Ex-Essex Motorsport Lotus F1 Team 1980 Talbot Sunbeam Lotus Saloon Registration no. DUU 559V Chassis no. T4DCYAL303615 Engine no. AL303615
This Italian-spec and therefore left-hand drive 1980-manufactured Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, a standard production model, was glass-out repainted by Lotus in the team colours of their F1 sponsors Essex Motorsport for use as an Essex management car. 'The Essex Talbot Sunbeam Lotus', as it has become known, was then driven from the Norfolk factory to Monaco to Essex HQ at the Hotel de Paris by the Head of Essex Aerial Displays who became their travelling Director of Operations not only in F1, but for Essex-liveried entries at Le Mans and Indianapolis as well. Having been relatively minor advertisers on Martini Racing backed Lotus Grand Prix cars, international oil broker Thieme became the major sponsor of Lotus F1 for several seasons and therefore such illustrious driver pairings as Andretti and Reuteman, Andretti and De Angelis, and Mansell and De Angelis as well as sponsors at Le Mans for Essex Porsche drivers Andretti, Ickx and Bell. Indeed, the Essex Talbot Sunbeam Lotus became a familiar sight in European paddocks and provided corporate transport between airports, the pits and hotel bars not only for Lotus boss Colin Chapman and Thieme (who are photographed together with the car in the history file) and other Essex VIPs, but also provided speedy lifts for many of the leading racing drivers of the era. Since those heady days, the now UK-registered Talbot Sunbeam Lotus has remained in the care of the former Essex executive, who declares that a largely rebuilt replacement Lotus engine was fitted during what was reportedly a comprehensive mechanical refurbishment by Cambridge Motorsport whose bills from 3 November 1998 detailing work carried out amounted to £4325. Also sold with the car are a copy of the 'Talbot Sunbeam Lotus Rally Library 3' booklet in which the car appears on page 19, an Essex Motorport Lotus and Penske Monaco and Indianapolis celebratory brochure from May 1980, an Essex Team Lotus F1 Royal Albert Hall brochure of February 1981, the Chapman/Thieme/car photo, a Talbot Owners handbook with Supplementary Sunbeam-Lotus Owner's Instructions, the original Service Booklet with Nice agent's stamp from 8 May 1980, Authorised Dealers listing and a freshly passed MOT certificate.