A Chrysler, a Simca, a Sunbeam, a Talbot?

Auto Motor Klassiek » Articles » A Chrysler, a Simca, a Sunbeam, a Talbot?

And that is about names. Brands. Through various takeovers and reorganisations, there once seemed to be a clear, easily recognizable separation between Chrysler in France, England and the motherland, the USA. But then Chrysler transferred the entire European branch to the Peugeot group, while in the years there a certain coherence had been realized in the series and brands in the various countries under the flag and name of Chrysler.

Cars from a modest price range have always been there

There was always the smell of 'all true to his money'. But where budget cars like the 2CV became iconic, legendary, the majority of the cars from that segment disappeared into the oblivion book. As a result, they are now often rarer than Ferraris. But considerably less wanted. It is the segment in the classic market where even top specimens change for change.

And in that context, the Chrysler Sunbeam 1.3 GL sat and sits

Sunbeam was previously part of the Rootes group. And there remained a model Chrysler series called Sunbeam. The Sunbeam 1,3 (GL) was the successor of the French Simca 1100 and the Sunbeam Imp.

The 1.000 cc engine from this Sunbeam series came directly from the Imp. And the remaining engine pallet showed the familiar 1300 and 1600 cc versions. The 1300 four-cylinder came from the Sunbeam Avenger. The cast iron block was good for tight 60 hp. The thirteen hundred (with handchoke *) was certainly not over motorized and ran, after a hefty run-up 145 km / h.

At the gearbox the first, and the unsecured reverse gear were very close together. That sometimes caused rear damage when driving away. During that shift, the driver was good. The front seats were fine. They provided an actively comfortable position that could certainly handle more power. The dashboard clearly showed traces of the relationship with Simca.

Fantastic to read in an old road test: The test pilot had serious concerns about the placement of the ashtray. Furthermore, the finish in the interior was seen as very tightly calculated and not experienced as practical. And to get a windscreen made of safety glass, you had to pay extra. The steering was light, but after a corner the steering wheel did not really come back nicely. At higher speeds, the steering became as vague as you would expect from a genuine American Chrysler. The soft suspension and damping also recalled the soft comfort that French cars of the time were known for. This clearly had consequences for the road holding. Such a Chrysler Sunbeam 1.3 was a car for people who liked to drive staid. In its time, this Simca Sunbeam Hybrid combined some French equipment and character with the British sloppiness in its finish that was characteristic of the time. But the Sunbeam's strongest point? It was a nice looking car for a very competitive price. And he still is on the current classic market.

However, serious money is paid for a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus.

* The handchoke story by Maurice from Brunssum

“In a kind of prehistoric past I have helped many people with their vehicles to get rid of all kinds of ailments. Similarly a lady with a Morris Marina. He sucked and started well with a cold engine. You guessed it, the choke button was firmly pulled out. That was all.
When I explained to the lady how the choke worked and asked why she had always pulled it out, she asked in surprise and helpless: "Yes, all well and good, but where do I have to hang my handbag on?"
It does not happen often but I stood with my mouth full of teeth ...


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  1. Nice story about the handbag that was hung on the pulled out choke, but that joke was already told when I started working at a Simca dealer in 1967.

  2. From childhood I have always found a nice car with its separate 'Mercedes-like' rear light units with 'ridges'….

    And if you'm now looking at is stay and again it anyway a great show lined and spoetief cart to ?!

    About 10/15 ago my ex-brother-in-law bought a very handsome Sunbeam Lotus in black on the advice of his father ...

    He thought it was completely nix, but I secretly loved it….
    And actually I have no idea what eventually happened to it…. : /

    Very unfortunate, but who knows I will ever find such a thing again….
    A Lotus or not, but I keep having a soft spot for it ...

  3. Not only women, a farmer came to moan every 1000 km that his car was doing poorly.
    Send new spark plugs and 1000 km again.
    We were not taught the choke ...

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