Car of 1958 Sunbeam-Talbot 90
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.