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    Convertible / Roadster
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  • Location
    United Kingdom
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The Wolverhampton based Sunbeam Motorcar Company traded from 1899-1935. During that short 36 year period they produced some of the most important and well engineered motorcars ever to be designed and built in Great Britain. These included not only magnificent Edwardian tourers and limousines, but from 1910-1930 some outstanding racing cars, and even Land Speed Record cars.

In 1910 their chief designer, the Breton Louis Coatalen, a keen racing driver and Land Speed Record enthusiast (“racing improves the breed”, he said), announced the introduction of the 12-16 h.p. car with a 2.4 Litre engine. Subsequently capacity was increased to 3 Litres. A Coatalen redesign of an earlier model the 16-20 h.p. followed, introducing 3.8 Litre and 4 Litre engines. Another pre-Coatalen design the 25-30 h.p. model also received his attention and was upgraded first to 4.5 Litres and then in 1912 to a 6 cylinder 6.1 Litre design. It was this car that formed the basis of the 24 h.p. offered here. In WW1 Sunbeam under Louis Coatalen were very involved in the design and build of some very successful aero engines and other military engineering. The firm was sold to Darracq in 1920 and sadly ceased trading in 1935. The name was then acquired by the Rootes brothers.

The 24 h.p. was the flagship of the range. About 900 cars with various coachwork (saloons, limousines etc) were made between 1919 and 1921 of which only 14 are known to have survived. This example is a Light Sports Tourer with factory designed supremely elegant coachwork. Out of the 14 survivors only two or three can claim to have their original coachwork.

It was exported when new to Guillermo Errazurez Vergara in Chile. He was married to Maria Edwards, sister of Augustin Edwards the British Ambassador in Chile. Apparently in 1923 Guillermo was killed in a shooting accident (he was a keen hunter) and the car remained in the family until it was put up for auction in Chile in 1964. It was purchased by an American, E. Russell True and shipped to Washington DC.

True had some light restoration work done in the USA. In 1988 it was sold to Philip Hingley of Worcestershire who was the 3rd owner from new. He had a very high level engine rebuild carried out along with a great deal of other mechanical work.

The car is in excellent order and ready for tours of rallies. It still runs on the autovac with the original SU carburettor and is very original. It is a high quality long legged car built for the open road. An ideal long distance tourer.

Charles Prince Classic Cars
United Kingdom
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