Tag: Rootes Group

Harrington Le Mans: Sunbeam’s Lovely Gran Turismo

Harrington Le Mans: Sunbeam’s Lovely Gran Turismo

Moss on Sunbeams

Sun­beam-Tal­bot had a good com­pe­ti­tion pedi­gree before the Sec­ond World War. But the firm was bought by the Rootes Group in 1935, and not much hap­pened for awhile. In 1952, Stir­ling Moss fin­ished sec­ond in a Sun­beam-Tal­bot 90 in the Monte Car­lo Rally—the high point that decade. “You wouldn’t believe how slow my Sun­beams were,” Sir Stir­ling lat­er told my friend, motor­ing writer Gra­ham Rob­son. “Yes I would!” Gra­ham replied.

Arrival of the Sun­beam Alpine sports car in 1959 made com­pe­ti­tion worth con­sid­er­ing. Rootes com­pe­ti­tions man­ag­er Nor­man Gar­rad had the idea that they could win some­thing at the clas­sic Twen­ty-four Hours of Le Mans endurance race.…

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Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (2) Daimlers…

Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (2) Daimlers…

Hav­ing writ­ten about cars and Win­ston Churchill for fifty years, I final­ly pro­duced a piece on them both. From exot­i­ca like Daim­ler, Napi­er and Rolls-Royce to more pro­sa­ic makes like Austin, Hum­ber and Wolse­ley, the sto­ry was three decades in com­ing. I am sat­is­fied that it is now complete.

Part 2, con­tin­ued from Part 1: Excerpt only. For foot­notes,  all illus­tra­tions and a ros­ter of Churchill’s cars, see The Auto­mo­bile, August 2016. 

Wolseley to Austin

In the ear­ly 1930s Churchill switched from Wolse­ley to Austin cars: small fours and big six­es. One of the for­mer, a 1938 Austin 10 Cam­bridge, was the Chartwell work­horse.…

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