Welcome to the New
Updated Sunbeam Talbot
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In 1935 the Rootes Group headed by brothers, William "Billy" and Reginald, bought the bankrupt Sunbeam and Talbot marques and quickly moved to introduce a new marque
in 1938 called Sunbeam-Talbot which combined the quality Talbot coachwork and the current Hillman and Humber chassis and was assembled at the Talbot factory in
London. The initial two models were the Sunbeam-Talbot 10 and the 3-litre followed by the Sunbeam-Talbot 2 litre and 4 litre models based on the earlier models only with
different engines and longer wheelbases. Production of these models continued after the war until 1948.
In the summer of 1948, the Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and Sunbeam-Talbot 90 were introduced, with a totally new streamlined design with flowing front fenders (wings). The 80
used the Hillman Minx based engine with ohv and the 90 utilized a modified version of the Humber Hawk with ohv. The car bodies were manufactured by another Rootes
Group company, British & Light Steel Pressings however the convertible drophead coupe shells were completed by Thrupp & Maberly coachbuilders in Cricklewood. The
underpowered 80 was discontinued in 1950. The 90 was renamed the 90 MK II and then the 90 MK IIA and eventually in 1954 the Sunbeam MK III, finally dropping the Talbot
name. With the model name changes, the headlights were raised on the front fenders and an independent coil front suspension and the engine displacement went from
1944cc to 2267cc with a high compression head and developing 80 bhp. Production ceased in 1956 and replaced by the sporty Sunbeam Rapier.
There was one more model of the Sunbeam-Talbot that appeared in 1953 in the form of an Alpine, a two seater sports roadster which was initially developed by a
Sunbeam-Talbot dealer George Hartwell in Bournemouth as a one-off rally car that had its beginnings as a 1952 drophead coupe. It was named supposedly by Norman
Garrad, (works Competition Department) who was heavily involved in the Sunbeam-Talbot successes in the Alpine Rally in the early 1950's using the Saloon model. The
Alpine Mk I and Mk III (a Mk II was never made) were hand built like the Drophead Coupe at Thrupp & Maberly coachbuilders from 1953 to 1955 when production ceased
after 1282 MK I's and 300 MK III's were built, making a total of 1582. It has been estimated that close 300 remain in existance today. (Factory production figures provided by Bill Hall)
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