Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Sunbeam

The Chrysler Sunbeam was the product of an emergency bail-out by the Britiish government. It was designed, engineered and raced into production in record time, and proved that when Chrysler UK had its back to the wall, it could deliver an appealing, saleable car.

Although it was little more than a shortened Avenger with a stylish new liftback body, it sold enough to sustain the company’s Linwood factory for another five years. Most were dull to drive, but the 1600Ti version was an interesting proposition, as it was effectively a shortened Avenger Tiger.

Performance was rapid thanks to the 100bhp 1.6-litre running twin Weber carburettors, and proved a popular entrant in club-level rallying. Oddly it boasted far more extrovert styling than the far faster Sunbeam-Lotus – a case of the marketing department mixing its memos?

Just 19 months from conception to introduction, the Sunbeam was the result of a crash development programme for Chrysler in order to secure UK government funding. It worked, too… and emerged from Whitley as a fine little supermini. Of course, it truly came of age once a Lotus engine was installed…


Reviews, blogs and news stories

The cars : Chrysler Sunbeam

The cars : Chrysler Sunbeam

Just 19 months from conception to introduction, the Sunbeam was the result of a crash development programme for Chrysler in order to secure UK government funding. It worked, too… and emerged from Whitley as a fine little supermini. Of course, it truly came of age once a Lotus engine was installed… The sweet escape By […]

The cars : Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

The cars : Talbot Sunbeam Lotus

The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus was an unexpectedly wonderful collaboration between Coventry and Hethel. With 150bhp, it was quick and exciting proto-hot hatch.

Concepts and prototypes : Chrysler Sunbeam

Concepts and prototypes : Chrysler Sunbeam

Project R429 RWD was given the green light in January 1976, and the challenge had been set; design a supermini set of clothes for the Avenger floorplan. Here are some of the Whitley styling team’s first thoughts on the subject. Conservatively chosen

Essay : Policing from behind the wheel

Essay : Policing from behind the wheel

News that the UK’s last MG police car has been pensioned off* surely merits that oft overused ‘end of an era’ phrase. ‘MG Rover and out’ about sums it up – and it prompted a mixture of memories from ex-police PR officer Roger Blaxall who worked for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Lancashire Constabulary from […]