Rootes Archive Centre - Catalogue.

Rootes Car Prototypes.

This page gives information about prototypes which were not manufactured but may be of some historical importance.

We received the following note from Geoff Newland in June 2012.

My involvemement is quite small, but unusual: From 1966-72 I worked for the Beadles Group, latterly as Workshop Manager of their newly acquired (from Cripps Brothers) Morris/ MG/ Wolseley/ BMC delership in Sidcup, Kent.

Occasionally Sir Reginald Rootes and Timothy Rootes would visit the Sidcup premises as their Managing Director, Dudley Baker, had his office there - the original Beadles business was based in Dartford but as Dudley lived in Reigate it saved him several extra miles travelling.

I have two particular memories of Sir Reginald and Timothy: The latter usualy had a chauffeur driven Triumph 2000 or 2500 and on one visit the Lucas fuel injection was playing up ... Far more interesting was Sir Reginald's visit when he came by prototype Humber Super Snipe (or was it a Pullman?) with V8 engine - I cannot remember if it was the Ford or Chrysler unit. The power steering was leaking and I was asked to have a look at it. There was little we could do without spares, but seem to remember we tightened everything we could and topped up the reservoir. Naturally I had to personally road test the car to ensure my Group's supremo was safe to get home to Smarden in Kent. The performance was electric in a straight line, but cornering and roundabouts were less enjoyable, to put it diplomatically. The standard car was similar from memory but the V8's massive performance must have raised a safety issue and one of many reasons for the V8 model not going into production?

What happened to the car? Does it survive or has anyone made a replica?