With his older brother, Spencer, Maurice Wilks transformed the fortunes of the struggling Rover Company during the 1930s. With Spencer as Works Manager and subsequently Managing Director, Maurice was the engineering chief. Perhaps Maurice’s best known achievement was the invention of one of Britain’s most celebrated designs, the Land Rover. This ‘go-anywhere’ vehicle was the product of Maurice’s engineering design skills and Spencer’s eye for business – and the grandfather of the 4x4. Maurice became Rover’s Technical Director in 1946, Managing Director in 1960 and for a short period before his death the company’s Chairman. This portrait was originally presented to the Rover Co. by Mrs Wilks in 1967. It was painted by Sir Roger de Grey, primarily a landscape artist who preferred to paint in the open air but was also most proficient in other disciplines. He enjoyed a successful teaching career and was the President of the RA from 1984–1993.
Where to see this painting?
Heritage Motor Centre
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