1980 Talbot Sunbeam Lotus
Year of manufacture1980
The Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus was one of the most exciting hot hatchbacks to emerge from the 1970s. It originally came about because Chrysler commissioned Lotus to produce an effective entrant for international Group 4 rallying - to beat the dominant Ford Escort RSs at their own game. Lotus took a 1.6GLS shell and installed a 2.2-litre version of the Lotus 16-valve four-cylinder engine and a five-speed ZF gearbox.
The new Sunbeam-Lotus certainly looked the part - it was initially offered only in black and silver, with Marchal spotlights mounted above the front bumper and tailored 'double four-spoke' cast-alloy wheels. Launched in 1979, the 2174cc twin-cam engine breathed through two twin-choke Dell'Orto carburettors, developed 150bhp and delivered excellent performance. It also proved very effective in rallying, winning the challenging 1980 Lombard-RAC event. The road-going version proved quick and balanced, although it was priced higher than the comparable Chevette HS or Escort RS2000.
This stunning left-hand drive example is finished in the evocative colour scheme of Embassy Black with silver decals. Almost unbelievably, this car has covered 313 kilometres or 193 miles from new. Discovered by the current vendor in a large private collection in Italy, this car's condition has to be seen to be believed. Every single aspect of the car is factory standard and it simply resembles a new car. Nothing has been modified and this must surely be the only unregistered and lowest mileage Talbot Lotus Sunbeam in existence.
Fully re-commissioned in March 2014, this included all belts, fluids, filters and the vendor describes this vehicle as in "perfect running order." Having never been registered, the buyer of this vehicle will be the first registered keeper in its history. Supplied with all hand books, service books and a fresh UK MoT, this 1980s icon is an incredible find for any collector of modern-classics. The car will be be supplied with a NOVA certificate for the new owner to register the car.