Rowe Hillmaster was a commercial vehicle manufacturer founded in 1953 by a local coach and garage operator Maurice G Rowe of Rowe's Garage Ltd. of Dobwalls , Liskeard in Cornwall. Maurice uilt a Coach to his own design to cope with the local conditions in 1953 based on a Meadows 4DC engine. The Company then designed and built several designs of truck based on the Meadows engine. Sales were limited and production ceased in 1962.
Initially started as a Coach builder by Maurice G Rowe owner of Rowe's Garage Limited in Dobwalls Cornwall. The manufacturing side became M.G. Rowe (Motors) Doublebois Ltd and went on to build several designs of truck suited to the Cornish hills, hence the Rowe Hillmaster brand. Some of the designs featured 'under floor' engines to give better load space. Initially Meadows engines were used but AEC and Gardner engines were also offered as an option.
The trucks ranged from 6 ton to 14 ton payload in std form and a 15-to articulated tractor unit. The cabs were supplied by coachbuilders Jennings of Sandbach in Cheshire.
AUGUST 2019 Updates (Souced from the Graces Guide website)
1953 The company were coach operators who commenced building to their own design. Maurice G. Rowe was the owner.
1954 Built a 6/7-ton truck designed for the steep hills of the area
1955 Produced a 7-ton truck
Sold Rowe's Garage and the coach business and set up M. G. Rowe (Motors) Doublebois Ltd to manufacture trucks
1959 They had 14 models listed. Choice of Meadows, AEC, Leyland or Gardner engines. Cabs made by Jennings
1962 Company ceased trading with around 60-70 motorvehicles are reputed to have been made.
Meadows later produced its own version of the 4DC.
1956 A Reading bodied bus to seat 44 passengers was built for Millbrook Steamboat and Trading.
1957 Three more followed and were sold to Morlais Motor Services.
ROWE HILLMASTER Original Model Range
- Rowe Coach - only 5 built
- Rowe-Hillmaster 6 ton - 90 hp Meadows 4DC-330
- Rowe-Hillmaster 8 Ton - fitter with a 2 speed Eaton axle.
- Rowe-Hillmaster 7-tonner - Fitted with under floor engine. (based on the earlier Coach layout)
- Rowe-Hillmaster M/10 - 1956 - Meadows 4DC-330 engine or a 9 - 10 toner with choice of power plant
Very few examples survive of this niche make.
- 5 examples are known
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References / sourcesEdit
- The World Encyclopedia of Trucks, by Peter J Davies, Select Editions, []
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Trucks And Buses by Denis Miller Quantum Books, ISBN 1-86160-603-6
- Graces Guide