Support of the 90 range


Prompted by Mr. Wilson in his letter “Shopping for a Sunbeam-Talbot” last month, I feel that I must rush to support the 90 range—hoping at least to rid them of the insinuated slur of W.B.’s disapproval.

This model, although introduced with solid front suspension and only 64 b.h.p. in Mk. I form, through the nine years of its development pointed the direction in which the best quality middle-priced British cars have subsequently evolved. I would dare to suggest that the qualities and design intention of the Mk. II Sunbeam are the very same that one finds in the Rover 2000,—the apple of Bill Boddy’s eye—given the benefit to the Solihull car of 15 years of immense technical development.

Can one see today any successor in spirit to the original Alpine? That surely was a most practical and desirable Gran Turismo motor car. While on the subject of practicality, the four-seater convertible models with their clever hood arrangements are an equally extinct strain I genuinely enjoy to drive my own Thrupp and Maherly convertible on a journey that doesn’t involve my pushing the car into indecent haste. It seems that unless driving a real sports or sporting car under present-day conditions, this is preferable to the noise and irritation of the modern biscuit-box saloon which can rapidly destroy the civilisation and patience that makes a good driver.

Lorries indeed! I should have thought that the competition history of the Sunbeam-Talbots amply justifies their rugged strength, as does their existence in reasonable numbers today. One tries to forget those rear-wheel arches!

No, sir. When assessing the importance of any single step in architecture, literature, the development of motor cars or whatever, it must be examined in the light of its place in the traditional movements. It seems to me that the “Old Brompton Chunderers”, as my friends irreverently describe them, must stand firmly in the line of fine quality 2-litre touring cars.

Incidentally, as a final thought, does the production run of that engine set any record? I believe that it was front 1934-1967.

All praise to MOTOR SPORT for your continual high standard of enjoyment given to many of us each month.

N. W. Brimblecombe.

(I do not think it entirely fair to say that I slurred the memory and name of these Rootes’ products. In my time I wrote some very enthusiastic road-test reports on them, as consultation of back issues of MOTOR SPORT will confirm. But be careful! If you accord these and similar cars classic status they will soon be fetching such high prices ordinary enthusiasts will be prohibited from enjoying them and eventually they will all end up in America.—E.D.)