A short-lived marque created after the Rootes Group's acquisition of both Sunbeam and Talbot in the 1930s, 'Sunbeam-Talbot' first appeared on a car - the 10hp Sports Saloon - in 1938. The 'Ten' reappeared in 1945, but it was not until 1948 and the arrival of the Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and Sunbeam-Talbot 90 that Rootes produced its first new designs of the post-WW2 era. The '80' employed an overhead-valve version of the 1.2-litre Hillman Minx engine while the '90' used a similarly upgraded 2.0-litre Humber Hawk engine. Both models featured a modified Sunbeam-Talbot 2-Litre chassis. A works rally programme was the driving force behind Sunbeam-Talbot developments, this policy bearing fruit in 1950 with the introduction of independent front suspension on the MkII. The engine was enlarged from 1,944cc to 2,267cc at the same time, with maximum power increasing from 64bhp to 70bhp. Further improvements resulted in the MkIIA of 1952. Maximum power increased by a further 7bhp and the braking system was up-rated with larger drums cooled by ventilated disc wheels. In this improved form a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 driven by Stirling Moss finished 2nd overall in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally while works entries walked off with the Team Prize in the French Alpine Rally later in the year.
With the 'Talbot' name being phased out, the car's next incarnation was the 'Sunbeam MkIII', introduced in 1954. A further 3bhp was extracted from the 2,267cc, engine, bringing the total to 80bhp and raising top speed to 91mph, while externally the model underwent a mild front-end facelift and gained a set of Raymond Loewy-inspired engine bay 'portholes'. Otherwise the MkIII remained much the same as the preceding MkIIA, with four-speed manual transmission, steering-column gear-change and independent front suspension. The model remained in production until 1957.
This presentable Sunbeam MkIII spent many years in what was then Rhodesia and comes with an extensive history file. Fully serviced and benefiting from a recent brake overhaul, '418 YUL' is said to drive exceptionally well. The car is finished in Moonstone Blue with red leather interior and is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to June 2013 and Swansea V5 registration document. A stainless steel exhaust system is the only notified deviation from factory specification.