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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brand New 1980 Lotus Sunbeam Goes to Auction, Only 193 Miles





While there’s a handful of things that get vintage motorheads revved up, few feelings eclipse the prospect of stumbling onto an old classic car that’s never been used. It’s a sensation akin to un-boxing a Christmas gift that has been lost to the closet for three decades.
And for attendees at the upcoming Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, beginning November 14th in the UK, it might as well be Christmas morning.


This is a brand new 1980 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam, set to go up for auction at the Birmingham show, and no, that wasn’t a misprint. It is essentially a 34-year-old brand new car. According to the folks at Silverstone Auctions, the current owner discovered the Sunbeam hot hatch amidst a large private car collection in Italy, and get this – it only has 193 miles on the clock.

The car – dressed in Embassy Black with silver striping – has never been registered, never modified, and most likely boasts the lowest original mileage of any Sunbeam Lotus in the world. That originality sounds a bit hard to believe, but the pictures say it all.


Underneath the hood, the engine bay looks factory fresh. The body looks unblemished and entirely rust-free. And the interior shot shows no wear at all, in fact, there are probably more footprints on the moon than in the foot wells of this decades-old Talbot.

The Lotus Sunbeam evolved from Chrysler’s ambition for Group 4 rallying success in the late ‘70s. As such, Chrysler put Lotus on the job, and the firm delivered handily. Lotus took the body of a Sunbeam 1.6GLS and dropped in a 2.2-liter 16-valve four-cylinder, mated to a five-speed ZF gearbox. It developed 150-horsepower in road-going form and in rally-guise would go on to win the 1980 Lombard RAC.


Despite this car’s unfathomably low mileage, the current owner gave it a full mechanical tune-up, replacing belts, fluids and filters, now claimed as in perfect running order.

Members of the Internet, you have the rare opportunity to become the first registered owner of a brand new ‘80s Lotus hot hatchback…in left hand drive. Estimated to gavel at around £28,000 ($45,000), Colin Chapman would want you to have it.