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Homepage. This page: An interesting old photograph of a chap sat behind the wheel of a large Sunbeam tourer.

Vintage Sunbeam 16hp tourer.

Ian sent this motoring photograph over in 2010, wondering if the car's identity could be established. The picture had turned up in an old album given to the headmistress of Tundergarth Primary School, Bankshill, nr Lockerbie, by her pupils in 1900. Ian, himself an owner of a 1934 Jowett, is researching the photographs that were subsequently placed in the album, and this view of a vintage motor-car was amongst them. He believes that the photo was taken in Lockerbie.
A little research has seen this vintage car identified as an Edwardian-era Sunbeam tourer. As and when more information on this car comes to light, I'll add it in here (as happened with this view of a Sunbeam 16hp a little while ago).
Update. The car is now believed to be a 16hp Sunbeam, supplied as a staff car to a War Dept contract and actually built by Rover in 1916/1917 to Sunbeam's design. John W, who supplied this information, adds: "The springs are set to give increased ground clearance, the oil and acetylene lighting (so no dynamo or electric system) and front dumbiron tie bar (not fitted to civilian 16hps, I believe) all say 'WD' to me. Bruce Dowell's excellent book, 'Sunbeam - the Supreme Car, 1899 - 1935' has a section showing precisely this type of car." Thanks John :)
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
A vintage Sunbeam car
A close look at the original photo shows that this Sunbeam was fitted with Dunlop tyres, with one rim and two tyres strapped to the car in case of multiple-punctures - a not-uncommon occurrence in the early days of motoring. A Pyrene fire extinguisher can also be made out, fitted to its bracket on the car's running board.
Driver of the Sunbeam car
The driver looks to be very well wrapped-up, that and the bare trees in the background both suggest a winter's scene. In fact his sheepskin jacket reminds me of the type worn by early aviators. Does the badge on his cap signify anything? Unfortunately I've no information on who this chap was, or where exactly he was parked up.

A slightly later, 1922, example.

The following photo popped up in January 2017, my thanks to Mark Cass from whose album it originates, for ok'ing me to share it here. John W, who identified the car above, also confirmed the identification of this car as a c1922 Sunbeam 16hp. Mark's great grandparents, who lived in Great Waltham, Essex, are sat in the Sunbeam here. Mark's great grandfather not only owned the car, he also ran a garage (and a dog track). The usual sidelights on the front wings have been replaced by a pair of very stylish streamlined replacements. While slightly later in date than the car shown above, it's interesting to compare the two shots as the cars are only separated by a few years. It's also interesting to note the vehicle in the background, a vintage Unic taxi.
1922 Sunbeam 16hp
Return to Page 12 in the vintage & classic car motoring gallery. A slightly earlier Sunbeam 16, like the car a the head of this page serving during the Great War, may now be found here.

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