1981 TALBOT SUNBEAM LOTUS For Sale
ABOUT THE TALBOT SUNBEAM LOTUS The Chrysler Sunbeam first appeared with three engine variants, 930cc, 1300cc and 1600cc. The sporty end of the market was soon catered for with the 1600cc Ti model with 100bhp and 0-60mph in under 10 seconds - very respectable in the late seventies, but Chrysler knew that this was insufficient to mount a serious challenge in the rallying world against Ford RS Escorts and Vauxhall HS Chevettes. Chrysler had already spotted the potential of the Sunbeam but needed serious power. Nothing in the Chrysler range was likely to prove adequate. Suddenly an obvious solution presented itself; Lotus had been supplying 2 litre engines to Jensen Healey, who had recently ceased trading. A standard 160bhp 2 litre and a modified version producing over 230bhp were sourced for testing. Lotus subsequently developed their engine into a 2.2 litre unit designated type 911. Launched in 1979, the Lotus high-compression 2174cc twin-cam engine breathed through two twin-choke Dell'Orto carburettors, developed 150bhp (but was easily tuneable to well over 200bhp for rally use), and delivered excellent performance, being rear-wheel drive and weighing only 960kgs, giving a 0-60mph time of just 6.6 seconds. Lotus wasn’t just an engine supplier, it was also involved in designing the suspension and exhaust system. The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus took part in international rallying from 1979 to 1982 and won the World Championship for Talbot in 1981. Its most famous achievement was at the 1980 Lombard-RAC rally, Britain's round of the World Rally Championship, where Henri Toivonen became the event's youngest ever winner and Sunbeam Lotus cars finished 1st, 3rd and 4th - the last time a two-wheel drive car won the RAC. At the end of the 1982 season many of the Talbot team transferred to Paris where their experience contributed to the success of Peugeot-Talbot's new rally contender, the 205 T16. THIS CAR This is a 1981 Series 2 car, and currently has just over 100,000 miles on the clock. It was extensively rebuilt and restored in 2003, and has been in our ownership since 2006. An original Webasto sunroof is fitted. MOT until late June 2020, located in Nottingham. Used for historic regularity road rallying for the last 13 years, the emphasis has been on maintaining the mechanicals and driving performance of this car, and no expense has been spared on this. Being in the fortunate position of owning a performance car engineering centre prior to recent retirement, we were always able to source and obtain the correct components for this vehicle and ensure that it received the best possible care in servicing and maintenance work. As a result, it has never let us down and has given us years of enjoyment. We are only selling because we've now stopped rallying and need the space. Since our main use for this car was for motorsport, some essential fitments and modifications have been made, all of which are included in the sale price along with the original front seats and wheels. Rallying modifications include: - Safety Devices bolt-in half roll cage - supportive modern Peugeot seats trimmed to coordinate with the original Piccadilly upholstery at the rear - Minilite wheels - sump guard - tank guard - bigger radiator for improved cooling - uprated Bilstein dampers - map light - 12V supplementary socket - master switch - Sparco steering wheel - uprated AP brakes. The ZF 'dog-leg' gearbox was rebuilt in 2008 by a former works rally team engineer. A new Quaife LSD was fitted at the same time. The bodywork and paintwork are in good condition with only minor blemishes commensurate with age and usage. This car is ready for use and will make an ideal road-rallying car for anyone looking to enjoy this aspect of motorsport. Contact us for more photos and information.
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