‘Brand New’ Lotus Sunbeam For Auction


October 24, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on August 5, 2015

Silverstone Auctions is offering the chance to own a ‘brand new’ hot hatch icon, a 1980 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam, in its auction at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. The car is presented in immaculate, as new condition, has never been registered and has covered just 193 miles in its lifetime.

The left-hand drive, time warp car was discovered overlooked and ignored as part of a large private collection in Italy by the current vendor. Every single aspect of the car is factory standard and it appears like it has just rolled off the production line. It is estimated at between £24,000 and £28,000 and finished in the evocative colour scheme of Embassy Black with silver decals.

“It’s incredibly rare to discover a historic car that is ‘brand new’ but this is exactly what we have here. Sitting in this amazing example takes you right back to the late 70s and early 80s and the early days of the hot hatchback”, said Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions.

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. Lotus took a Sunbeam 1.6GLS shell and installed a 2.2-litre version of the Lotus 16-valve four-cylinder engine and a five-speed ZF gearbox. It 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.

Having never been registered, the buyer of this vehicle will be the first registered keeper in its history. Supplied with all hand books, service books and a fresh UK MoT, this 1980s icon is an incredible find for any collector of modern-classics.

“This really is a time warp car, immaculately preserved. Nothing has been modified and this must surely be the only unregistered and lowest mileage Talbot Lotus Sunbeam in existence”, added Nick.

The vendor describes this vehicle as in “perfect running order” and will be supplied with a NOVA certificate for the new owner to register the car. The car will be auctioned on the 16th of November at the NEC, Birmingham as part of Silverstone Auctions’ two-day sale the Classic Motor Show.