David Knowles - Author of many MG Books and Publications including MG V8 21 Years On and The Untold Story
Comment:- I was delighted to find your website devoted to one of my favourite MG's. When it came to sorting out the cover photograph for the MGV8 book, I wrote to the MGCC V8 Register, I naturally approached my good friends at Rover Group. They offered to send an RV8 on a transporter or by delivery driver, but as there were only two official Press Cars,they were in some demand. Then I got a call from Dennis Chick, from Rover Group's External Affairs: " we've got an RV8 ( the Woodcote Green Car) with Car Magazine in central London; would it be a problem for you to go and pick it up, and then keep it for weekend, and we'll collect it on monday? "Huh - what a dilemma!" After a lengthy pause of about a nano-second I agreed, and the next morning went into London by the tube to collect the car. One thing in particular sticks in my memory of the journey home, and that was the reaction the car got from other road users and passers-by: they didn't look at me with the concealed envy that a Porche or Mercedes driver might have received, they were all happy and friendly reactions. One small boy on the pavement turned and-suddenly catching sight of the RV8 - His face lit up with an enormous friendly grin. A Porsche 911 driver did a double take on the Albert Embankment and nearly crashed his expensive toy, while the driver of a large van alongside at the traffic lights on the A4 at Chiswick wound his window down and instead of heaping insults at me for driving a "namby pamby" sports car, asked with genuine enthusiasm about the engine under the bonnet. It just proved to me what many of us always knew - MG is the Marque of Friendship, and the management at Rover need to respect the accessible egalitarian root of the affordable sports car. Great site by the way and many thanks for the kind comments about the books.
Jason Foord - Former Quality Engineer for the RV8
Great site - it seems the RV8 is well appreciated in Oz (and so it should be!).
I was Quality Engineer for the RV8 at Cowley for a while (which as a
mature student on placement at Rover was a real privelage). Whilst most
of the other placement students were photocopying documents and making
cups of tea, I was allowed to use my prior experience as a Quality
Engineer and put it to good use within the RV8 team. My project was to
clear the backlog of quality related issues on the production line,
especially supplier component issues - particlarly as ramp-down /
cessation was looming on the horizon.
At the end of my time with Rover my boss gave me a 24 hour pass with a demo RV8 and boy did I have some fun speeding about our little English lanes - one by one I had to take virtually everyone one in my local pub in Sussex for a spin!
I have also had a go in the original "Black Adder" which as one of the very early development cars ( a real 'beast' in all sense of the word!).
Here is a picture with of me standing next to my "test drive" RV8 ............
Good luck with your site
Mark Gamble former RV8 Factory Engineer
Hi Jim, It's good to find such a professional site dedicated to the MGRV8.
I was fortunate enough to have been involved in the Adder Project from its conception and the launch into Japan.
I also built the first to prototypes for the British Motor Heritage at Snitterfield, near Stratford upon Avon, whilst waiting for project approval from the Rover Board, I was seconded to Jaguar Heritage at Castle Browich & Browns Lane.
Once the Adder project was approved I was asked to return, this is when I joined Rover Special Products at Gaydon, although we were soon based at Cowley in Oxford, as the factory chosen for manufacture.
I was also involved with hot & cold climate tests as well as manufacturing engineering and promoting the vehicle around the UK with Terry Hunt who was the project manager.
Japan was then on the cards, although we had a little work to do in marking, A/C installation with the V8 etc. which was re programmed into the market.
Interesting find in Japan as one weekend I had a test RV8 which drove up mount Fuji, only to find at high altitude and direct sunlight caused facia blisters - this was later corrected by the supplier, as they found a reaction in the adhesive.
Great Car & a fascinating project to be involved in.