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Lot 665: 1925 Sunbeam 14/40hp Five-seat Tourer

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

John Marston was a pioneer in the infant motor industry in the industrial West Midlands, establishing Sunbeam at Wolverhampton in 1899 and in 1901 producing his first car, the curious offset-diamond wheel layout Sunbeam-Mabley � one cannot accuse him of copying others� ideas in this respect! These first faltering steps were soon rectified by the appointment of T.C. Pullinger to the design team who brought with him a wealth of technical expertise gained within the then world-leading French automobile industry. His 12hp Sunbeam of 1903 unashamedly cribbed much detail from the French Berliet but would establish the name of the Sunbeam Motor Car Co. as a force to be reckoned with. The later arrival of Louis Coatalen from Hillman was a major influence in Sunbeam�s progress, the marque enjoying considerable success in Edwardian motor sport, including 1-2-3 in the prestigious 1911 Coupe de l�Auto race and 4-5-6 in the French Grand Prix which was concurrently run. Sunbeam�s achievements in World Land Speed Record runs in the 1920s by the likes of Campbell and Segrave are legendary and all this publicity did great things for the sale of the race-bred production models.

The 14/40hp model was introduced for the 1924 season, replacing the earlier 14hp model.
It was powered by a four cylinder, overhead valve engine, displacing 2,121cc, driving through a three speed gearbox, the car sitting on semi-elliptic front springs with cantilever rear suspension.

Most chassis carried factory coachwork but this example carries coachwork by respected provincial coachbuilders Brainsby of Peterborough. This handsome tourer is presented in grey and black livery with nickel fittings and is equipped with a three-piece opening windscreen, twin side-mounted spare wheels, hood and a full complement of sidescreens, providing for snug motoring in inclement weather. This exceptionally original car comes with an old style log book with nicely documented history and has been in the present ownership for 23 years. Condition is fairly described as good in all areas and the car comes to the sale with a Swansea registration document and current MOT certificate.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
Lot Number665
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£11250
Hammer Price (inc premium)£12938
Condition rating0
Registration numberFL 4306
Chassis number5097E
Engine number5104E
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors