"In the mid-1970s, the British automotive industry was in crisis, marred by bad management, frequent strikes and decreasing competitiveness compared to the increasingly successful Japanese automakers. It took its toll on Chrysler UK, which was the name given to the former Rootes Group after its takeover by the US based Chrysler Corporation. In particular, the Linwood facility was generating losses due to many reasons, including under-utilised capacity. The Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus was one of the most exciting hot hatchbacks to emerge from the 1970s. Chrysler originally commissioned Lotus Engineering to produce an effective entrant for international Group 4 rallying to compete with the dominant Ford Escort RSs and this required that Talbot produced an appropriate road car for homologation reasons. Lotus took a 1.6GLS shell, installed a 2.2-litre version of the Lotus 16-valve four-cylinder engine and a five-speed ZF gearbox, and the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was born.
This Talbot Sunbeam was originally registered on 20th February 1982 and presents in good order. Finished in Embassy Black and Silver with ‘double four-spoke’ cast alloy wheels and spotlights to the front, this is an eye-catching rarely seen ‘hot-hatch’. The 2171cc twin-cam engine delivers a brisk performance, helped by twin Dell’Orto carburettors developing 150bhp. The vendor describes the car as being great fun to drive and draws plenty of attention at shows. A good history folder accompanies VOD 645X confirming this example has been well looked after throughout its 36 years on British roads. The car is supplied with the original service books, spare keys V5C registration document and a full years MoT test certificate together with the original stereo system. The interior trim on this Talbot Sunbeam Lotus is a little tired, however the vendor has located a roll of the original Piccadilly trim and this will be supplied with the car. We are advised she will be serviced prior to the auction and ready to be enjoyed by the new owner.