1919 Sunbeam 16/40 Tourer
Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | December 9, 2013
Sunbeam is one of the oldest names in automobiles. Of course, they aren’t around anymore, but the company did date back to 1888, when it was founded as a bicycle manufacturer by John Marston. In 1902, the first cars appeared, under the Sunbeam-Mabley marque, and 1905 brought Sunbeam as a standalone make.
In 1919, the company merged with Talbot and Darracq. That didn’t go so well, and in 1935 the trio became part of the Rootes Group. The final Sunbeam-branded cars rolled off the assembly lines in 1978 and the name continued on as a Talbot model into the 1980s.
The Sunbeam 16/40 was re-introduced in 1919 after WWI ended. It was a slightly updated version of the pre-war 16/20 that dated to 1912. It uses a 3.0-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower.
This Sunbeam is the oldest-known example of the marque backdated to the end of the Great War (in other words, one of the earliest cars made after the armistice). It was parked sometime around 1928 and entered the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in 1957. It spent 11 years on display before re-entering private ownership and being restored.
Update: Sold $60,369.