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1938 Sunbeam-Talbot Ten Sports Tourer

Sunbeam-Talbot Ten Sports Tourer

1938 | Drop-head Sports Tourer Body | 1,185cc | 4-speed | Brunswick Green with Leather Interior | Wire Wheels


2-door drop-head Sports Tourer body, built by Whittingham & Mitchel. 1,185cc sidevalve engine with 4spd manual transmission. 5x Excelsior crossply tyres mounted on Talbot wire wheels. Folding hood complete with removable side screens, plus hood bag and tonneau cover. Halogen headlamp conversion. Additional flashing indicators. Manufactured in October 1938 and originally registered and delivered in London.


In 1935, Clément-Talbot and the Sunbeam Motor Car Company fell into the hands of the Rootes Group. At this point, Rootes had new owner who’s strategy was to use the prestige of the Talbot name for selling larger numbers of lower priced cars. The Talbot Ten was one of the first cars intended to open a range of affordable, smaller cars. Following on from the Talbot Ten of 1935/6, which was effectively the replacement for the sporting Hillman Aero Minx, the Sunbeam-Talbot marque came about and a revised 10hp range was announced, being described at the time as ‘Britain’s Most Exclusive Light Car’. Well-equipped and available in saloon, drophead coupé and sports tourer versions, the Sunbeam-Talbot Ten proved very popular and was reintroduced after the war, continuing until 1948 when it was superseded by the ‘80’.


This particular Ten, named ‘Lily’ by numerous previous owners, is a pre-war Sports Tourer model. By the early 1930s, the design of cost effective and long-lasting saloon bodies had developed to such an extent that they constituted the bulk of production, even at the cheaper end of the market. Consequently, open tourers of this period are quite rare, such is the case with Lily – It is believed that there may be only around 10 pre-war models in the world.


Lily was built in October 1938, and was delivered to a Miss Bunzl in London SW3 registered as ‘FXY 403’. The then cost would have been around £235.00. Miss Bunzl took the car over to America not long after, although little is known about the car’s life there. At some point, Lily was fitted with wire spoke wheels replacing the standard steel-disc versions, which are believed could be a dealer-fit extra in period. It was repatriated in 1989, and registered with the DVLA on it’s current registration mark in 1990. After the owner passed away, it was passed on to his two grandsons in the custody of their father, who restored it then eventually sold it on. An owner in Norfolk and an owner here in Shropshire later, it is now ready again for it’s next to maintain, drive and enjoy her!

Due to ill health, the present owner has decided to sell the car after a few years of inactivity. This has led to some light recommissioning work to get the car back up to a good standard, including some mechanical, servicing and rustproofing work. Lily’s engine fires up from cold easily enough with a bit of choke, and a fast idle can be achieved thanks to its hand throttle on the dash to aid her warm up. Setting out onto the road, she pulls strongly for a car of this age with no smoke on acceleration or overrun, and can cruise along nicely at circa 50mph just about keeping with most modern A-road traffic. You feel a little bit like ‘Seigfried Farnon’ bowling along the country lanes, you just need the tweed to complete the picture! The gearbox selects all gears nicely, the steering is precise, and the cable-operated brakes bring it up to a stop well and will lock up the wheels if you give the pedal enough effort (no servo assistance here!).


Now an older-restoration, her bodywork is still in very good condition and shines up well with good paint and chromework. The main areas to note on the body are the odd paint chip (one on the left-hand rear wing, and some around the driver’s door) and light scratch present in the paint. The suicide door-catches need a bit of a slam to get them to latch, and also have leather safety loops to hook on to prevent them popping open and flying back. The hood is waterproof and rip-free along with the tonneau cover, although both are a little sun-faded. The side-screens are also present and in good order, under the shelf in the luggage compartment. It has also had the later addition of flashing indicators to complement the trafficators, along with halogen headlamps for greater safety.


Underneath, the car is very solid with no corrosion issues to note, and has recently had a fresh coat of Dinitrol underseal to preserve her. The exhaust system is also very good with a recent silencer unit, and all five tyres have plenty of tread. All in all, this is a fantastic, well-loved little motor car that is absolutely ready to be preserved, enjoyed and improved and would make a great entry point into vintage motoring with great club support from the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register. We’ve had great fun driving it around the Shropshire lanes, so if you’re interested please get in touch, we’d be happy to help.

Price: £16,950 ONO

Please note, this vehicle is for sale on behalf of a client; therefore we are unable to offer a warranty on this vehicle.

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