1930 Sunbeam 16.9 Sportsmans
Delightfully original even down to the carpets; not run for a few years but engine turns; very straight and sound; preservation class rather than for restoration; huge history file; Olympia Motoshow Car
Purchased new by Mr Isaiah Hall, a 62 year old gentlemen living in Westcliff-on-Sea, this Sportsmans Coupe was first registered on 31st October 1930 and used until the outbreak of war when it was laid up for the duration.
Mr Hall used it for various international trips, a file of International Driving Licences and Permits showing trips to Belgium and Switzerland in the early 1930s. There is even a photograph of Mr Hall that was used in the International Driving Permit issued by the Automobile Association. There are numerous bills on file, including a full engine rebuild in 1947 as well as some from Sunbeam themselves.
Mr Hall had passed away by 1948, ownership of the car passing to his son, also of Westcliffe-on -Sea. He then sold it to Wing Commander Noel Hans Hamilton DSO for £150 in 1949, the car moving with him to Hartlepool and then back south to Kent in 1950. A letter on file from the Wing Commander to 'The Editor,"Motor Sport"' confirms that this car was the Olympia Show car of 1930 and its original advert from Autocar Magazine is also on file.
His name appears in the first of two continuation buff logbooks and he was to keep it until April 1960, by which time the mileage had increased from 36,284 to 95,500 miles. During his ownership, he fitted the axles from an 18.2hp Sunbeam (VX 8803) which incorporated hydraulic brakes - a sensible upgrade at the time.
Its new owner Mr P Mill from Bromley kept the car until 1963, selling it to an American called 'Al', although it almost immediately came into the hands of well-known enthusiast Guy Griffiths of Chipping Campden. He ran a museum there called the Campden Car Collection and it was to remain with him for some years, a bill showing an engine rebuild took place in 1965 and a Post Card from the Museum featuring the car.
By the 1980s, it had moved to a lady in Warwickshire, our vendor acquiring the car in 1995 through Brookes auctioneers. We are unclear in what mechanical state it was in during this period, but the car was not meddled with cosmetically and its owners have carefully preserved its originality.
In 2010, Keith Hill overhauled the brakes, fitted a new petrol tank and attended to the wooden frame around the sunroof and fitted a new head lining, the bill totalling £2,175.
The car then spent time with Brewster Mudie in 2014, a £6,600 bill including removing the rear axle and torque tube, relining the clutch and giving the car a very thorough service. In 2015, the radiator was recored and the shell restored, again by Brewster Mudie for a further £660.
The car has not run for around five years, but we are advised it was running fine when it was switched off and the engine still turns freely. Having stood for a while, it will require a careful recommissioning to the brakes and mechanics and could be significantly improved with a deep clean and valet.
Fitted with extremely handsome Sportsmans Coupe coachwork from Sunbeam, having a history file like few others and retaining wonderful patina and originality, this Vintage Sunbeam is a special find indeed.
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