One of the participating cars in the 2017 Great Race was, Car #120, the 1952 Sunbeam Talbot 90 that was entered by James and Wally Leach. These British cars are not common here in the USA. I first became aware of these cars when I learned of their very impressive rally history. James and Wally extended this rally history with a solid performance at the 2017 Great Race. Their car is shown below at the start of the 2017 Great Race in Jacksonville, Florida.
A 1952 Sunbeam-Talbot 90
The Sunbeam-Talbot 90 is a sports sedan that was built by Sunbeam-Talbot from 1948 to 1954. A similar car, known as the Sunbeam Mk III was its successor from 1954 to 1957.
The Sunbeam-Talbot 90 was launched in 1948 as a 4-door sports sedan or a 2-door convertible. The sedan featured an almost pillarless seam between the glass on the rear door and the rear quarter window. This can be seen in the photo below.
The design of the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 also included reverse-opening (known as in the USA as suicide doors) rear doors.
Note The Small Pillar Between The Rear Door Window And The Rear Quarter Window
Initially the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 was fitted with a 1944cc four-cylinder engine up to 1952, then the engine was enlarged to 2267cc. The transmission was a 4-speed manual transmission with a column-mounted shifter.
The Standard Dash Is Somewhat Obscured By The Timewise 825 Speedometer Installed For The Great Race
As I noted earlier, the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 has an impressive rally history. A Sunbeam-Talbot 90 was driven by Stirling Moss, Desmond Scannell, and John Cooper to take second place in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally. The picture below shows a young Stirling Moss on the left after the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally.
A Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Finished 2nd In The 1952 Monte Carlo Rally
The photo below shows E. S. Sneath in a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 on a snowy 1952 Monte Carlo Rally road.
Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Cars Were Significant Rally Cars At The Monte Carlo Rallies In The Early 1950s
The picture below shows a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 prepared for the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally. Note the deflector on the hood to help keep the windshield clean. Also the car has been fitted with shaded headlights to prevent driver-level light reflection off snowflakes which can make driving difficult.
Light Shades Have Fitted On The Rally Lights Of The Sunbeam-Talbot 90
In 1955, Per Malling and Gunnar Fadum driving a Sunbeam Mk III, which was the updated successor to the Sunbeam-Talbot 90, were the outright winners of the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally.
In the Alpine Rally, which was another major rally in the 1950s, Stirling Moss won a ‘Coupe d’Or’ (Gold cup) for 3 consecutive penalty-free runs in 1952, 1953, and 1954. The 1952 penalty-free run was in a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 and the latter two in the Sunbeam Alpine derivative of the original Sunbeam-Talbot 90.
Sunbeam-Talbot Rally Team
It was good to see one of these significant rally cars at the Great Race and being driven to a solid finish, worthy of these cars.
If you have any questions or comments about the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 or this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net