Way back when these cars were new, the registration procedures by California
dealers were to designate the model year as the current model year (i.e.,
October to September) when there were no substantial differences from the
"actual" year. Hence, we have Series 1 Alpines (built from Oct '59 to Oct
'60) registered as 1963 models, and Series 4s as 1967, etc. After all, the
dealer didn't want you to know that the NEW car he sold you had been sitting
around all that time. It normally didn't matter because most people traded
in every couple of years and old sports cars had little resale value.
Now we have date related compliance problems - smog checks, seat belt regs,
etc - that hinge on these old practices. It is possible to get the date
changed. Some DMV offices are very cooperative and some are not. Same thing
with the individuals behind the desks. Be nice to them and don't badger them
on a busy day, bring documentation as to production dates, and it can go
smoothly. Remember, they are not required to change official documents that
have gone unchallenged for 30 years or more.
As for your "MODEL NAME as 'ROOTS'" - Look at the title again. I think
you'll find that the space is "Yr Model" closely followed by "Make". The
blank on the original form asked for the manufacturer. I've seen a Plymouth
registered as CHRY and a Buick as GENMO.
Under the VIN number is the "body type" "model" that probably reads
"rdssbtig" which stands for roadster Sunbeam Tiger.