The Talbot Samba was the final product of the company that built it, and it was a truly Anglo-French effort, with Peugeot 104 underpinnings (on a unique wheelbase) and UK styling. Project T15 was designed to replace the shortlived Talbot Sunbeam, and was a very different beast altogether.
Based on the Peugeot 104, it was the only Talbot not inherited from Chrysler Europe, engineered by PSA alone. It was also the last new Talbot car to be launched, and the last in production. Its demise in 1986 was effectively the end of the Talbot brand for passenger cars (many, many Talbot Express vans followed into the 1990s).
Launched initially as a three-door hatchback, it was also for some time the only supermini available in a factory-ordered cabriolet body style, and the most economical car in Europe
Belying its heritage, the Samba had a predictable engine and model line-up, but the arrival of the pretty cabriolet in 1983 was a innovative marketing step that added some glamour to the range. The French-built Samba failed to capture the hearts of UK buyers, and despite being good to drive and economical it was heavily overshadowed by the Metro and Fiesta.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
The Talbot Samba was another car that relied on badge engineering to take it to market… But despite that, it was a reasonable success in its home market – but was that the UK or France? Changing tune… The story of the Talbot Samba, sadly, is one of history repeating itself… However, it is not […]
The Talbot Samba Rallye was launched as a follow up to the successful Simca 1000 Rallye, and developed as a budget-level rallying machine. With 80bhp and weighing at less than 800kg, it was a bundle of fun. Where are they all now?
PSA again dipped into the corporate parts-bin when devising the Samba replacement. The most suitable idea was a car based around the 1986 Citroen AX… Citroen AX-based replacement During 1983/84, PSA investigated the possibility of producing a replacement for the Samba, which was based upon the upcoming Citroen AX. The plans did not develop much […]
Early on during the Samba’s development programme, PSA decided that something extra was needed for its new baby in order to have added market appeal. The Cabriolet was an obvious answer, especially following the success of the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet… Although the cabriolet was announced at the time of the Samba’s launch in November 1981, […]