Car of 1958 Sun­beam-Tal­bot 90

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

The car that most strikes a chord with me is the Sun­beamTal­bot, pri­mar­ily be­cause I have al­ways found them so en­joy­able to drive but also be­cause the ex­am­ple in this pic­ture en­cap­su­lates the am­bi­gu­i­ties of 1950s Bri­tish mo­tor­ing. 1958 was a year when steam en­gines and the first mo­tor­way co-ex­isted and when you com­pare the 90 with the MG or the Vaux­hall the pre-war ori­gins of its designs are very ev­i­dent, al­though this is not in­fer­ring that a mo­torist would have re­garded the S-T as dated when on the road. The raff­ish styling may have def­i­nite over­tones of its 1939 2-litre pre­de­ces­sor, but the Sun­beam-Tal­bot was still a vi­able A-road car in the late 1950s.

Over the fol­low­ing decade, the Rootes Group would come to re­gret never truly re­plac­ing the 90, es­pe­cially af­ter the launch of the Rover and Tri­umph 2000 in 1963. Yet, when look­ing at the dra­mat­i­cally parked ex­am­ple here, with its nar­row track and suicide rear doors, it is nearly im­pos­si­ble to be­lieve pro­duc­tion ceased only two years be­fore the de­but of the BMC’s Mini.

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