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Homepage. This page: Three interesting photographs of a Sunbeam Talbot saloon car used for an epic journey across Africa.

Sunbeam Talbot 3.5.

Ruth Robinson contacted me in June 2010, with three very interesting photographs of a car that her parents owned shortly after the war. Ruth was hoping that someone could identify the car - it was either a Sunbeam or Sunbeam Talbot, and confirmation arrived that it was indeed the latter, in 3.5 Litre form. The car was to undertake an epic trip across Africa, the first two photographs show the Sunbeam Talbot in fine fettle, whereas the final shot shows it in anything-but good condition.
Ruth adds: "My parents travelled across Africa by car in 1950/51 - I think the journey started some time in 1950 and lasted several months so I don't know exactly when it finished. I have found some old photos which I think show the car they used. One shows a car looking in reasonable condition and the other, which my husband assures me is the same car, looks very battered - not what you'd call normal wear and tear! So as the period is right, I'm assuming this is the car they travelled in. They ended up in South Africa. I initially thought the car was an old Ford, but emailed the pics to someone who says not."
Here are the first two photographs, showing the car to be in good condition prior to this epic trip across Africa:
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Front 3/4 view of the Sunbeam Talbot
Side view of the 3.5 Litre Sunbeam Talbot
It was evidently tough going across the African landscape, as this photo of the Sunbeam demonstrates. No longer does the paintwork gleam, and the wheel discs have long since disappeared or been removed. However, more pressing is the damage to the car's chassis - the front end panelwork looks reasonably straight, so I don't think it's hit anything head-on, therefore my guess is that a heavy landing has snapped the chassis ...!
The Sunbeam now badly damaged
Ruth is hoping to uncover more information about this trip, she recalls her mother telling her about how the chassis "dropped out", and the fact that amongst their provisions were elephant guns. Maybe someone here recalls reading of this trip? A long shot I know, but stranger things have happened after posting something on the site. Thanks to Ruth for allowing me to pop these amazing photos in the gallery.
Return to Page 11 in the vintage car motoring gallery.
Other early Sunbeams and Sunbeam Talbots on the site include this vintage Sunbeam 16, a 3 Litre twin cam taking part in a VSCC event in 1954, and a post-war Sunbeam Talbot 90 of 1954-onwards. A car visually quite similar to the 3.5 litre shown above can be seen on the Sunbeam Talbot 3 litre page in this gallery.

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