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Who fancies a ‘brand new’ Sunbeam Lotus?

Published 24 October 2014

If you like the idea of owning what is effectively a ‘brand new’ example of one of the world’s most iconic hot hatches, you need to head to the NEC, Birmingham on 16 November, when this unregistered Talbot Sunbeam Lotus goes under the hammer

Dating from 1980, this particular Sunbeam Lotus is described as immaculate and in as-new condition, having just 313km (198 miles) showing on the odometer. Silverstone Auctions will be offering the car at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, where it is expected to achieve £24,000-£28,000.

The UK list price of the Sunbeam Lotus in 1980 was £7205, making it considerably dearer than the £4995 Ford Escort RS2000 and £5577 Vauxhall Chevette 2300HS.

This left-hand drive ‘time warp’ Sunbeam was discovered by its current owner as part of a large private collection in Italy. It remains all-original throughout, including its Embassy Black paint finish with silver decals.

The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was one of the most potent small hatches of its era, featuring a 2.2-litre version of Lotus’ 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder powerplant linked to a five-speed ZF transmission. It was created initially for Group 4 rallying and proved to be quite a success, its accolades including outright victory in the 1980 Lombard-RAC Rally.

This Sunbeam comes complete with its original handbooks and service manual, as well as a fresh MoT. It will need registering for the first time if its new owner intends using it on the road. The vendor describes the car as being in perfect running order, having been fully recommissioned earlier this year and treated to new belts, filters and fluids throughout.

“It’s incredibly rare to discover a historic car that is ‘brand new’ but this is exactly what we have here,” said Silverstone Auctions managing director, Nick Whale. If you want to find out more about this fascinating discovery, go online to

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? If you had the budget (and inclination) to buy this Sunbeam Lotus, would you register it and use it – or keep it tucked away as an ‘unused’ example? Tell us your thoughts via


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