The Car


Poetic license can and often does apply to more than the use of words. The Rootes "PR" team had a couple of very gifted illustrators who used more than a little license during the production of sales materials related to the Sunbeam V8. Drawings used for the first Tiger splash were reworked sketches dating from the earliest beginnings of the company's roadster program. The interpretation of the walnut veneered, burl dashboard, as an example, included a very prominent, Series III style metal glove box guard, big instruments with Alpine markings and a steering wheel stalk carrying both turn signal and overdrive control switches.

Artist's concept drawing for the cover of the first Tiger sales brochure. As you might expect, this rendering can be traced directly to the sales materials produced to support the "Series" Alpines. Not surprisingly, Rootes was well known for its frugal approach to marketing.

The subtle changes introduced for the 1966 model year resulted in only minor adjustments to existing illustrations. Removing a few letters and applying some black to represent the new soft boot cover are the most notable.

Aside from the broad-brush additions, or deletions of obvious elements, model change brochures required little attention. The nuance of bodies with square cornered hoods and doors with exposed unleaded seams had little importance in the glossy multifold sales literature. Absolute accuracy would not have been an overriding concern of a group of creative sketch artists. What was deemed important resulted in focusing on power, styling and craftsmanship. Basic drawings like these were the core of the Sunbeam marketing portfolio and typical during the '60's.

A change in corporate policy allowed sales of the Sunbeam Tiger into domestic markets as early as the end of 1965. What had once been intended for North American export only was now being sold at home and neighboring Europe as well. Some rather resourceful sidestepping of brand name restriction was required outside of England. Sales pamphlets destined for Germany were reworked to eliminate references to the name Tiger and simply labeled the project, Alpine V8. Tiger scripts were swapped out for Alpine markers along with displacement emblems reading either, "Alpine 260", or "Sunbeam 260".

Developing handouts for the European market required little more than changing the color scheme and replacing the Tiger script to comply with trademark conflicts.

Obviously produced before the Chrysler watchdogs - no pentastar. Where have we seen this representation before? A very simple mix-'n-match to end up with the MK II configuration.

Rootes produced M II sales materials are extremely rare. Chrysler put its hand to the Tiger image nearly as soon as the first financing found the vault. By the time the MK II is being hyped, the car is practically out of production. All of the significant improvements were judged too costly and left on the cutting room floor. Image building included adding a stripe kit, egg crate grill and some other bits of stainless trim. The dropped items probably equaled the value of the "new" doll-ups keeping everyone somewhat happy.


1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

Current  Historical Glimpse

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