A Talbot Sunbeam Lotus heading to the NEC Classic Motor Show Auction with less than 8,000 miles is expected to bring in excess of 60K.
The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show is now just over two weeks away, as a diverse mix of marques gather to witness the annual showcase of around 300 classic vehicles that span well over a century.
One of the stand-out attractions of the weekend’s proceedings will be the annual Silverstone Silverstone Classic Motor Show Sale, which will include an eclectic mix of superb classics to wet the appetite of potential bidders.
Talbot Sunbeam Lotus
Talbot’s Sunbeam-Lotus was one of the pocket-rockets that came from an era when fuel was less expensive and speed cameras were less prevalent.
The 70s played host to a host of hot-hatches, leading to Chrysler commissioning Lotus to build something to rival the dominant Ford Escort RS for international Group 4 rallying.
Lotus’s answer was to use a 1.6 GLS shell and install the tried and tested 2.2-litre (‘Type 911’ and closely related to the Type 912 found in the S2 and S3 Esprits) version of their 16-valve four-cylinder engine and a 5-speed ZF gearbox.
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Dressed in only Silver and Black, this little demon looked sharp as a dart with Marchal spotlights and tailored ‘double four-spoke’ cast-alloy wheels. The power-plant was the high-compression 2174cc twin-cam engine and implemented double twin-choke Dell’Orto carburettors.
Fast, tuneable and well capable of 200bhp, the whole package weighed less than 1000kgs and could sprint up to 60 in less than 7 seconds flat.
Silverstone reports the car was delivered to its original owner, a certain Mr Baird, who received it on the 1st February 1983. Regularly serviced at dealership ‘C. & R. Bird’ of Herefordshire from 1984 to 1988 (at 5,000 miles).
Less Than 8,000 Miles
It then changed ownership to a Mr Peart, who’s wife disliked driving the car, so after just four months of ownership, it was sold to the vendor on the 14th August 1988. Apparently He wanted the best example he could buy and intended to keep it that way. Hence, the car has less than 8,000 recorded miles on its speedometer, was professionally stored and saw little daylight and not a drop of the wet stuff we all call rain.
Used twice only , firstly to go to Castle Combe for a Lotus Club meeting and secondly, in 1989, to attend a Club Team Lotus Concours Show at the Lotus Factory at Hethel, where Hazel Chapman presented our vendor with a glass decanter for the car winning 1st in class – the Concours label still adorns its windscreen.
Exceptional is often bandied around when giving classics their unique description, but this is perhaps a unique opportunity to acquire the best Talbot Sunbeam Lotus ever seen.
You can follow the auction action here.
Images courtesy of Silverstone Auctions.