This was the first Rootes Heritage Day to be held at the British Motor Museum (BMM), I hope that it will become an annual event, the excellent turnout today certainly suggests that it should. The event was organised by the hard-working Rootes Archive Centre Trustees (RACT) and members of various Rootes Group marques clubs together with helpful assistance from the staff of the BMM.

Just a little word about RACT – The origins of the Rootes Archive goes back to 2003 when the ARCC (Association of Rootes Car Clubs) was alerted to the fact that a store room in the old factory in Humber Road, Coventry, was about to be refurbished and the contents ‘trashed’. Those contents comprised thousands of engineering drawings and documents pertaining to Rootes Group cars. A rescue party was soon formed and with much goodwill on the behalf of Peugeot management, the documents were saved for posterity. But what to do with them? After storing them in rented property in Banbury the Trustees took the brave decision to commission a purpose-built facility on a commercial estate in nearby Wroxton. This facility had its formal launch on the 18th April 2018 with members of the Rootes family in attendance. RACT at Wroxton is now recognised around the world as the “go-to place” for research on all things “Rootes”. However, the Archive is far from complete, volunteers are still cataloguing the original drawings and documents as well as all the additional material received, almost on a daily basis, from Rootes marques enthusiasts spread worldwide.

To anyone reading this post who is not familiar with the car brands owned by the Rootes Group at the height of its power, I will list them as follows –

Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam and Talbot.  Each one of these marques had an illustrious heritage before being brought into the Rootes Group at various stages.

Singer, Sunbeam and Talbot had been particularly successful in various categories of motorsport.

The Group also owned a Commercial Vehicle division located in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. The principal brands were – CommerDodge and Karrier. 

Here are some of the cars that I photographed at the first Rootes Heritage Day – I will have to say that many of the cars on the display were in “showroom or better” condition, many congratulations to their owners and their previous custodians –


C. 1948 Hillman Minx

c. 1948 Hillman Mix. Rear.

Hillman Super Minx DHC.

Hillman Super Minx DHC. Rear.

c.1974 Hillman Avenger

c.1974 Hillman Avenger

998cc Hartwell Clubman?

998cc Hartwell Clubman? Rear.

Customised Hillman Imp Husky.

Customised Hillman Imp Husky. Rear.

Hillman Imp Van

Customised Imp

Customised Imp. Rear.

1972 - 76 Hillman Huntere GLS

1972 - 76 Hillman Huntere GLS. Engine Bay showing Holbay H120 Engine.

1972 - 76 Hillman Huntere GLS. Rear


1934 Humber Snipe Cabriolet 80.

1934 Humber Snipe 80 Cabriolet.

1934 Humber Snipe 80 Cabriolet. Rear.

1963 -66 Humber Vogue

1963 -66 Humber Vogue

1963 -66 Humber Vogue. Rear

Talbot Sunbeam

Talbot Sunbeam 1.6

Talbot Sunbeam 1.6. Rear.

Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. Rear


c. 1934 Singer Nine Sport 2 seater.

c. 1934 Singer Nine Sport 2 Seater.

c. 1934 Singer Nine Sport 2 seater. Rear.

c. 1933 Singer Nine Sport four seater.

c. 1933 Singer Nine Sport 4 seater.

c. 1933 Singer Nine Sport. Cockpit.

c. 1933 Singer Nine Sport 4 seater. Rear.

c.1964 Singer Gazelle V.

Singer Gazelle V

c.1964 Singer Gazelle V. Rear

Sunbeam Talbot

Sunbeam Talbot 90.

Sunbeam Talbot 90. Rear.

Sumbeam Talbot Alpine

Sumbeam Talbot Alpine. Rear.


Sunbeam Rapier3.

Sunbeam Rapier3. Rear.

Sunbeam Rapier Fastback.

Sunbeam Rapier Fastback. Rear.

Sunbeam Alpine Harrington Coupe.

Sunbeam Alpine Harrington Coupe. Rear.

Sunbeam Tiger Mk. I Sunbeam Tiger Mk. I. Rear.

Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II

Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II. Rear.

Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II. with, in the background, TV motoring stars, Mike Brewer and Sarah Crabtree.

Sunbeam Venezia

One of the most remarkable aspects of this first Rootes Heritage Day was the coming together of two very rare (only around 200 cars, all except the prototype L.H.D, were built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, the same company that designed the Jensen Interceptor) Sunbeam Venezia cars. What a coup! Here they are in all their glory –

Two Sunbeam Venezia Cars with their respective owners.

Two Sunbeam Venezia Cars with their respective owners.

Sunbeam Venezia. Rear.

Sunbeam Venezia interior.

Sunbeam Venezia. Side view.

Other Cars at the Rootes Heritage Day with Rootes or Chrysler connections –

Clan Crusader

Clan Crusader prototype.

Clan Crusader prototype. Rear

Clan Crusader.

Clan Crusader. Rear.

Matra Murena

Matra Murena

Matra Murena. Rear

Chrysler (Australia) Valiant

Chrysler (Australia) Valiant.

Chrysler (Australia) Valiant. Rear.



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