The Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq Register changed the venue for its National Rally this year from Wolverhampton, Sunbeam’s birthplace, to Weston Park, off the AS. Here a huge field was soon filled with cars of these makes, while the ladies and children had counter-attractions to inspect, the house, the splendid parkland and a narrow-gauge passenger-carying railway, alas not on this occasion with a steam locomotive.
Organisation was under the control of Bill Barrett, with many helpers, and founder members of the Register like Roger Carter and John Coombes were present, as was the President, Winifred Boddy.
Some very sedate DTs were staged on the grass, the winner of which was P Moorhouse (Talbot 90 Brooklands), ahead of C Cooke (1932 Talbot New-14). The Rootes Trophy for age/distance was won by K Robinson (1926 twin-cam three-litre Sunbeam), who was just a point ahead of T Grundey (1930 Sunbeam 16 tourer), with J.Kearley’s 1935 Talbot 105 tourer third. T Ward took the Pride-of-Ownership Grammer Trophy with his 1934 Talbot 110 sports-tourer and, on appearance (concours d’elegance, if you like), the D’Arcy Baker Trophy was awarded to R Cooke (1922 Sunbeam 16), the runners-up being Major Collings (1929 20.9 Sunbeam tourer) and S Lloyd’s rare 10/23 Talbot saloon, which he rebuilt himself over 19 years, even, we understand, remaking its radiator tube by tube.
There had been some competition between the Coatalen Sunbeams and Roesch Talbots as to which would put in the greater entry; it seems the former won by a narrow margin. It had been hoped the total entry would be 100 cars and this fell short by only 28, although non-arrivals somewhat decimated this figure. Of the owners who declared their annual mileages, the average was around 3500, but some cars could boast much more, like the famous London-Sydney Talbot which was present, and those which have done many continental runs, including Carter’s 1934 Sunbeam 20 tourer which claims over 150,000 miles in 33 years. Impossible to mention all the cars present, but James Fack had his 1950 Talbot-Lago ‘Record’ saloon with the 170 bhp iron-block GP-type engine, Barrott his Monte Carlo Rally Sunbeam 20 Weymann saloon, R Neate a rare and very handsome 1925 20/60 Sunbeam Bainbridge coupe, G Wilson a 1937 3.5-litre Talbot Speed-Sports saloon which I judged the most covetable of the breed present, and oldest of all was a 1920 Sunbeam 16 tourer. W B