Sunbeam Venezia (1963 – 1965) Review

Sunbeam Venezia (1963 – 1965) At A Glance


+Great styling and simple, rugged mechanicals

-Not as good to drive as it is to look

The Sunbeam Venezia was one of those cars that looked a lot better than it drove. Built by Touring of Milan, the Venezia stuck to the Superleggera principles of a tubular steel frame over which aluminium panels were stretched – but underneath the beautiful styling it was nothing more than a prettier version of the Hillman Super Minx. Apart from the standard overdrive and a slightly more powerful version of the engine that was normally fitted to the more mundane cars in the Rootes line up, there were no mechanical differences between the Venezia and the more ordinary models in the range.

Humdrum mechanicals it might have had, but that didn’t stop Sunbeam from charging Jaguar money for its new car, despite its 1592cc four-cylinder engine. As a result, the company struggled to sell the Venezia in any numbers. Rootes Group management was keen to maximize the concept mooted convertible and V8 versions, but they were never built. After appearing in September 1963 and lasted less than two seasons. Unexciting mechanicals and a high purchase price ensured demand was low and in the two seasons of production just 145 cars were built, seven of which were sold in the UK.