Rootes Archive Centre - Index.

On-line index of information about the Rootes Group and their Products.

This page contains information about the Archive Centre and related holdings.

Please note, this is ongoing work and still far from complete. Keep visiting this page for up to date information! The archive now contains a very large number of items, many of which have yet to be explored in detail. These include:

Engineering drawings
Microfiche of earlier drawings
Catalogue index
Engineering change requests
Production and export lists
Photographic negatives of manufacturing and testing
Competition history, photographs and artefacts
Rootes press photographs
Rootes company literature
Books on Rootes history
Workshop and owners' manuals

The Archive Centre and Individual Cars

The work of Owners' Clubs is to maintain information about extant vehicles and provide help to their owners. Whilst there are some common demands on information, we complement their activities by providing a clear "factory" perspective.

To help owners with individual cars we have undertaken to provide Heritage Certificates and Car Details sheets. This work is carried out with help from the respective owners clubs. See page on Heritage Certificates.

Keeping the Marque Alive!

The drawings and other information in our collection is used to provide engineering quality assured details of how Rootes vehicles were built. We have provided copies of drawings as follows.


The master list of drawings housed in cabinets and tubes at the Archive Centre is here (click to open).

We were lucky enough to obtain the original card index for the drawings which is available for inspection and historical research.

Some clubs are beginning to investigate the potential of the drawings and work with us to create an on-line digital index. This is ongoing work so we encourage interested parties to help with this activity and check the following links on a regular basis. Thanks to Peter Firmstone for his contributions and information about Rootes commercial vehicles surviving in Australia.

As an example, the link below is a partial list of Imp drawings and other related material. It is far from complete but already represents many hours work on the drawings accession index and other archive contents. We hope that all clubs will help to produce a digital index of the drawings and information in the Centre. This is necessary as there are over 150,000 drawings and a large amount of related material!

We are currently seeking help to catalogue all other drawings in the Archive. See link to information here..

Drawings in Cabinets

Cabinets 1-27

Originally these cabinets were numbered 1-39. Some drawings have been moved during the cataloguing process to save space.

Cabinets 28-32

Originally these cabinets were numbered 40-45.

Drawings in Tubes


These have yet to be fully catalogued. Please help us to do this.

We now know that there are at least a small number of really early drawings - for instance Humber parts from the 1920s - that have survived on microfiche. They were probably recorded before the major clear-out under the new Chrysler programme in the late 1960s. Any bad press therefore seems un-justified as the Engineering Department's drawings library certainly did a fantastic job for which we should all feel profoundly grateful, as much as we do to the company personnel in Coventry who kept so many of the original drawings and the microfiche safe until the Trust could take over.

A recent discovery is a number of Sunbeam Tiger drawings on microfiche which have not survived in full format. Please ask for more information.

You can see a video of the micro-fiche scanner working here on our FaceBook site.

Listings by Model

Alpine and Tiger Drawings

Avenger Drawings

Commer Drawings

Humber Drawings

Imp Drawings

Some of the larger Imp drawings listed are stored in tubes, so will also appear in the list above and have been moved to Section 56 in the Archive.

Rapier Drawings

Engineering Master Lists, Change Requests and Bulletins.

Engineering Master Record Books and Assembly Lists

A sample is shown below. Others have yet to be catalogued.

Engineering Change Requests.

Service Bulletins.

Please help to add information outside this period.

Engineering Standards

The standards books list many series of smaller components sourced from outside manufacturers. They were used by designers and to maintain the production quality.

Photographs, Albums and Negatives

Photograph Albums

The Archive Centre has a remarkable collection of photograph albums recording significant aspects of Rootes history.

Photographs and Negatives

Samples are shown below. Others are currently being catalogued.

The Coventry Transport Museum have the entire collection of Rootes negatives taken by the Clayton Company. They are 100,000 in number, and the Museum is currently trying to digitise them.

Brochures, Books and Manuals



Note that the Birmingham City Council Science Library also has a loan collection of over 200 workshop manuals, handbooks and other books covering the Rootes Group. Go to the search page and search for "Rootes Group".

Owner and Workshop Manuals.

Note: this will be included in above section soon.

The Archive Centre contains an extensive set of owner's and workshop manuals and parts lists. These are (partially) listed below. We have also received copies of scanned manuals and parts lists from a number of sources and these will be made available subject to copyright, which we believe is covered in our agreement with P.T.

We hope to soon have an fully agreed source of scanned documents for many Rootes vehicles - watch this space...!

Please note there are some copies of these on CD being sold on the Internet, which should be avoided if they do not carry the Archive Centre logo...


Company Production and Export Records

Magazine Racks

Information yet to be added.

Magazines and Show reviews from the Steve Yates collection [HTML].

Competition Archive

Information yet to be added.

Other Information

This includes OEM and third party catalogues.

Catalogues from the Steve Yates collection [HTML].

Please do not assume this is everything, it is part of an ongoing process of documenting the Rootes Archive contents to enable easy access and increasing ways to use the information available.

We would like to provide search facilities for these lists in future. Please also see the glossary of search terms.