Chassis no: 1001/K
1928 Sunbeam 25hp limousine, KX 1516, chassis no. 1001/K 1928 Olympia Motor Show Car.
Registration number: KX1516
The pictures speak for themselves. The 3.6 litre 6 cylinder engine is powerful and well able to carry the limousine bodywork at modern speeds, the engine bay presenting beautifully to show standards.
The car was first registered on 1st December 1928 to J.Aldridge of High Wycombe, the month the United States Congress approves the construction of Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam
This VERY car was exhibited on the Sunbeam stand at the 1928 London Olympia motor show held during October, so Mr Aldridge presumably bought the car directly from the stand. The chassis number shows that the car is the first 25hp in the ‘K’ franchise, the 1929 model year. The car was prepared specifically for the show, with a special, non-standard colour scheme, bigger than normal headlamps and other extras, including chromium plated bright parts - cutting edge for 1928. During the restoration, the chalk inscription ‘Show’ was found in several places behind interior trim. Inside the car has a unusual division with beautiful curved glass at each end no doubt to show visitors the finer art of coach building and fit outs available.
Amongst the paperwork with this car is a black and white photograph of the Sunbeam stand at Olympia 1928. The car we have here is at the far left of the picture which was taken from the 'wrong end', from our point of view, but there it is. The photo features in Bruce Dowell's book on Sunbeams.
The Sunbeam model was considered by many to be far superior to the Rolls Royce 20hp at a chassis price some 25% less, and it is recorded that Henry Royce communicated from his home in Le Canadel in the South of France to those in Derby, "keep an eye on what is going on at Sunbeams", with a particular regard to this engine. The arrival of designer Louis Coatalen at Sunbeam in 1909 and the pursuit of an effective competitions programme enabled Sunbeam to establish a formidable reputation prior to WWI, its superbly made products enjoying a reputation rivalling that of the best from Alvis Bentley and Vauxhall thereafter.
Beyond first registration, the earliest known history comes from the original buff logbook, where the first entry is 20th January 1947, when the car was registered to Robert George Diver Ellis of Newmarket and declared as ‘Hackney’. It was redeclared as ‘Private’ shortly afterwards, on 5th April 1947, when the first change of owner was noted. He was James Parke of Metfield, near Harleston in Norfolk. ‘Jimmy’ Parke is well remembered by many of the locals and seems to have been quite a character, featuring in any number of ‘good old boy’ East Anglian rural stories. He used the car as a kind of taxi, for such outings as trips to the dogs or the football in Norwich, as well as for weddings and funerals, for which purpose he had it resprayed black all over. The car was once again declared as ‘Hackney’ on 6th May 1950, and the log book endorsed with the change in colour. The owner was told that Jimmy couldn’t really afford to run the car, this seems to be backed up by the very incomplete run of (quarterly!) taxation stamps in the log book, which stop altogether in July 1952.
At some point in the 1950s the car suffered frost damage to the block. Jimmy Parke therefore agreed to sell it to a scrap dealer for £15. His then employer, farmer John Godbold, thought this a pity and outbid the scrap man with £16! The Sunbeam was tucked it away in one of his barns with a view to ‘doing it up one day’. The car was shifted to a different barn in 1962 and remained there until bought in 2008 by the current owner Mr Angus Stewart in Bungay Suffolk
Having been laid up hidden away for over 50 years, the car was remarkably complete and original. The only missing items were one of the twin side mounts, the windscreen wiper and motor, the starter button and the glove box lid. It was, however, extraordinarily dirty, having been infested with birds, mice, rats and woodworm, as well as half a century’s worth of accumulated dust. Luckily, the barn was very dry and t he woodworm attack was restricted to the plywood bulkhead and floor panels, leaving the ash frame almost untouched.
The car was fully dismantled all components carefully cleaned and inspected. The philosophy followed was to restore and retain original parts wherever possible. Every stage was photographed. This has resulted in a superb road going Sunbeam retaining 90% of its original interior. The door shuts have to be heard to be believed, perfect with a positive “ker lunk” just as they should, witness to the superb integrity of the ash frame structure.
To summarise a most enchanting and largely original grand tourer from the golden age of Sunbeam Motor Cars. The 1920’s saw a profusion of manufacturers all vying for market share many fell by the way during the depression of the early 1930’s. Sunbeam included saw sales slump and despite their brilliant engineering courtesy of talented engineer Louis Coatalen, the company ceased to trade. The assets of Sunbeam were acquired by the fledgling Rootes group company fronted by William and Reginald Rootes. Talbot were also acquired, models there on were badged Sunbeam Talbot with the Rootes group continuing well into the late 1960’s before acquisition by Chrysler, then Talbot and finally Peugeot.
A lovely vintage seven seater saloon, ideal for rallies, and a fine example of an under appreciated marque, the car will be sold with a current MOT, tax and Swansea V5
FULL SCREEN VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS To view the ‘Full Size’ images of this car, simply click the main image to enlarge. To reduce the images size, simply click the image again.
Office 01375 379 719
Richard Biddulph 07967 260 673
Paul Fox 07955 588 019
We accept credit/debit cards.
Part exchange welcome.
Weekend & evening viewings welcome.
Viewings by appointment please.
9 Globe Industrial Estate,
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