www.asoc.co.uk

SUNBEAM

In 1976, Chrysler UK received assistance from the British Government to develop a new small car to replace the Imp. To minimize costs, Project 424 was to use the Chrysler  Avenger as its base. The result, launched in 1977, was a front-engined, rear wheel drive hatchback.  Initially three engines were available: a 930cc Imp unit and 1300 and 1600

   

Avenger units utilising the Avenger electrics and wiring loom. The car carried the same dashboard and most of the interior from the revamped Mk2 Avenger. Most of the chassis up to the centre crossmember is the same but modified more at the rear to account for the squarer Sunbeam design. The inner wings were modified and used allowing access to the rear of the lights, front inner crossmember is the same and if you look closely you can see that the whole of the Sunbeam was designed around the Avenger 2 Door as the doors are identical up to the point of the door frame. The sills are also the same only 3 inches shorter.

 

 

     

 

So basically a revamped 2 door Avenger. When launched in 1977 it was known as the Chrysler Sunbeam in the UK. The cars had headlamps reworked from the Mk1 Avenger with new mounting brackets. Series One cars were available as LS, GL and S (later changed to GLS) to begin with and the Sunbeam became an instant success with with the general public. 1979 saw the introduction of the Sunbeam Ti and Sunbeam Lotus.

 

     


In 1979 Chrysler UK was officially renamed Talbot after the Peugeot Group took over the operation. All cars therefore became Talbot Sunbeams but still retaining the Chrysler pentastar in the grille. Another model was introduced later that same year the Sunbeam Trio (which carrid the trim and colour scheme that was to used on the Series 2 Sunbeam Lotus) It wasn't until later that the cars received the Talbot Touch. A new revised front end was brought in with much larger headlights and a smaller grille boasting the Talbot T logo. Other small changes included remote door mirrors and removal of the trim from around the rear tailgate. Badges were also updated with a bolder Talbot on the bonnet and a Talbot and Sunbeam badge on rear. Cars in Series 2 guise were available as LS, GL, GLS, LE and LX models together with of course the Ti and Lotus.