NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2014

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1981 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam

Lot No.: 366

Registration: NKR 551W
Chassis Number: T4DCYAL306337
Engine Number: T4DCYAL306337
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2172
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Sold for (£): Unsold

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 particular car is a series 1 model that was first registered in January 1981 and comes in the classic colour scheme of Embassy black with silver strips. The car has been treated to a full restoration, with invoices on file amounting to £20,000. Much of this work was carried out by marque specialist, Simon Robinson of Darlington. This included a rebuilt gearbox and engine, the latter receiving a new set of pistons, and now putting out a respectable 148 Bhp as a Skip Brown dyno sheet confirms.

Uprated front disc brakes with four-pot calipers have also been fitted, together with coil-over front suspension for enhanced road holding. Since the restoration was completed the car has only covered some 3,000 road miles.

Supplied with all its original handbooks, new MOT and a large history file, including many old M.O.T.'s back to 1988, (at 44,700 miles which has now risen to some 68,799 miles). This is car is in excellent condition throughout and is now a true hot hatch icon- sure to have you grinning from ear to ear!