Bicycle manufacturers John Marston and Thomas Cureton built their first Sunbeam car in 1899. When French engineer Louis Coatalen joined the firm, not only did production and profits increase, but the company became involved in motor racing and record-breaking, with their cars establishing new World Land Speed Records numerous times. In 1920, Sunbeam became part of STD Motors – Sunbeam/Talbot/Darracq – with the Rootes Group acquiring control in the late 1930’s. From 1938 until 1954, cars were badged as Sunbeam-Talbot before only the name Sunbeam was used from 1955 onwards. When Chrysler bought the company, the last cars badged as Sunbeam were built in the late 1970’s.