1929 Sunbeam Sixteen
Year of manufacture1929
1929 Sunbeam Sixteen Drophead Coupé
Registration no. VN 1433
Chassis no. 5611K
Founded by John Marston, a God-fearing Victorian industrialist who foresaw the growth in demand for private transport, Sunbeam was first associated with beautifully made, though expensive, bicycles. Although comparative latecomers to motor car manufacture, the Wolverhampton-based Sunbeam factory quickly established a fine reputation alongside Lanchester, Wolseley, Austin, and Daimler at the heart of the expanding Midlands motor industry.
John Marston Limited's first Sunbeam production car, a De Dion-engined voiturette, was sold in 1901, but it was not until 1907, two years after the Sunbeam Motor Car Company had been formed, that the firm produced its first all-British model, the 16/20. The arrival of designer Louis Coatalen in 1909 and the pursuit of an effective competition programme enabled Sunbeam to establish a formidable reputation prior to WWI, its superbly made products enjoying a reputation rivalling that of the best from Alvis and Bentley thereafter.
Produced between 1929 and 1933, the Sunbeam 'Sixteen' featured a massively built chassis frame sprung by semi-elliptics all round, and was powered by an overhead-valve six-cylinder engine of 2,040cc rated at 16.9hp for taxation purposes. Hydraulic brakes arrived for 1931 together with a 2,193cc engine rated at 18hp, and in 1932 the four-speed gearbox gained synchromesh on third and top gears. Sadly, the collapse of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine in 1935 and its subsequent acquisition by Rootes meant that the revised Sixteen - one of the last true Sunbeams - never got the chance it deserved.
This charming Vintage-era Sunbeam Sixteen drophead coupé is reported as having bodywork, glass, trim, and wheels/tyres in very good condition, while the two-tone green/black paintwork is rated as good. The interior was re-upholstered 12 years ago and the tan seats, door cards, dashboard and carpet are still in very good condition, with the hood described as excellent. Said to start and run very well, the engine displays good oil pressure and is charging well. The radiator has been re-cored and the gearbox, running gear, and electrics are reportedly either good or very good. A good history file comes with the Sunbeam, which is an ideal for car for VSCC motoring in all weathers. Stylish six-cylinder Vintage motoring at an affordable price!