1899-1903 Imperial Rover Road Racer

The nineteenth century had been the most dynamic in history in terms of mechanical innovation, and the final decade saw the most amazing developments in personal transportation with the automobile and motorcycle about to launch and the bicycle now in its ‘final’ evolution, ie a diamond frame with freewheel and brakes.

Under Queen Victoria, Great Britain became the world’s first industrial society. The British Empire was the world superpower, and the country enjoyed complete independence and non-reliance on her neighbours. In 1899, however, the Boer War started, and it wasn’t long before European countries started to criticize Britain as a result of  anglophobic stories emanating from South Africa. The government felt vulnerable, and changes in foreign policy created a political turning point for the country.

Queen Victoria celebrated her eightieth birthday and 62 years on the throne as Big Ben ticked away toward midnight on 31st December, 1899.

John Kemp Starley, founder of the Rover Cycle Co Ltd, had played an integral part in Great Britain’s industrial history, creating the bicycle – the Rover Safety – that had, in the words of the Cyclist magazine, ‘set the fashion to the world.’ The company’s Imperial Rover Road Racer was now in the news too, as the machine favoured by some of the foremost cyclists on road and track: in the 1908 season this machine won all the principal handicaps, scratch races and championships; at London’s Olympic Games every solo race was won on a Rover.

 

 

 

1899-1903 Imperial Rover Road Racer 

(Now sold)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1898 ROVER CATALOGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1898 ROVER CATALOGUE