It was during one of Tolman Motorsport’s exclusive test days, organised for a long-standing client with a Ferrari 458 race car, that a shared passion for Talbot Sunbeams came to light and started the planning for a new restoration project.
Aware of the location of an almost complete set of Sunbeam Lotus parts, Tolman Motorsport sourced a body shell to set about completing a full nut-and-bolt rebuild for its client, who is a lifelong Talbot enthusiast.
Tolman Motorsport commissioned trusted friend and factory engine builder Phil Davidson to construct a brand-new works-specification powerplant, whose outstanding output is somewhat masked by standard aesthetics.
The newly prepared engine was installed in a car that has road rallying pedigree and whose history file revealed that it had spent its early life with Skip Brown Engineering, which was responsible for much of Talbot’s factory operation in period.
Thereafter, Tolman Motorsport installed an original, almost unobtainable brake package with a conversion to Chrysler 180 four-pot callipers, still in Chrysler-branded boxes, with labels and parts numbers from the company’s competition department attached.
The restoration was further enhanced by introducing other competition components, originally designed for the Group 2 rally car that won the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 1981, including a limited slip differential, negative-camber crossmember and super-quick steering rack.
Tolman Motorsport’s keen eye for detail prompted the team to work with an owners’ club to reproduce authentic seat upholstery for the restoration, therefore the car was completed with a completely re-trimmed interior and an array of new parts, including headlights, indicators and rear-view mirror.
This is a truly beautiful restoration.