"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 RS 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 Sunbeam Lotus was one of the last series II cars originally produced in Moonstone Blue and boasts just 58,000 miles from new. The previous owner had owned ABC 435Y for eight years and spent nearly £40,000 creating this rally homage. He had commissioned Phil Davison (Ravic Engines) to build the engine to full 'works' specification. Phil, of course, was a man that used to build engines for Henry Toivonen and Stig Blomqvist for the Sunbeam works team that lead them to an RAC Rally win. The car has wanted for nothing and clearly been lavished with an open chequebook approach therefore today it presents fantastically with the ability to pull a crowd anywhere it goes. This car would scare any modern hot hatch with 212bhp recorded on a Dyno, it is still useable in any rally stage or hill climb you may wish to dominate.
The car comes complete with its original supplying dealers sales invoice from 1982 for £6,900 and it still sits on its original registration number. The full specification on the cars rebuild is detailed in invoices which are coupled to fabulous provenance but included;
Helix clutch and plate, rebuilt carburettors
ITG custom made flame trap filter
‘Works’ stainless manifold
Lotus 910 cam carriers
Fully Aeroquip hosed
Holley fuel pump
H & H Distributor
‘Works’ alloy Radiator
Bias pedal box
AP Racing 280mm Bells, discs and calipers
Grp4 Alloy hubs with Grp4 studs all round
Gaz Gold adjustable struts
‘Works’ TCA’s and brake reaction rods
Image split rim alloy wheels with Toyo tyres
One piece propshaft
Rear LSD axle with 4.4 diff
This is a fabulous piece of motor engineering created by the very best in Sunbeam circles responsible for Talbot folklore. The vendor had even sourced the original fabric to retrim the original seats and thus this, a collectable car in standard guise, now presents as an opportunity to own what we consider to be one of the very best. Well known in the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus circles we strongly advise viewing to appreciate the quality of this example."