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1954 Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Project

1954 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Front Corner

Sunbeam-Talbots may not be as desirable as the Talbot-Lagos, but this 1954 Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Sport Saloon is a very rare sedan with rally heritage in its blood. This car belonged to the seller’s parents at the time he drove it into their barn. That was back in 1964 and that’s where it has sat ever since. The car is currently in McClelland Town, Pennsylvania and has been listed here on eBay with a current bid of $2,550 and a BIN of $5,000

1954 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Front

The Sunbeam-Talbot 90 isn’t the most sought after car here in the States, but it could be because few were ever imported and even fewer people know much about them today. Most of the cars that did make it to our shores have since rioted away, but somehow this one survived fairly well considering the Pennsylvania humidity. The 90 wasn’t the fastest or best performing car in its time, but it was surprisingly successful in the rally world. With drivers such as Sir Stirling Moss or Sheila Van Damm behind the wheel, the 90 saw great triumphs in rallies such as Monte Carlo and Alpine. In fact, the 90’s success at Alpine lead to the development of the Sunbeam Alpine, which was based on the same chassis.

Sunbeam Talbot 90 1953 Monte Carlo Rally

The photo above is of the car that Stirling Moss drove in the 1953 Monte Carlo. The interesting thing is that this car was a barn find too. After winning the race it made its way into the hands of a farmer who used it to pull pigs to the market. The story goes that when the gear box broke, he parked it in the barn and there it sat for many years. Until the current owner found it, dug it out, and had it restored to its former glory. Now it looks great and we would use this car as inspiration for our own project.

Stirling Moss 1952 Monte Carlo Rally

Here is a shot of Stirling Moss himself after finishing second right behind Sidney Allard in the 1952 Monte Carlo rally. He sure looks happy in this photo.

1954 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Interior

This could be the reason Sir Stirling was feeling so good. He was riding in comfort on luxurious leather seats with plenty of leg room. The pilots probably took turns driving while the other stretched out in the back and took a nap. The body on this car looks very rusty, but somehow the leather is intact.

1954 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Engine

Our biggest concern here is the engine because the seller has not been able to turn it over. It may be salvageable, but we wouldn’t get our hopes up. Thankfully Sunbeam did a lot of parts sharing across their lineup, so an engine could probably be sourced from another car. In 1952 Sunbeam upped the compression of the 90’s engine, which helped the 2.3 liter engine produce close to 80 hp. This increased horsepower lead to a higher top speed, which necessitated bigger and better brakes as well as better brake ventilation. In its day this car was able to compete with much more expensive British competitors.

1954 Sunbeam Talbot 90 Sport Saloon Rear Corner

The seller’s BIN price seems very optimistic to us, but if they are willing to go down a few thousand it could be in the ball park. This car is going to take some major work and we cant help but wonder if it will ever even see the road again. The rarity and bloodline may motivate the right person though. Anyone here think this old saloon is worth saving? Or should it have been left in the barn?


  1. Matthew

    I think this car will be worth saving. I have seen and restored worse. The price however would need to go down. Taking into fact the amount of time, parts and restoration needed to make it look like it did when it was built

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  2. Ron

    After working around it in your barn since 1964, wouldn’t you just want it gone? I can’t believe that there’s a reserve on this heap.

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  3. His Royal Flatulence

    I think the current bid is about what this car is worth, and maybe even a bit high. There are no close-ups of the lower regions of the body, but I’d expect at least some rust. What this car does have going for it is the condition of the interior; it looks like it would clean up nicely and I probably wouldn’t do much more than that inside. But this just isn’t an expensive car even in top condition, and I think the seller is doing well to get the bids he’s already got.

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  4. tacsea72

    This car looks to likeable not to revive. I say revive, not necessarily restore, because as you say, it’s not a particularly valuable car. Repair as necessary (engine replacement) and clean it up and drive it. It’s just so unusual that it would be appreciated more or less as-is. It’s already at top dollar right now, the seller should take the money and run.

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  5. His Royal Flatulence

    Sold for $2650. I’m guessing the seller did the smart thing and dropped his reserve. He did well at this price, and the buyer has probably paid all the money the car’s worth but hasn’t really overpaid. A good result all around. I hope it’s back on the road soon.

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