car to Latham where it sat covered in the driveway for about 6 months before it headed back to Farrer where it has been for the last 13 years waiting patiently for me to get her back on the road again.

In the last year I started to do some work on the Rover and hopefully I will get it running in the next 12 months barring unforeseen problems.