Rootes site in Port Melbourne

It appears that the former Rootes factory in Port Melbourne is to be redeveloped.


Janet Bolitho of the Port Melbourne Historical Society writes:

The Rootes factory in Port Melbourne is soon to be redeveloped. We know so little about the factory.
It would be great if you could post this brief piece and ask people if they had anything to correct or to add.
We’d love to learn more detail about the cars manufactured there and the people who made them.
The article is at
So hope to hear from you.

If anyone can help Janet let us know and it will be passed on.

Thanks to Darryl Jenetsky for this second shot of the factory, taken a few years earlier.


The Sunbeam lion

From time to time I’m asked about the lion logo used used on Rootes-era Sunbeams.


This was originally the logo of Clement-Talbot Ltd, the manufacturer of Talbot cars. Talbot was founded in 1903 with the backing of Charles Chetwynd-Talbot, the 20th Earl of Shrewsbury.


This crest is a heraldic emblem appearing on many coats of arms. In heraldic terms it is generally described as “on a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a lion statant with the tail extended” which essentially means on a red cap trimmed in ermine, a lion stands with tail extended.

It was chosen because it features on the Earl of Shrewsbury’s coat of arms. You can see it below in the top left.


The coat of arms is supported by two talbot hounds. A talbot was a breed of hunting dog that is now extinct. Some texts state that the animal featured in the Sunbeam logo is actually a talbot, but as can be seen here the talbots are quite distinct from the lion.


Frank Wootton artwork

Many thanks to Stuart Middlemiss for this artwork by Frank Wootton.

Stuart tells me: “It’s by Frank Wootton (1914 – 1998), quite a well-known artist in his day, specialising in motoring and aviation. The picture was used to illustrate the dust jacket of the 1955 2nd edition of Wootton’s “How to Draw Cars” Volume 2.”