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Lot No. 393 - 1980 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam ex-Works Rally Car

Not sold

The very last car driven competitively by the late, great Russell Brookes...
Details Specification
  • One of four cars entered by Talbot to win the 1981 World Rally Championship
  • Driven by Russell Brookes and Mike Broad in the 1981 Lombard RAC
  • Used regularly since 2007 by Russell in many Historic events since he retired in 1992 and in his last ever competitive appearance, the Halloween Historic Stages Rally 2010
  • Regularly seen at Demo Events; Raceretro, Rally Show, Goodwood FOS, Rally Day, Rallylegends San Marino, Deju Vu Killarney and Ulster
  • Driven competitively during the last 15 years by various upcoming drivers as well as Russell and Louise Aitken-Walker during feature events
  • Original running gear, engine, gearbox and axle. Shocks and brakes are all period, with some original parts. All maintained on a regular basis with no expense spared.
  • Currently, the car is in full Rally Specification, all in date, and has an MSA Passport. Many of the original parts have been kept and are available with the car

Sadly, British Rally legend Russell Brookes passed away late in 2019 at the age of 74. Russell, the Double British Rally Champion, 1974 Welsh Rally Champion and 1989 Irish Tarmac Rally Champion driver will forever be associated with his “Andrews Heat for Hire” liveried rally cars and, John Andrews, founder of the Andrews brand recalls “I had the good fortune to meet Russell Brookes in early 1974 which was the 10th year of trading for the Andrews Company. A raw sponsorship deal was agreed for our Anniversary Year with inevitably a bonus if he won that particular domestic Rally Championship. What followed was 17 years of highly successful Motorsport Sponsorship which I believe was, at the time, a record.  The Andrews Heat for Hire rally car colours are still an iconic record within Rallysport and Russell’s determination to win, whatever the challenge, was an inspiration to us all.”

We are delighted to be able to offer KKV 394V, the very last rally car driven competitively by Russell during his retirement years and fittingly one of the famous ‘Andrews Heat For Hire’ Works cars from the early 1980s.

However, to begin at the beginning, in 1979, following the creation of the Talbot brand out of the defunct Chrysler Europe, Rootes and Simca companies, parent company PSA decided that the new division needed some serious publicity to boost its image. This was to be achieved by a venture into the high-profile World Rally Championship (WRC) and Talbot Sport was created to manage the project. A 1-3-4 finish on the RAC Rally late in 1980 provided a major morale boost and four cars were entered for the 1981 season. Despite the fact that Talbot Sport was seriously underfunded for 1981 compared to rivals like Ford, Datsun, Audi with the Quattro and Renault with the R5 Turbo, Talbot won the WRC Manufacturers title. One of the four factory-supported cars, KKV 394V proudly wore the 'Andrews Heat for Hire' livery and was piloted by Russell Brooks and the talented Mike Broad.

Our vendor has restored the car to its former glory and cherished it for almost fifteen years during which time he has used it competitively in many historic rallies with a number of upcoming and established drivers being offered a drive at various competition and demonstration events. None, however, are as associated with this car as Russell who drove the car regularly whenever his diary permitted. Having retired in 1992 from professional rally driving he continued at club, fun and historic level up until 2010 and poignantly, at the Halloween Historic Stages Rally in Tipperary, KKV was to be his last properly competitive drive. In our vendor’s words; “I have owned the car since 2005 and it was always my intention to have it out on the ‘Stages’ and that is what I have achieved with this car up to the present day, quite often in the hands of Russel Brookes, its original driver. Russell has competed in many Historic events since he retired in 1992 and his last competitive event was the 2010 Haloween Historic Stages in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary. It was a unique event that was televised with no fewer than 4 drivers from the 70s and 80s. Jimmy McRae, Donie Keating, Kenny McKinstry and current Historic Champion Ray Cunningham. (DVD available)”.

Further Competition Events include the 2007 Emerald Stages Longcross LIMC., Loughgall Festive of Speed, 2008 Clare Stages Rally, 2008 Colin McRae Stages (The Stars), 2008 Killarney Historic Stages Rally, 2013 Roger Albert Clark Historic Rally, 2014 Roger Albert Clark Championship.

Demo Events: Race Retro, Rally Show, Goodwood FOS, Rally Day, Rallylegends San Marino, Deja Vu Killarney and Ulster

Feature Events: 2010 Andrews Revival, 2016 Andrews Revival (Ireland) All events are well documented and will forever be part of rally folklore.

Other notable champions to drive KKV: Chrysler Works driver Robin Eyre-Maunsell. 1990 Ladies World Rally Champion Louise Aitken-Walker on the 2008 Colin McRae Stages (The Stars) following his fatal accident the previous year. In 2017 Louise drove the car once more at Rally Legends San Marino again for a Colin McRae tribute. The car was the face of Rally Legends in 2018 on their Website and Facebook page.

More from our vendor; “In 2013 I decided to tackle the RAC Championship and the RAC Historic Rally a 5-day event that is one of the toughest events done on maps and a throwback to the Lombard RAC Rally of the 70s and 80s. For that event, I had three-times Irish Forest Champion Owen Murphy and multiple navigation champion James O'Brien on board. With 4 stages to go, they were in 3rd position overall but 2 punctures on the next 2 stages cost 2 places, all in all, we were very pleased it was a great result for the ex-works Lotus Sunbeam. In 2014 we did the RAC Championship with some great results that generated a lot of interest and I have had requests from all over Europe wanting an ex-works Talbot Sunbeam Lotus to showcase.”

Our vendor had adapted the car in more recent times to allow for power steering and other luxuries, however, it's now offered for sale in its correct 'period' spec with. Original running gear, engine, gearbox and axle. Shocks and brakes are all period, with some original parts. All maintained on a regular basis with no expense spared. A full list of spare parts that will accompany the car to our sale will be available upon request.

It’s accompanied by its Historic Rally Vehicle Identity Form dated 25th October 2013, its original V5Cs showing the original UK Registration as 22/02/1980 with the first keeper shown as the Talbot Motor Co and a change to the second owner, Andrews Industrial Equipment in late 1981, an old set of RAC Homologation Papers, FIA ‘Appendix J’ paperwork, its MSA Competition Car Log Book, and lots of photographs, DVDs, books and manuals.

We understand from our vendor that all the relevant safety equipment is current and appropriate but, naturally, with a competition car it’s best to check. Safety equipment in rallying has a short life 5 plus 2 years in most cases that run from purchase date. Like for like, anything that is not current on the date of the sale will be replaced. The whole car is in very good condition and appears to have been looked after with no expense spared.

Guided attractively, this is a real chance to own a piece of Rallying History, and with Russell’s sad passing recently it is just the right time for our vendor to let the car move on to another enthusiast passionate about the Golden Age of British Rallying. It could sit in a collection of important rally cars or better still it would be welcome all over Europe at historic events and demonstrations but whatever happens, it might be fun to take KKV 394V up to the Lake District and recreate that iconic image of Brookesy and Broady clattering through the early morning misty forests on Grizedale South.

Year of manufacture:
1979
Make:
Talbot Lotus
Chassis number:
R4DCN9L172417
Engine capacity:
2174
Body colour:
White
MOT Expiry:
Wednesday 08 July 2020
LHD/RHD:
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
KKV 394V
Model:
Sunbeam
Interior colour:
White

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