Due to my recent purchase of a Land Rover Discovery with V8 engine, and honestly due as much to my life-long lust for the Rover V8, I picked up a copy of the book The Rover V8 Engine by David Hardcastle. My desire for this engine and anything that might be powered by it go all the way back to my teenage years when I drug home a decrepit Rover 3500S just in hopes of securing the engine for my MG. Long story short – nothing about that entire adventure worked out. But, my hopes for the magnificent V8 continued.
This work, on dust jacket and Amazon listing, is billed as, “A thorough technical assessment of the Rover V8 engine and all methods of tuning for increased power output. Filled with the V8s transatlantic origins and production, its competition career in rallies and in saloon car road racing, plus details of all Rover V8 speed equipment suppliers and professional engine builders. This volume brings the Rover V8 story up-to-date with developments ranging from the factory 3.9 litre, to the Range Rover of 1994.”
I am sure that in 1994, or even in 1995 when the second edition came out, that this was the final word on the subject of the Buick-derived, Rover-massaged power plant. Unfortunately. time kept moving forward and it wasn’t long after the book was published that the displacement moved up to 4 liters, then 4.6 liters, and finally all the way up to 5 liters.
So sure, the information is a bit dated by now, but the history and development are still totally relevant. And many of the tuning times about everything from cams and gaskets to carbs and fuel injection are a great introduction. Therefore, until a newer book comes along this is the book to buy for the general Rover V8 engine fans. There are books more specific to the application such as MG V8 by David Knowles, perhaps a Land Rover tuning manual, or even books on converting your car to the V8, but this is still the definitive all-encompassing work.
On that note however, there is a book due out this summer by James Taylor titled Rover V8 – The Story of the Engine. It is being published by Veloce Publishing in July, and you can lay odds on the fact that I will be one of the first in line for it and that I will also deliver you a full report. If not, my teenage self would never forgive me.
Title: The Rover V8 Engine
Author: David Hardcastle
Publisher: Haynes Publishing
Date: September 1990, 2nd edition 1995
Price: About $40 on the secondary markets