What kind of "Beastie" is that,
on my Tiger Crest

Author: Contributed by 'Ole' Olson, owner of OldeAlp and President of the Sunbeam Owner's Group of San Diego

Phil asks about the insignia - volumes have been written about what it really is and the argument continues. The following summarizes what I had been able to deduce over the years, and believed to be true.

There has been a lot of debate about what we lovingly call the "Talbot" logo. Most of the discussion has been about the animal depicted in the design. Is it a lion or a dog?

My copy of the Georges Roesch biography is presently out on loan, but as I recall, the design was adapted from the crest of the Earl of Shrewsbury who was the money behind the Talbot automobile in its British production. The original family crest depicted a Talbot hound, which was a sporting breed used by nobility - and which gave the name to the car. When the Rootes Brothers joined Talbot and Sunbeam, they maintained the logo from the Talbot. The animal gradually evolved from looking like a sleek hound to the lionlike creature most of us are familiar with (you know how artists have to keep tampering).

The Talbot hound was dropped from the British Kennel Club breed recognition in the early 1900s when none had been registered for many years, and are now thought to be extinct as an identifiable breed.


I believe it was a couple of years ago that we had a discussion on the dog vs. lion portrayal in the Sunbeam motif. Today I received a response to my post from way back then that shines some new light on the matter:

<< There is no argument! You are close but no banana!
The insignia used on the Talbot cars is actually over 500 years old and is still the heraldic crest of the Earls Of Shrewsbury who are the senior members of the Talbot family. Their title (and the crest) comes from one of England's greatest soldiers John Talbot the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury who fought against Joan of Arc (amongst others).

The animal on top of the Earl's cap (i.e. worn under his helmet) is heraldically described as "a lion statant with tail extended". The Talbot hounds were the traditional supporters (i.e. either side of the coat of arms)and were also on the badge worn by his soldiers/retainers.

The later Earl was involved in the original Talbot company and it took his family name (I have a Spy print of him driving an early model Talbot with the title "Cabs").

If further Talbot information is required please see the Talbot Research Organisation web-site
All the best: Richard D. B. Talbot C.D. Lt-Col (Ret'd)

It is my unfortunate task to inform you that long-time
Sunbeam enthusiast and all-around great guy,
Ole Olsen of San Diego passed away this morning
(Jan. 16, 2000). Ole contributed to this list and did a
wonderful job of poking fun at all of us and
our foibles.

It is said that Ole was one of the founders if not the
founder of the Sunbeam Owners Group of San Diego.
A long time owner of Alpines, Ole purchased the first
Tiger in San Diego County.

He later returned the car to the dealer and got another
Alpine because the dealer "could never get the damn
thing to run, let alone run right." Ole said the car
died on him everywhere and often in the most dangerous
and unfortunate places.

I will personally miss Ole's outstanding spirit, level head
and great sense of humor.

He was a good man. We will miss him.

    Allan Connell, Jr.

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