A host of high-performance motor cars spanning four decades will include a fully restored Talbot Sunbeam Lotus at Bicester Heritage on Friday 20 March.
The high octane MPH line-up will also see a 1988 Audi Quattro, 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, 1977 RS2000 and 1992 Volkswagen Corrado VR6; all of which will be going under the hammer on Saturday 21 March in the first sale of 2020 held by Bonhams MPH, the modern and popular classics arm of the international auction house Bonhams.
Talbot Sunbeam Lotus
legend of the gravel and asphalt, the illustrious Talbot Sunbeam Lotus comes to the market much less frequent than its fiery counterparts, with custodians either reluctantly parting company or seeking a return on their restoration project.
MPH is offering a fully restored, sensibly upgraded example with an estimate of £30,000 – 40,000 – the fifth owned by the vendor. With the intention of being his ultimate road car (but acknowledging the Talbot works cars too) the restoration, carried out in 2008/2009, was the result of assembling many genuine Talbot parts and, where they were not available, high-quality replicas, combined with a determination to create a stand-out, usable model.
The car has benefitted from an engine rebuild by Ravic Engines’ Phil Davison with the aim of long-term, long-distance reliability rather short-term on-the-rev limiter use. Trips around the UK and into mainland Europe confirm the engine’s reliability, despite being taken out to 2.4-litres (from the original 2.1), with a corresponding horsepower increase from the original 150bhp to a heady 232bhp.
Equally, careful attention has been paid to the bodywork, interior and engine bay, the panels and paint being in demonstrably fine order. Sunbeam Lotuses are rare indeed at auction, but one as well prepared and presented as this is extremely special.
The rally legend and latter-day star of the television series ‘Ashes to Ashes’, the Audi Quattro, which celebrates its 40th birthday in 2020, is represented in the sale by a 1988 Turbo 10V example, which has covered a relatively low mileage for its age (70,000 miles) and has an estimate of £20,000 – 30,000.
This Audi will line up in the Bonhams MPH saleroom at Bicester Heritage with rally stage and ‘street’ heroes wearing the blue oval badge. Leading the ‘Fast Fords’ is a 1987 Sierra RS Cosworth (estimate £55,000 – 75,000), one of fewer than 6,000 produced. This example evaded the ‘boy racer’ element, having been well cared for and having only covered 50,000 miles over its lifetime.
An even rarer 1990 Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4×4, considered the flagship of the era’s Ford performance range and benefitting from a ‘bare-metal’ restoration and engine upgrade – as well as featuring grey leather Recaro seats with custom-made red seat belts, typical of the period – has an estimate of £30,000 – 40,000.
An earlier legend ‘made in Essex’ is a time warp 1977 Ford RS2000. This showroom condition example of the distinctive ‘droop snoot’ model, has been completely restored by its current vendor over the past two years and has driven one mile since! Estimate £40,000 – 50,000.