WHAT was the car that newly employed traffic warden Miss Marie Ness was ticketing in Richmond Market Place on January 6, 1970? A bulging inbox produced an almost unanimous answer: a Sunbeam Talbot 90.

“It was a dead giveaway because the front grille could be easily read with a magnifying glass,” said Derek Noble of Hutton Rudby.

Ah, but to really win a prize, we needed to know the mark.

“It is probably a pre-1955 Mk 11a as it is badged Sunbeam Talbot on the top of the radiator grille,” said Gerald Burnett of Richmond. “From 1955, the Mk 111 was badged only as Sunbeam.”

Lots of people had little observations about the car.

“My neighbour had one in the early 1960s,” said Phil Garwood. “It always seemed a middle class car – posh!”

“There was only one 90 owner in my home village in the 1950s – Stanley Holloway of stage and screen fame,” said Ian Gravestock of Yarm.

“The 90 was very successfully driven on by no less than Sir Stirling Moss in the Alpine rally winning a Gold cup on three consecutive penalty-free runs in 1952, 1953 and 1954,” said John Cumberland of Rushyford.

Paul Wignall of West Witton continued the theme: “A privately entered Sunbeam Talbot won the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally driven by Norwegians Malling and Fadun. British driver Sheila van Damm won the ladies’ cup in the same year.”

“The odd thing about this model, as I recall, was that it was the only car to have the column gear change on the right of the steering wheel, which felt strange until you got used to it,” said John Weighell of Neasham.

“It had an unusual feature of pillarless suicide rear doors that gave the illusion of one large rear window,” said Gary Cunningham of Boltby, Thirsk.

“The interior mirror in your picture is extended, giving greater rear vision,” said Tony Tomalin-Reeves of Easingwold. “It was popular at the time and possibly an aid for towing.”

Everyone said that the Sunbeam Talbot was not a rustbucket but was a rather nice vehicle.

“I had the Mk 111 Sunbeam Supreme and it was a lovely car,” said Jim Ditchburn of Sunderland. “I wish I still had it, to be honest.”

There isn’t enough room to namecheck everyone who got in touch, but many thanks to them all. Brian Kassell of Richmond was one of them. As a former mechanic, he recognised the Sunbeam, but he was the only person to pinpoint the spot. “I worked on Mr Rooks’ fruit and veg stall, which was where the car is, when I was still at school and saved enough to buy a new bike from Joe Clementson’s shop in Northgate, Darlington,” he said.