Forward Control IIA / IIB

Forward Control IIB dropside pickup factory demonstrator

Forward Control IIB dropside pickup factory demonstrator

Launched in 1963, the 109-inch Forward Control could carry a much bigger and bulkier payload than a standard 109 pickup, but its external dimensions were not much greater. UK versions had the 2.25-litre petrol engine, with the old 2.6-litre IOE engine supposedly export-only (though some were sold to UK customers). The 109-inch IIA version was quite easy to tip over on a side-slope when loaded, and all versions were under-powered. Axle breakages were routine, so ENV axles superseded the original Rover axles from early 1965. Sales were poor.

In 1966 Rover introduced the Forward Control 110-inch IIB with four-inch wider track, anti-roll bar, revised gearchange, and 2.6-litre engine as standard. Sales continued to disappoint and Forward Control production was terminated in Spring 1972, though CKD export orders accounted for some tail-end production.

Prototypes were running from the late 1950’s, whilst recognisably pre-production vehicles existed from about 1961. FC Vehicles registered to the Rover Company were typically registered with local registration marks. As regards pre-production / press-demonstrator vehicles, some are known to exist but this is a relatively under-researched area.