Telephone: 01944 758000
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This wonderful Sunbeam 14/40 Open Tourer was manufactured at the Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd Moorfield Works, Wolverhampton in November 1924. This early 14/40 with the straight bonnet line and four wheel brakes was built with a three door body as no drivers door was fitted on a 14/40 Tourer until 1925. The came out of the factory with Claret paintwork with black wings and Claret coloured buttoned leather interior. The car was finished with Rudge hubs and wire wheels. The price when new was £685.00.
The engine is a four cylinder in line four stroke with a 40 b.h.p RAC rating 13.9 horse-power. Sunbeam used a cast iron block and head, aluminium pistons, crankcase, sump and timing case. A crash gearbox with gate change, 3 forward gears and one reverse was used with a single dry plate clutch.
This Sunbeam was sold new by Pytchley Autocar Ltd of 179-181 Great Portland Street, London in early 1925 and registered with a London County Council number of XX 8703. There is no known history of the car which probably spent the period during WWII on blocks hidden away, avoiding the Blitz. We know the Sunbeam was owned by a Mr Read from around 1939, possibly earlier. In 1958, lifetime Sunbeam enthusiast and Sunbeam registrar Mr Pat Dunford bought the car having seen an advert in 'The Times'. The car was said to be very original and it was used as everyday transport for 7 years with very little trouble. For two years he travelled as a student from Oxford to London everyday. Mr Pat Dunford had the honour of racing XX 8703 in the Vintage Sports Car club Inter Register Handicap race at Silverstone on April 20th 1963. Torrential rain was unable to dampen his spirits and he had an enjoyable drive but a harsh handicap precluded him from being amongst the leaders. The car was sold in 1965 to two Cambridge University students and we have all ownership records and details since.
With the Sunbeam is the most fabulous, comprehensive history file. Over three files detail restoration work and correspondence throughout the 1970's including black and white photos of an engine overhaul. There are copies of photographs going back 60 years and letters from previous owners. Tax discs date back to 1939 with a gap until 1947 telling us the car was kept off the road during WWII. We have an original handbook, previous Sunbeam adverts and literature; a photograph of the car being raced at Silverstone, the history behind this rather original car is wonderful and very interesting. There are invoices for the past eleven years showing over £25,000 worth of expenditure and we known over £18,000 was spent during the 1970's/1980's on restoration work. Since selling the car in 2002, MOT certificates show the Sunbeam has covered just over 2,000 miles. The car is outstanding on the road and has a superb feel to it.
Expenditure since 2002 includes rebuilding the gearbox, rebuilding the rear axle, repairing the water pump, new bulkhead, re-grinding valves, new valves springs, new crown wheel and pinion, new exhaust manifold, new rear springs and bushes, re-lining brakes, new clutch, new water hoses, re-conditioned magneto, nickel plate wheel spinners and nuts, nickel plate side lamps and door handles, new tyres, new hood, tonneau, hood cover and full leather rear trim amongst much more.
On the road XX 8703 is fabulous and the car has a great presence with its older paintwork showing this has been a hard working car for much of its life. The interior is beautifully trimmed and all weather equipment is excellent. The Sunbeam is mechanically top class having had substantial work over the past nine years. This is a great opportunity to buy a large vintage tourer with interesting and detailed history in a condition where it can be used for long or short distances. A fabulous buy.