The cars : Talbot Samba development story

The Talbot Samba was another car from PSA which relied on badge engineering to take it to market…

However, despite that, it was a reasonable success in its home market – but was that the UK or France?


Talbot Samba: changing tune…

Talbot Samba

The story of the Talbot Samba, sadly, is one of history repeating itself. However, it is not such a grim one that there are not some happy elements to it, and it is certainly one worth repeating even if, ultimately, it has an unhappy ending. The instance of deja vu is in connection with the Chrysler Sunbeam, and the reason for this comparison is simple: like its predecessor, the Samba was created in a rush, and was conceived to live a short life…

The one that got away…

However, it could have been different: back in 1975, Chrysler’s Product Planners identified that the 1.0-litre supermini class was a major European growth area and concluded that not to design a car to fight in that class would be to ignore a 30 per cent chunk of the entire car market. At the time, it was a market that British Leyland, Fiat and Renault dominated but, more importantly, it was an open secret that Ford was gearing up to join the party with its Spanish-built Fiesta (due to be launched in 1976).

Thanks to emergency product planning and an emergency injection of cash from the British Government, Chrysler was able to produce a car for the sector – the R429 Chrysler Sunbeam – but this was a stop-gap, and a more permanent solution was needed in order to replace this car, and effectively fight the competition (both existing and upcoming).

With that in mind, Chrysler Europe’s Product Planners devised a front-wheel-drive supermini, which was conceived to compete at the very heart of the supermini sector. Given that in 1975/76 Chrysler was already feeling the financial squeeze, the new car would need to use as many existing components as possible, and that meant basing it on the upcoming C2 Horizon model.

Honey, I shrunk in the the Horizon

The Chrysler C2-Short was an obvious and expedient project to produce a car to fight in the supermini class... (Picture: www.allpar.com)
The Chrysler C2-Short was an obvious and expedient project to produce a car to fight in the supermini class… (Picture: www.allpar.com)

The Design Team therefore devised a scheme called the C2-short and, as can be seen from the picture above, this car was not only mechanically based on the Horizon, but it was also stylistically very close indeed; a classic example of that family style that would successfully come to fruition by the turn of the decade (and after Chrysler withdrew).

The car’s fate was put in stark terms by Burton Bouwkamp, Chrysler Europe’s Executive Director of Product Development at the time: ‘The C2-Short would have replaced the RWD R429 (Sunbeam) when and if we could have afforded it. The C2-Short never was in the approved product plan but all the product people knew that we had to be in this 1.0-litre car market segment which was 30 per cent of the European market at that time – so we kept working on the concept in the Product Planning and Styling Offices.’

As Bouwkamp explained, the C2-Short never got the green light from the Board of a financially strapped company and, as a result, it never progressed further than the full-sized model pictured here. By early 1978, the writing was on the wall for Chrysler Europe anyway, and the C2-Short was dropped, leaving the issue of producing a supermini down to whoever bought Chrysler Europe…

Different owner, different supermini

Peugeot came onto the scene and decided that what Chrysler desperately needed was a replacement for the rear wheel drive Sunbeam model. The Peugeot 104 "shortcut" was chosen by management as the car to base the new Talbot badged supermini on.
Peugeot came onto the scene and decided that what Chrysler desperately needed was a replacement for the rear-wheel-drive Sunbeam model. The Peugeot 104Z Coupe was chosen by management as the car to base the new Talbot-badged supermini on

On 1 January 1979, all of the remaining Chrysler executives posted at Poissy left, to return to the USA. Peugeot was effectively left with a successful manufacturing facility and Chrysler’s European range of cars. Of the cars in development, only the C9 Tagora was close to production, whereas in the current range, the recently launched Horizon and Alpine ranges could be relied upon to look after the company’s interests in the medium sector… for the medium term. This left a yawning gap at the bottom of the range that would need to be filled quickly in order to cash-in on the demand for superminis.

Chrysler did have an entry in the market, in the shape of the rear-wheel-drive Sunbeam but, by 1979, it was beginning to be left behind by its rivals. Although it had been devised as a stop-gap until the C2-Short could be put into production, financial problems left that car in the might-have-been category, and therefore, the Sunbeam was left without a replacement. Being a stop-gap, the Sunbeam could not be relied upon to perform in the market much after 1980, and that meant the matter of its replacement needed to be treated as something of a priority in order to get it onto the market as soon as possible.

That, in turn, meant relying heavily on PSA’s parts-bin…

At the turn of 1979, PSA’s established supermini offerings took the form of a pair of cars, based upon the same platform. Peugeot sold the successful 104 model, which, rather unusually, was available in two wheelbases (the four/five-door was the longer of two). The Coupe was the shorter of the two 104 models (nicknamed the ‘shortcut’ in the UK) and had been re-badged to become the Citroën LN/LNA model. In late 1978, Citroën also announced the Visa, which had a more idiosyncratic style, but was pure 104 underneath (bar the option of a 652cc two-cylinder engine). The 104, LN/LNA and Visa were all competent cars, and shared the same Gallic traits of offering loping ride quality, soft seats and rattly engines. It would be from this base that the first Talbot supermini would be engineered; a world away from the Avenger-based, rear-wheel-drive Sunbeam.

Project C15 takes shape

The new supermini took shape in the early months of 1979, under the project name C15, and quickly a product plan was drawn-up for the car. Because the Horizon was established, and had an entry-level engine of 1118cc, it was decided that the C15 should be based upon the shorter of the two 104s, so as not to encroach on its bigger brother. The 104 Coupe also fitted more comfortably into the classic supermini envelope, sitting neatly beneath the Ford Fiesta (and slightly above the soon-to-be-launched Austin Metro). A further matter for consideration was Peugeot’s own replacement for the 104, which had been conceived as a slightly bigger car…

This product juggling would eventually leave PSA with a Talbot-badged supermini at the lower end of the supermini sector, and a Peugeot at the top of it. This did not take Citroën into consideration, as it was considered that they traditionally appealed to very different customers. Without doubt, the post-merger situation at PSA was a Product Planner’s nightmare! With a plan settled, the matter of how much 104 would need to be retained fell to be settled. Given that PSA earmarked the Linwood plant for closure soon after it took on Chrysler Europe, the C15 (renamed T15 soon after the Talbot marque name was chosen) would need to enter production by late-1981 – that required a short gestation period. Just like the Sunbeam before it, the T15 would, therefore, need to retain as much under-the-skin engineering as possible.

Given that brief, the Whitley Design Centre produced a smart update of a proposed 104 facelift. It certainly looked more modern, thanks to the 1980s-generic front end styling and moulded bumpers, but because much of the 104 Coupe’s body-in-white engineering was retained, as well as its side doors, the T15 would emerge looking little more than a facelift of an existing car. In fact, according to French sources, the Whitley involvement on the T15 project amounted to a tidy-up of an existing proposal to facelift the Peugeot 104. Although the T15 would emerge as very obviously Peugeot 104 based, it shared very few body panels and only the hatchback and bonnet are the same. The doors are shared with the 104, but with different outer skins.

Samba arriva

Talbot Samba

Like the Sunbeam before it, the T15 went through a remarkably quick gestation period, and even if it relied on much existing Peugeot hardware, it was proof of Whitley and Poissey’s determination to make the best of the situation. Despite not having been anything more than a twinkle in the Product Planners’ eyes in 1978, the T15 became a production reality in October 1981 and, the following month, the new car – called the Talbot Samba – was launched to the press. It was significant at the time for being the first Poissy car to be designed and produced under the stewardship of Peugeot and, at the time of its launch, there was no reason to believe that it was not to be the first in a line of many…

At launch, the Samba range was offered in three levels of trim: LS, GL and GLS, and these trim levels were tied in with three engines – 954cc, 1124cc and 1360cc. At the time of its launch, the Pininfarina-styled cabriolet was also touted, but it followed some months after. Unlike the Alpine, the Samba was purely French built, which must have come as something of a blow to the beleaguered British workforce.

Still, the Samba was greeted by a positive press at its launch in France, and What Car? magazine was most favourable after its first drive: ‘First driving impressions are of the refined, clean revving engine and excellent quality of the gearchange adding to a drivetrain which for its smoothness is unique in the present range of Talbot cars.’ Obviously, the use of Peugeot instead of Simca engines (with their rattly tappets) had the desired effect on What Car?‘s staffers… The magazine went on: ‘The gearing feels very high as the ratios were chosen with economy in mind, and one feels that the limit of economy gearing in relation to the power of the engine is not far off, but as it is the compromise is reasonable.’

Aiming for the fuel economy record

The fact that the magazine picked up on the gearing is significant, as one of Talbot’s stated aims for the Samba was to produce the most economical car in Europe. Conditionally, of course… In 1981, much play was made of the EEC official fuel consumption figures, and the most flattering of all these figures, was what was achieved at a constant 56mph (90km/h). The nature of the test (performed on a rolling road) produced some stunning headline figures, and the manufacturers were keen to produce the most economical car. In France, this was certainly the case, as the country’s best-selling car, the Renault 5, was available in ultra-economical GTL form, and the company was not shy in advertising that it could achieve 58.3mpg…

When the Samba was launched, it was soon touted as ‘Europe’s most economical car’, after the 1124cc GL version delivered 61.4mpg. As a historical footnote, that was soon bettered by a higher-geared version of the 5 GTL (62.8mpg), which then was trounced by the Austin Metro 1.3 HLE (64.1mpg).

The magazine was left unimpressed by the Samba’s chassis though: ‘…it is satisfactory by the standards of the 5 GTL, but is uninspiring compared to the Metro and Polo. In using Peugeot 104 suspension components, it necessarily has soft springing but fortunately not quite as uncontrolled as the Renault. Damping is good and the amount of body roll on corners is modest so that the effect is what the Renault tries to be but isn’t. Roadholding is good, verging on the enjoyable at times, but the Samba’s handling is to a large extent spoiled by heavy and lifeless steering…’

The specials

Open-air motoring on a budget: The Samba Cabriolet proved something of a hit in France...
Open-air motoring on a budget: The Samba Cabriolet proved something of a hit in France…

During the development of the Samba, it was foreseen by PSA management that a high-glamour model would need to be devised in order to make the car stand out from the crowd. The answer to that question came swiftly, in the form of a cabriolet version. Given Peugeot’s long association with Pininfarina, it seemed fitting to give the job of developing the decapotable version to the Italian coachbuilder, Pininfarina.

Pininfarina had also been responsible for all of Peugeot’s drop-top models since the early 1960s – that the company was massively experienced in this field anyway made the decision something of a no-brainer. The fact that it emerged as such a pretty car, was more by design than accident, thanks to the Italians! The cabriolet was offered for sale in 1982, and soon became something of a cult car in France, where it was seen as a stylish homegrown (and cheaper) alternative to the Volkswagen Golf cabriolet.

Soon, the 1360cc runabout was to be seen in some numbers around Paris; all manner of public celebrities at the wheel… Two versions of the cabriolet were offered between 1982 and 1984 (in 72 and 80bhp form), but this was cut back to the single lower-powered version after 1984. In its four year production run, 13,062 versions were produced; a respectable figure for such a niche product – and rather better than the in-house competition in the shape of the Citroen Visa decapotable.

The fast Samba

Spiritual successor to the SIMCA 1000 Rallye, and precursor to some cracking Peugeot hot hatches (205, 106, 306 Rallye), the Samba Rallye was a fun package that had been created so that young men could go rallying.
Spiritual successor to the SIMCA 1000 Rallye, and precursor to some cracking Peugeot hot hatches (205, 106, 306 Rallye), the Samba Rallye was a fun package which was created so that young men could go rallying

The Samba Rallye, on the other hand, was a replacement for the Simca 1000 Rallye (and some would say, Talbot Sunbeam ti) – produced to meet the same set of criteria as its rear-engined progenitor, it was a stripped out special with minimal equipment and a tweakable engine, purpose-built for motor sport. First shown in 1983, the Rallye was instantly recognizable because of its bonnet mounted air extractor, availability in two colours only (white or red), and garish side stripes… The 80bhp 1219cc engine resulted in the 780kg Rallye having a fair turn of speed (110mph), and the club rally drivers took it to their muddy hearts…

In 1985, a rather special 90bhp 1360cc version was launched and, surprisingly, this did without the side stripes, as can be seen in the above picture of a Poissy development car.

Samba special editions:
Model Notes:
Auto-ecole As with other Peugeot models including the 106, 205 and 309, the Samba was offered in auto-ecole specification, this is likely to have been a GL 1124cc as this was the best-selling model in the range offering a good compromise between fuel efficiency and performance. The specific learner driver items such as dual controls and the sign on top could be removed and the model would then be sold as a GL.
Bahia (1985) This was a better-specified version of the Sympa (below) with an 1124cc 50bhp engine. The appealing specification included denim seats, an opening sunroof and metallic blue paint as standard. The major significance of the model is that it is definitely a market test for later Peugeot models. After the success of the model, the following year the formula was applied to the basis of a three-door Peugeot 205 XE and sold as the Junior; it carried on the success spawning the CJ cabrio along similar lines and then the Peugeot 106 Kid. Even the name was repeated on the 1996 Peugeot 106 Bahia!
Sympa (1984-85) This was a toned-down production version of the Copacabana concept seen at motor shows. The concept was simple, it was a car to appeal to young people with a degree of personalisation, the first series came as a silver metallic car which was decorated with yellow, red or blue highlights and then a choice between radio or sunroof which echoed the very first special edition ever the Simca 1000 EXTRA which beat the 2cv Spot to sale by a matter of weeks. The following year the sunroof was standard and only yellow was available. The Sympa in a way brought the concept of the ‘young person’s car’ up to date from the Simca 1100 Elix of the ’70s – popular colours and specification at a low price added up to an appealing package. Within a few years the market was flooded with replicas, Peugeot 205 Junior, Renault 5 FIVE, Seat Ibiza Disco and Citroën AX TEN all had the same ‘Sympa’ formula.
Style This was a UK-only model for running out Samba stocks in 1986. It was based on the Sympa but lacked its originality despite coming with a radio and sunroof as standard. Resembled a Sympa without its colourful details.
Trio This was a 1985 edition of the Samba Bahia in the UK. Unlike the Sympa/Style, they were identical. This name was re-used by Peugeot many times afterwards.
Pullman This was a styling exercise for a top of the range Samba with two-tone paint work, aluminium wheels and other luxurious touches as seen on the most cosseting Solara. Although never produced, it could be seen as a foretaste for the luxurious yet small Roland Garros Peugeots, the 205 Gentry and even to an extent the Renault 5/Clio Baccara.
Peugeot Talbot Sport Samba Rallye Group B This hot baby filled the gap before the fabulous T16 Peugeot came into production. A 1258cc 130bhp engine (equal in power to the later 205 1.9 GTI) allowed the baby car to storm around the performance track against exotic competition Porches and Ford RS2000s.

Table prepared by Asopèe Jodocius-Lecoeur

End of Samba, end of Talbot

Shortly after the launch of the cabriolet in 1982, Talbot started work on the Samba’s replacement. Because Talbot had lost its autonomy within PSA the previous year, the new car would be entirely managed by Peugeot, which meant that all styling and engineering work would take place back in France. That meant that the Anglo-French Talbot was no more, and that there was no longer any need for Whitley. What it meant for the future of Talbot was plain and simple: Samba, Horizon, Alpine and Tagora needed to sell in order for Talbot to continue…

…and outside of France, and through PSA’s neglect of the range, none of Talbot’s cars sold in large enough numbers for the company to consider Talbot a going concern. The decision was not made until 1984, which meant that the Samba replacement did get off the drawing board. Sadly, that meant that the development of the Samba (as well as Alpine and Horizon) was limited to a marketing one, and so, the Samba was released in a number of special editions in order to maintain sales. The Samba continued until 1986, when run-out Samba Style (in the UK) and Sympa (in France) models were launched…

What sealed the Samba’s fate was not only the failure of Talbot to sell in meaningful numbers across Europe, but also the massive and instant success of the Peugeot 205 following its launch in 1983. Whereas the older 104 had never set the world on fire, the achingly cute 205 was welcomed by everyone who saw it. The 205’s range started with a 954cc entry-level model and ended with the 1360cc GT version – all of a sudden, there was no longer any need for the Samba. So, the replacement was shelved and, with it, the Talbot marque shuffled off into obscurity…

Samba production
Year 1981 1982 1983 1984
Produced 18,769 103,681 81,166 41,287
Year 1985 1986
Produced 18,945 6,707

Total: 270,555
(Figures courtesy of: The SIMCA Club)


Postscript…

The Samba was not replaced by another Talbot, but by the Peugeot 205. The same people that brought this twentieth century icon to you were also responsible for much of the engineering in the Samba...
The Samba was not replaced by another Talbot, but by the Peugeot 205. The same people who brought this twentieth century icon to you were also responsible for much of the engineering in the Samba…

Thanks to Asopee Jodocius-Lecoeur for her contributions.

Keith Adams
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26 Comments

  1. The Chrysler C2-Short strangely looks pretty much what a three door 104 would have looked like if it had used the longer wheelbase.

  2. Also like the look of the C2-Short considering it was developed in 1975(?!) based on what appears to be the date in the bottom right of the image.

    Would have been interesting to see how it fared against the Fiesta and other rivals had it gone into production (particularly in more sportier form given what was available), assume it would have been powered by Coventry Climax as well as the Simca Poissy engines.

  3. I presume C2 short would have driven like the Horizon, and thus would have similarly tappet engines and slightly stodgy handling

  4. A good car, with Peugeot dumping the SIMCA engines for their own far more refined and modern units and offering a decent range of models. I can only think the Samba didn’t do as well as it should due to its badge and the superior Peugeot 205 making it superfluous after 1983. Also I wonder if sales would have been higher if the Samba was produced in Linwood rather than Poissy as some Scottish car buyers boycotted Peugeot Talbot when Linwood was closed.

    • I good idea about making the Samba at Linwood, but I guess the economy of scale wasn’t viable, & the plant seemed to be considered a white elephant by Peugeot.

      • The problem with Linwood was it was always a branch plant to Rootes/ Chrysler’s main factories in Coventry and it cost the company a fair sum to transport the powertrains to Scotland. I suppose Peugeot Talbot, who took over Chrysler in 1979, thought the factory was too expensive to keep going and pulled the plug.
        Maybe politics had a role to play. The new Conservative government was unhappily bailing out British Leyland, which was far bigger and had factories in marginal seats, and since Peugeot had taken over the troubled Chrysler factories that had received government cash and was relatively smaller, it was a commercial decision for Peugeot to close Linwood. Also since Linwood was in a strongly Labour area, there would be no political fallout for the Tories.

  5. Looking at the Samba, the front end looks very similar to the Sunbeam in its last years. I wonder if this was used to save costs on the new car, although mechanically the Samba was completely different and based on Peugeot rather than Chrysler/ Simca technology.

  6. What prevented the Samba from being powered by the Simca Poissy engines as was the case on the Peugeot 205 in certain markets?

    • @ Nate, the car was based on the Peugeot 104 and it was probably cheaper to use Peugeot engines. Also these were far more refined than the Simca engines used on other Talbots, which removed a possible criticism of the Samba. A shame the Samba didn’t do that well as it was far more modern than the Sunbeam it replaced, it had a hot hatch option and a cabriolet, and drove well. However, to many people in the early eighties, Talbot meant rough sounding cars which weren’t desirable to own.

    • I worked at Peugeot Talbot at this time, joining via the graduate scheme in 1983. The fast Samba to me means the Samba S, and I bought an ex company one with the 1360 engine and alloy wheels in red in 1984. I also got to drive the 205 before launch, putting miles on one to get it to the 1,000 mile service so it could then be offered to journalists to test. A work colleague and I did 400 miles from Ryton to Cockermouth and back in an evening 🙂

  7. And nearly 40 years on Vauxhall/Opel are about to launch a new Corsa developed in record time from a PSA paltform

    • Even more interesting if you consider that the previous Corsa was based on a FIAT platform…

      • I think the Mk3 Corsa and Fiat Punto shared a GM/Fiat JV platform – so you could just as easily say Fiat used a Vauxhall platform. Same goes for the assumption that Ford used Peugeot Diesel Engines – That was a JV unit as well as much Ford as PSA.

  8. Actually with regard to Linwood, the government did try to persuade Peugeot Talbot to keep the factory open to produce the Samba and right hand drive versions of the Peugeot 205, but the company wanted to close their most peripheral factory. However, had Linwood lived on , this would have avoided the massive unemployment that hit the town in 1981 and thousands of job losses at Ravenscraig, who provided the steel for the bodies.
    indeed Linwood is rather a shame as the unions decided to work with management to improve productivity when Peugeot took over in 1979 and productivity rose by 24% in 1979-81 and strikes became a thing of the past. Also while the rest of west central Scotland was suffering from heavy job losses in the steel , shipbuilding and engineering industries, Linwood was still considered a relative boom town until the axe fell on the car factoru. Then the town became depopulated as people moved away to find work, unemployment hit 40% and it took decades for Linwood to recover.

  9. I owned a Samba Cabriolet. it was 5 or 6 years old at the time got it, but still a solid and reliable car, Had lots of fun with it and at that time the cheapest cabriolet you could get. Traded it in for a 205 GTI and still got a reasonable sum of money for it.

  10. Great article, what a true joy it’s been for me to find and scroll through your website! Just wanted to specify that the Samba wasn’t just a rebadged 104Z. While the 104Z and 104, as you noted, already had different wheelbases, PSA even made a 3rd one for the Samba: The 104Z was 3.30m long (3.36m after adopting bigger bumpers in 1977), the 104 was 3,58m long, and the Samba fell in between the 2, at 3,50m. 🙂

  11. C2 Short looks good when compared with the Fiesta, and as a successor to the Sunbeam larger engine models – I guess that fitted with the likes of the US market engines used in the Chrysler Plymouth Omnirizon it could have been a rather fun clubman rally car. A UK version of the Shelby GLH…to take over from the Sunbeam rally cars and inject some sporting appeal into the range.

    • Exterior similarities aside it is said the North American and European Horizons diverged quite a bit from each other beneath the surface, the latter was essentially derived from the 1100-based C6 platform and the former reputedly a reverse-engineered Golf platform that was originally intended to be used on both sides of the Atlantic as a World Car.

      The C2 Short does look good, although can see it using only the Poissy engines at best with up to 92 hp, while the emissions-strangled North American 1.6 was detuned to 62 hp.

      The 1.3 1982 Talbot Horizon Turbo concept does give an insight into another way of proving the C2 Short a possible hot hatch entry, while Matra themselves looked at developing a 1.3 featuring a 16-valve DOHC cylinder-head based on the Matra V12 with one prototype engine being on display at the Matra Museum.

      • The American Horizon used a 2.2 litre Chrysler engine, although some early models had a 1.7 Volkswagen unit. It was probably felt the European Horizon engines were too coarse, and after 1978, Chrysler had left Europe. Also a 2.2 in emissions strangled America would offer the right balance between power and economy and be able to compete with Japanese subcompacts.
        The American Horizon did prove to be a steady seller during its 12 year life, with a hot hatch version launched in the eighties that proved popular, and standard models becoming popular as a second car or as a cheap used car for poorer motorists. Being America, many came fully loaded with options like air conditionng and automatic transmissions.

        • In theory had Chrysler not experienced its own issues (never mind those of its European divisions) and Simca not been uncooperative during the C6 project, it is plausible the European Horizon (or Europeanized version of the North American Horizon) would have been equipped with Type 180 or Avenger engines.

          The Avenger was sold in North American and grew to 1.8-litres in South America with potential to reach 2-litres (plus V6), although do wonder if the Avenger engine would have been capable of meeting increasingly stringent US emissions laws to have been considered as an alternative to the 1.6 Poissy engine.

          Do wonder if Simca originally designed the Type 180 engine to be compliant to meet US emissions standards, because the initial French proposal was unlike the US-geared British proposal appeared to be intended primarily for the domestic French market? The only note-worthy car to receive the engine that reached North America was the Peugeot 505 Turbo, after Peugeot took over Chrysler Europe.

  12. The Samba was a big step forward from the Sunbeam, which was hampered by being rwd and had some rather garish seventies interiors inherited from Chrysler. Although there was no Lotus version of the Samba, there was a hot hatch version and a cabriolet that developed a decent following. Also the use of Peugeot drivetrains meant the car was good to drive and reasonably reliable, and it had none of the harshness of the Talbots that used Simca engines.

  13. A shame the Samba couldn’t have looked less like the 104 shortcut. It looks like what it effectively was, a slightly stretched 104 shortcut, as even the angle of the rear tailgate looks the same.

    • The Samba was probably the swansong for the Talbot range,as Peugeot knew there was little future in the Chrysler era cars, and the 104 based Samba was the last chance for Talbot to prove itself. It was a decent enough suoermini when it was launched, but soon became outclassed by the Peugeot 205, Fiat Uno and Vauxhall Nova and sales fell away.

  14. My Samba S was a great car to drive, I remember terrifying my boss going round the sweeping slip road from the M42 to join the M6 towards Coventry. I did the route everyday on the commute home and had steadily been building up the speed I dared to take it at 🙂

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