1951 Talbot Sunbeam 90 Drophead Coupe




First Registered: 26.10.51
VIN Chassis No.: A3005308HC0

We at Craner Classics are both delighted and very proud to be announcing the readiness for sale of this exquisite Sunbeam Talbot 90.

When these first launched in 1948 they had already been displayed in New York and Boston, as they were cars styled partly to the American taste for big roomy cars and bold sweeping lines.In impeccable Old English White with a sumptuous red interior it looks and feels like a limousine out of the Great Gatsby era, and Hollywood star Cary Grant was happy to drive one. He was in good company; below is a photograph of Their Royal Highnesses in Coronation Year (1953) rolling through Bermuda in a Talbot 90:

Sunbeam had overhauled their engines with the launch of the Talbot 90 with a cast iron cylinder head and overhead valve design, and the widened beam axles and semi-elliptic leaf springs all round, plus the Lockheed hydraulic brakes and adjustable-height seats all helped assure premium ride quality.

By the time this particular model rolled virtually silently out of the factory in 1951, the engine had been enlarged to 2267cc, and the increased capacity meant the 90 engine now developed 70 bhp, making it able to pull a higher rear axle ratio for more comfortable cruising, and the enhanced power-to-weight ratio allowed the car to be “geared quite high” yet still provide impressive acceleration when needed.

Although these were generally produced with a steering column gear change, a handful, including this one, were modified by the Rootes Group in Coventry to incorporate a floor-mounted gear lever.

When The Times reviewed the car, they remarked that it “was fast, could reach 80 mph, was well-sprung and there was no wind-roar when cruising at 60-70 mph.” They went on to declare that “This is one of the prettiest cars made today anywhere.”

In 1952 one such coupé tested by The Motor magazine produced a top speed of 85.2 mph.

This particular Sunbeam 90 is in phenomenal condition from top to bottom – it has clearly been cherished and maintained to the highest standard – and previously belonged to a retired colonel.


The car is accompanied by a phenomenal binder of paperwork, and most interesting and reassuring will be the candid hand-written chronicle from the mechanic detailing honestly and informatively the steps taken to restore the car to such outstanding condition.

The car has a fantastic presence about it which is hard to represent in the photographs; it really is a car to be enjoyed, perfect for cruising rather than shuttling about town. An absolute riot of a limousine.