In memoriam : Talbot Horizon LD

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

A look at some of the less likely extinct cars in the UK, according to data supplied by the brilliant How Many Left? website based on DVLA data.

The Talbot Horizon LD – died out in 2003.

Talbot Horion Ultra - wearing the aero kit added also to the LD model

Ah, you’re thinking, so AROnline‘s In Memoriam series is already running out of steam to such an extent that we’re now relying on having to pick model variants instead of ranges. Maybe you’re right but, in the case of the Talbot Horizon LD, we reckon it’s justified.

Older readers might remember the Talbot Horizon – a car so rattly that you’d hear it coming long before you saw it and so susceptible to rust that it was already fizzing the moment it left Poissy or Coventry. Mind you, it was the tappet rattle which most people will remember with something less than affection – the Simca 1294, 1442 and 1592cc engines all suffered from the dreaded rattle and, no matter how hard servicing dealers tried to rectify the problem, they never quite succeeded.

However, in 1982 Peugeot shoehorned in a new engine that clattered instead of rattled and, in the process, ushered in the brilliant 1905cc XUD engine – a power unit that would go on to introduce a new generation of drivers to the varied joys of diesel power, be it in their Citroen BXs, ZXs and Xantias; or their Peugeot 309, 405 or 306s. It was a truly gamechanging engine and one that went on to sell in its millions – and Talbot got it first in its middle-aged Horizon LD.

Actually, the Horizon wasn’t a bad car – it was clean looking (thanks to a certain Roy Axe), it was roomy and economical. All that really let it down was those engines and comedy low-geared steering. Surreptitiously, PSA answered those criticisms with the LD. The diesel lump was torquey and delivered plentiful performance (for its day), while the production engineers got all sensible and gave it standard fit power steering. In a stroke, they created the perfect Horizon – and one that proved that there was life in the car, despite fearsome younger rivals such as the Escort Mk3 and Vauxhall Astra/Opel Kadett coming along and bloodying its nose.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late. Yes, it went on to sell pretty well in its homeland, but the Horizon LD wasn’t enough to convince customers or PSA’s management itself that there was a future for the marque. The Talbot name was already doomed and the Horizon LD would live on two more years until its replacement, the Talbot C28 Arizona (sorry, Peugeot 309) was launched.

Apathy soon followed with the result that the pool of Talbots was pretty much eradicated from UK roads by the turn of the 21st Century. The last Horizon LD clattered into a scrapyard back in 2003, killing the breed forever in the UK. That’s a genuine shame because the model was, if nothing else, significant for proving that diesels could be even better than their petrol counterparts – even if they were actually rather average.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

Latest posts by Keith Adams (see all)

69 Comments

  1. I will never forget my first driving experience of the Horrorizon.

    The car concerned had come in for MoT work and, although I cannot remember how many items needed sorting, the Tester’s scribble filled the sheet.

    The negative points incuded a nasty, clunky gearchange, a breathless engine (petrol), the cornering capability of a cow on roller-skates and disgusting long spindly column stalks.

    That said, it had a nice ride, good brakes and I will never forget lifting the bonnet and chuckling at the expansion tank which looked, to me, like a re-cycled gherkin jar.

    Might I be right in recalling that the Horizon in question was a “Summertime Special” limited edition?

  2. Chrysler should have resurrected the ‘Singer’ name for the Tip Tap Horizon – it sounded like one! I was never a fan.

  3. The diesel Horizon followed diesel Golfs and Kadetts in establishing a newly acceptable reputation for diesel-engined family cars which eventually led to the preponderance of diesels in the market today.

    Up to then, anything with an oil-burner had been regarded as hopelessly noisy and slow – and the performance figures for the likes of mid-1970s Mercedes and Peugeot diesels reflect that – a 0-60mph time of 28 seconds for the Merc 200D!

    The Golf diesel really was different, though. I remember that, back in about 1980, George Bishop joked in CAR Magazine that he’d like a diesel-engined Golf convertible, as if to suggest such a thing was unthinkable. George, you were ahead of your time, mate!

    There was also a bit if a trend to launch new engines in ageing models, with the Horizon LD being a prime example. Similarly, the 1.3 Family One engine of the Kadett/Astra was launched a few months earlier than in the Ascona and Manta (although not in the UK, where we had the 1256cc Cavalier), replacing 1.2 litre versions of the same in Europe. A Manta 1.2 must have been incongruous!

    The diesel Horizon was a big improvement on the petrol-engined ones and a decent car in its own right but, as you say, the Talbot reputation was terminally damaged by 1982 – only two years after the marque was re-launched! I can’t say I fancied the styling very much – heavy looking and dull. Not one of Roy’s better efforts.

  4. Don’t forget PSA could have invented Dacia/Skoda a decade (or two!) early, with practical, plain noisy cars (diesel’s…). The Horizon LD even had its own page in the rear of the brochure resplendent in that awful pale yellow hue.

    Imagine a Shelby GLH with the cancer-causing lump and a dump valve!

    Then again, maybe not…

  5. @Andrew Elphick
    I had forgotten about the Shelby version – he had a stab at the AC3000 ME about the same time. I found a Lotus Group B-developed car earlier – I’ll put on FB with a link.

    • Didn’t the GLH use the diesel front suspension, ’cause it was stiffer due to the extra weight of the diesel; and there was power steering?
      Also, any truth in the rumour that GLH stood for Goes Like Hell?

      • Yes, the USA Horizon GLH was generally understood to be ‘Goes Like Hell’ although GLH was more about a particular mix of inteirors, exteriors, tires ect. They were a ‘hot hatch’ in the day in the NA market. Most of them had turbos, also used on other Chrysler brands FWD models in the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s.

  6. I remember the rattle of the Horizon’s engines. That was a shame really – when they were switched off, the car didn’t look bad and the interior trim was reasonably inviting. It was just that tappet rattle on tickover or when one drove past you.

  7. Hilton Davis :
    I remember the rattle of the Horizon’s engines. That was a shame really – when they were switched off, the car didn’t look bad and the interior trim was reasonably inviting. It was just that tappet rattle on tickover or when one drove past you.

    You could also say exactly the same thing about the Chrysler Alpine – a decent looking car spoilt by a very rattly engine. You don’t have to look far to see why Chrysler disappeared from the UK.

    • And the Talbot Solara too! Same engines & components as the Alpine & Horizon. I liked the look of the Solara’s until the ignition key was turned.

  8. I had thought Chrysler’s sale of its European operations was due to problems in their home market.

  9. Could it be that the demise of the last Horizon diesels was hastened by the healthy demand for XUDs in Citroen BX and Peugeot 405 taxis?

  10. Jonathan Carling :

    The Golf diesel really was different, though. I remember that, back in about 1980, George Bishop joked in CAR Magazine that he’d like a diesel-engined Golf convertible, as if to suggest such a thing was unthinkable. George, you were ahead of your time, mate!

    I recall George uttering the same words!

  11. I remember diesels in the early 1980s. My dad had an XUD in a BX. In those days, diesel pumps were away from the main 4star/unleaded, in a corner (a bit like LPG/hydrogen today.) where vans, buses and lorries would fill up.

    I had an XUD in a ZX – it was a very reliable but slow engine. I was later given an XUDT ZX estate which proved how, with a turbocharger, diesels could really (just about) keep up with petrols.

    Let’s remember too that Rover also used the XUD – it was fitted to the R8 200 and also sold in Europe as the Honda Concerto diesel.

    The engine could also be found in Suzuki 4x4s, LDV vans and Toyota Corollas. It seemed a good plugin solution for manufacturers who realised they needed a decent diesel in their range.

    The XUD is survived by its HDi offspring as fitted midway through the life cycle of the 406 and Xantia. The HDi is like an XUD but is a common rail injection unit with too many electrics to be a basic diesel and all sorts of emissions-based trickery (EGRs, FAPs, cats) to drain the wallet in Banger Valley.

  12. Just a note from Pedants’ Corner – there was never a 1592cc Horizon, but there was an 1118cc version.

    • I didn’t think that was right either, the 1592 was the second iteration of the 1442 minx engine from the 50’s which lasted all the way through to 76 as the 1725.
      We had several Peugeot diesels, mum had them for hauling boxes of books (12 to a 306 hatchback, and I could barely lift one). I think the 1600 C5 diesel could take 16-18 boxes and still do 40+mpg. We never weighed one but they must have been over 25kg each. The joys of self levelling suspension.
      They even managed to make a baby pickup out of a Horizon in the states, shame it never came out here, could have given the P100 Ford a good run.

  13. I did wonder about Horizon LD’s being ‘robbed’ of their engines, though it normally happens with sporty versions of undesirable models.

    The bangernomics community seem to like XUD-engined models as they are often cheap but are ‘not too agricultural’ diesels.

  14. Well, to think that the Chrysler Horizon was ‘Car of the Year’ in 1978!

    The wheel arches were far, far too wide but, in my opinion, it was still a pretty car when it arrived.

  15. Actually, there are photos of the Horizon clay in Roy Axe’s book and it was quite pretty.

    Chrysler US insisted on the boxy, full-width front and the Prince Charles-like ears were added for standardisation with the US model, adapted for US ‘tastes’.

    However, since the US model had McPherson struts and a different powertrain, the rationalisation was pointless anyway. Chrysler was, by then, a basket-case.

    I reckon that to bring the Chrysler name back in the UK instead of buying the dealers a few Lancia shields and other stuff seems short-sighted.

  16. Had anyone other than Talbot introduced a diesel model which didn’t sound like a bus and have the performance of one, then they would have been hailed as producing a really advanced car.

    However, as the name Talbot was involved and the car was launched in the middle of winter, then, apart from the routine What Car? and CAR tests, the diesel Horizon attracted little attention. By this time Talbot was down to 4.5 per cent of the market, its models were notorious for rust and poor quality and Peugeot was losing patience with the loss-making brand whose cars were heavily discounted to move stock.

    Yes, I will admit I was a passenger in one of the first LDs and, apart from being noisy at idle, the engine was a revelation compared with the Simca-based petrol cars. Here was a car that was as quiet as its petrol-engined rivals when warmed up, could compete well on the motorway and could do well over 50mpg on the open road. Additional attributes were the typical Talbot low pricing and value for money and a spacious interior.

    However, had, say, Ford got in on the act first, then everyone would have hailed the car as a marvellous achievement. Unfortunately, as it was, Talbot sales were minimal – even if the LD was a far better car than the petrol-engined Horizons.

  17. @Nick Graves
    Chrysler’s recent comeback with the likes of the 300C must seem like the lesser of the two evils compared to the collective memory in the UK of rusting-in-the-showroom Lancias.

    Lancia is a shadow of its former self. Apart from the small Ypsilon and the intiguing new Delta (for which there are no rallying plans), it sells a re-badged Fiat Idea. The next Thesis a re-badged version of the new 300C and the next MPV is a re-badged Grand Voyager.

    The Horizon wasn’t a bad looking car in my opinion – it had crisp Golf-like styling while the wide stance giving it presence and space. It performed better in the US where it was a “world car” in the same way that the Escort Mk3 was.

    A European version of the Dodge Omni 024, with proper Euro-lights, tuned engines and suspension would have made for an interesting prospect – that might have been Chrysler’s answer to the Volkswagen Scirocco just as the Horizon was their answer to the Volkswagen Golf.

  18. I have quite fond memories of my old Talbot (formerly Chrysler) Sunbeam – it was a rather revolting shade of baby-sick yellow and, I think, a 1.3-litre. The engine was rattly although I am not sure whether it was one of the Simca engines mentioned above, presumably so.

    It was quite pokey though and, although middle-aged for the 22 year old I was then, I found it great fun to drive and it ran reliably without any problems for a number of years. However, in the end the sills started to go and I part-exed it. I was, for this reason, quite sad to see the demise of Talbot although I agree with comments that their cars were generally pretty awful.

  19. My old man had two Alpines. I will admit they were rattly, the build quality was below par and the trade hated them when he traded in the last one in 1987 for a Peugeot 305. However, as Tim points out, the cars were quite mechanically solid and our two were no less reliable than other cars of the time.

    Had Talbot abandoned its Simca engines for Peugeot ones, tightened up on the quality and had far better rustproofing, then models like the Horizon and Alpine would have sold far better as they were good cars otherwise. Not many family cars made in 1981 could boast electric windows, a trip computer and a radio/cassette.

  20. The Peugeot 309, which replaced the Horizon, was also a car that moved diesel hatches up a gear in my book. I used a J-reg NA Diesel and the transmission package, the interior package and the handling were perfect. I loved the feel of the thing especially since, in those days, Peugeot were the masters of interior ergonomic design – it just felt right.

    • My secondary school head teacher had the 309gti 1.9 (yes, they did one) and for some reason I got a lift home. The car was quick anyway – she drove it like Jason Plato on methamphetamine. If that car is still around you can probably still find the marks where I held on for dear life.

  21. @Mikey C
    Thanks Mikey, I did wonder. I thought it might have been different to the Simca engines.

    My friends at the time and I used to tamper with all of our cars, back in those days (before the computers took over). We ‘upgraded’ my Sunbeam to a GLS by salvaging a GLS dashboard and replacing my standard non-revcounter version – we even got all the instruments to work! I did a few other mods and even put a GLS badge on it.

    I was considering replacing this car with a Horizon and almost bought one. However, the lady over the road had one that burst into flames for no discernible reason. Luckily no one was hurt, but it did put me off.

  22. American Horizons started out with 1715cc Volkswagen engines. One cheeky Volkswagen Dealer got hold of a Plymouth Horizon and parked it on his forecourt with the bonnet/hood open. A sign in the engine bay read: “You can buy the engine from Plymouth or come to us for the whole car!”

  23. @Richard 16378
    They did and it was sold in France and Spain.

    The truth is the last Horizons, along with the Alpine and Solara (renamed Minx and Rapier in the last days), with the five-speed box and much better rust-proofing were good honest motors – the Horizon was even better if you got the the GLX version which was fitted with power steering.

  24. Why is the woman in the picture putting a plastic bag over her head?

    Talbot Horizons weren’t that bad, surely?

  25. Hardly a bad car and it beat the Mk3 Escort and Astra to the market by 2 years. The 1950s Simca Engine let it down. Pity they couldnt have made the Avenger units work sideways.

  26. I actually have diecast mnodels of a Horizon, Solara, Alpine, and Arizona! When you think though, the cars were developed on a budget of bugger all, they weren’t that bad, but by the end, the competition was light years ahead. Ford brought back that familiar tappetty noise though with the ‘HCS’ ohv 1.1/1.3 lumps for fans of castanets 🙂

  27. Bloody interesting find thank you. I’ve found his ad, too, on Car and Classic at this link.

    http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C346757

    I suppose the seller thinks he’s clever by saying this: ‘You are looking at and reading about the last one now. What the experts and anoraks did not know was that an elderley gentleman who bought this Horizon brand new in May 1984 had tucked it away around 20 years ago with just 14,000 miles on the clock. And here it is, complete with original V5, handbook, guarantee and service book!’

    So because this car didn’t appear on the SORN system (it will have been taken off the road before SORN kicked in), it was shown as ‘lost’ by the DVLA. So, of course us ‘Anoraks’ wouldn’t know about what some little old blkok has tucked away in his barn. How would we?

    Misguided seller aside, that’s a great find – I’ll follow its progress on eBay with interest.

  28. Only recently I was mulling if any of these had somehow gone “off the radar” or had been imported.

    I wonder if there are any RHD SEAT Malagas tucked away in barns, supposedly the only one in the UK is an LHD personal import.

    RHD Renault 14’s are getting thin on the ground, I’ve heard of a few collectors importing LHD examples.

  29. I have just put a 1981 Horizon 1.1LS back on the road. I have to say I was hoping it would clatter like I thought I could remember them, however it is very quiet, particularly inside. It is fun to drive although the steering is quite heavy at low speeds. The seats are supremely comfortable and the ride is excellent.

  30. I spotted a French registered Horizon on the A69 earlier this year. However, this is the first time I have seen a Talbot since 1997. The last one I recall was an Alpine used as a cheap hack for someone at work and this had to be scrapped when the parts became too difficult to find at MOT time.

  31. I remember there used to be a well worn Horizon parked near to my college, which I attended 1994-6.

    In those days it was still easy to see late 1970s cars, but even 5 years later they were hard to spot.

  32. Horizon was first car I ever owned, back in the late 70s. Even then it was riddled with rust lol. Remember taking it to a garage and asking did it need much work?The mechanic said were do you want me to start! By the time of it’s 6th birthday it was heading for the knackers yard. Although I’ve had quite a few cars since, I still remember my 1100 GL with affection.

  33. My main memories of the Horizon were the very comfortable seats( always well padded and made of decent quality fabric), fairly spacious interiors and soft ride. OK the Simca petrol engines were noisy, although the introduction of a five speed gearbox in 1982 made them more bearable, rust protection was poor until the same time, and handling was nothing special, but the diesel engine really transformed the car. I was a passenger in a Y reg one twice in 1983 and was surprised how quiet the car was compared with the early petrol Horizons when warmed up, and how it seemed to thrive on the motorway and easily return over 50 mpg. Again, when working 11 years later, I was using a Citroen BX which used the same engine, which seems to be remembered far more and with more affection.

  34. The Horizon LD was at the start of an era, helping to usher in a 30 year period where diesels became a mainstream and highly popular option for cars of all sizes and types.

    It’s probably fair to say that the era of diesel engines is, if not at an end, then seriously under threat, with all the worries about pollutants and cities planning to restrict their use

      • If you’re talking about America in the awful 55 mph fuel crisis era, this sounds about right. At the start of the eighties, American cars were so strangled by emissions controls and taxes on fuel consumption, 93 horsepower sounds reasonable, and even a Corvette would struggle to reach 120 mph. Thankfully over here, for all we saw big increases in petrol prices in the seventies, our cars were never powered down like the American ones.

      • It’s easy to criticize in retrospect. In those days a 2.0 Montego had 94bhp, only 10% more; and it didn’t have a catalyst. Nor did it have to put up with American owners’ lack of interest in maintenance, despite which they expected cars to do 200 or 300 thousand miles – on the first engine!

    • The “down on the junkyard” feature I linked to is on of my favourite series of articles on the internet.
      They find interesting old cars, give a brief bit of background information, and try to speculate on what the last owner was like and what the last expensive repair might have been that sent it to the scrapyard.

      They featured a Sterling a while back:

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1989-sterling-827-sli-fastback/

      Perhaps a similar feature could be run on MG/Rover cars on here? If no access to a scrapyard then use ebay “non-runner” adverts instead…

  35. Talbots did seem to improve around 1981-82 when five speed gearboxes made them quieter inside and rustproofing was improved. I can remember my family having to replace a W reg Alpine which had been written off in a crash with an X reg Solara with a five speed gearbox and the reduction in noise was noticeable and the car seemed better made. Also when the Solara was sold at five years old, it was completely rust free.

    • A former neighbour of mine had a Y reg Solara in lemon which looked decent enough and rust free. However after he died, the car was sold at about 4 years old.

    • I think it was the Solara which were notorious for gearbox breakages after the warranty had expired, probably the 5 speed, when the gearbox internals failed the casings were damaged too. Therefore not really a Diy proposition to fix

  36. The Horizon diesel was a bit of a marketing master stroke – at one fell swoop, it removed the notorious Talbot tappet rattle, the vague and rubbery gearchange, and the “sudden death” distributors, which would completely fail to operate with no warning whatsoever. 64 bhp was more acceptable in those days, and Horizons never rusted anything like as badly as Alpines. Build quality was noticeably improved by 1984, but the customers had gone away to buy more modern rivals.
    Presumably Peugeot decided to trial the XUD in the Horizon because nobody would notice much if it failed…

  37. It’s interesting that the Alpine & Solara never received the XUD, I guess they had fallen out of favour in the fleet market by them.

  38. Looking at the Wikipedia page, it notes that all diesel Horizons were made in Spain. I guess it made sense as at the time, diesel cars in the UK were a real rarity

    • My dad had an early BX diesel, I remember in the 1980s the diesel pump being at the corner of the forecourt, where heavy vehicles could fill up. Amongst the lorries and box vans was the Citroen 🙂

      (Indeed, one rural Scottish petrol station still had this kind of setup when I visited about 15 years ago in a ZX diesel)

      The main ‘car’ pumps being 2 star, 4 star and the new-fangled ‘unleaded’.

  39. I believe I’m correct in saying that the first diesel saloon offered for sale in the UK by a sizeable manufacturer was the Standard Vanguard Phase 2 (the ‘notchback’). I read a report years ago (might even be on this site somewhere), that when brand new it would surrounded by smoke and fume and was known to traverse at speeds of up to 48mph on occasions. This would have been around 1953 ish? Never saw one in real life though! Come a long way ‘ain’t we?

    • Yes the Vanguard had the little grey Ferguson tractor engine I think externally the only giveaway the car was different was the long protruding fuel filler pipe?.

    • I cheated and looked up Wikipedia 🙂

      “In February 1954 Standard became the first British car maker to offer a diesel engine as a factory fitted option. The chassis was stiffened to take the weight of the heavier engine and performance suffered with 65 mph (105 km/h) about the top speed. Like the petrol engines, the diesel was a Standard-built “20C” engine developed for the Ferguson tractor. The diesels fitted to the tractor were restricted to 2200 rpm and developed 25 horsepower (19 kW), but road-going engines in Vanguards had no limiter and so produced 60 horsepower (45 kW) at 3800 rpm. However, they retained the tractor’s “Ki-Gass”, de-compressor and over-fuelling systems, all of which had to be manually operated when starting the engine from cold. 1,973 diesel Vanguards were made.”

      They reference
      Sedgwick, M.; Gillies, M. (1986). A–Z of Cars 1945–1970. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7.

      • 1,973 Diesel Vanguards – that does surprise me – I thought we would have been nearer to 3.
        Perhaps the RAF bought a lot of them – they did buy the petrol version of the saloon, estate, van and pick up. Any RAF bods out there with answers?

  40. We all laughed about them at the time [and even now], but I can remember as soon as they put the 5 speed gearbox and PAS in the Horizon it became a different car……same went for the Alpine and Solara!.

    • I concur, it cut engine noise considerably in the Simca engined petrol cars and boosted economy, which was quite good anyway due to Talbot’s light bodies and fwd. Also it did seem by 1982 that Talbot had come reasonably good, the new Samba with its Peugeot engines seemed decent enough and improvements in rustproofing and refinement to other models made them worth a look.
      Problem was by 1982 Talbot was stuck at rock bottom as Britain’s fourth biggest carmaker, with a market share of 5 per cent. The closure of Linwood the previous year had seen many Scottish buyers boycott the company, which hurt sales, and the company’s reputation for making rust prone cars with tappety engines didn’t help. Even though interest in the company’s products was kept alive with discounting and attractive finance deals and high equipment levels, it wasn’t enough and Peugeot decided to run down Talbot after 1983. A shame really as the product range was quite good near the end and the cars were still a good drive.

      • I guess that Peugeot, having also recently acquired Citroen, didn’t want 3 brands.

        So while the planned Samba replacement was going to be AX based, and the Horizon replacement is well documented as the 309 which was given an ‘out of band’ name (305 was taken, 306 wouldn’t be used until the 90s and the 405 was being readied) raided some of the parent parts bins – 205 doors and Simca engines, the Tagora was a slow seller and the 405 was waiting in the wings so a mid-range 1307/Alpine/Solara replacement was not a priority.

        Though they later did end up with 3 marques with the DS premium spinoff, and there were rumours that they might resurrect the marque as a Dacia / Datsun style developing world / budget brand, though in the end they just used the x01 naming convention (though strangely the 408 and 301 seem very similar)

  41. I think the problem was, Talbot was a loss making brand, using elderly Simca technology and not being considered a serious rival to Ford and Vauxhall. It was a shame in a way as the cars were all fwd and mostly hatchbacks, which was what the market wanted by the eighties,and tended to be reasonably priced, cheap to run and well equipped, another bonus at the time, but buyers were put off by the noisy engines, poor rustproofing( at least until 1981 when it was improved) and rattling trim. That said, the three Chrysler/ Talbots we owned were mostly trouble free, the X reg Solara we had seemed to have beaten the rust bug and the fifth speed made it a lot quieter, and were very comfortable on long journeys.

Add to the debate: leave a comment