ADS ON TEST: 1947 Sunbeam-Talbot Ten

£7950

Classic Cars magazine

by Chris Hope |

This charming saloon drives well, with just a few cosmetic areas that would benefit from attention, says Chris Hope

There’s much to like about this 1947 Sunbeam-Talbot Ten. It’s useable and it drives nicely – accel-eration isn’t especially strong and the brakes require a degree of forward planning, but it’s an en-joyable machine to pilot nevertheless. The logbook shows just two former keepers, it appears to have been kept largely original and although there are several cosmetic issues, it is crucially is solid throughout.

A small amount of choke is required on start-up but this was released shortly into our test. Power is modest but there’s nothing to suggest there’s anything amiss as this saloon gradually gathers pace – the healthy engine note accompanied by plenty of gear whine. The gear change from the long floor-mounted lever demands an unhurried action from the driver. It’s a full synchromesh ’box, though double-declutching is needed in order to drop down ratios smoothly. The leaf springs all round result in quite a bouncy ride, though not to the point that would suggest the suspension is overly worn. There’s plenty of steering play at the dead ahead, though again this is what we would anticipate.

The Gunmetal Grey paint is very flat in places; most noticeably the bonnet. Likewise, there’s mott-ling to the front wings and boot lid. Panel fit is good, the rear-hinged doors all hanging nicely, and we could find no signs of corrosion. Underneath, there appears to be a relatively new exhaust sys-tem and we found no signs of rust, although we weren’t able to get it up on ramps for a proper un-derbody inspection. The majority of the brightwork is in excellent condition, with no pitting, and only the dull chrome side-strips requiring a decent polish. Avon tyres are fitted all round with plenty of tread, though they appear quite aged and warrant replacement.

Classic Cars magazine
Interior is presentable, but there are some jobs to do ©Classic Cars magazine

The front seats have been retrimmed, though they’ve mellowed with their surroundings. Headlin-ing presents well and doorcards are good too, though both rears are missing their integrated ciga-rette trays. The metal dashboard would benefit from a thorough clean and polish but all the gauges work. Carpets are in good condition, though a new owner may choose to affix them more neatly to hide the sound insulation lining the floors. The steering wheel grip has cracked in several places – think patina, rather than a problem. The sunroof and opening windscreen both operate as intend-ed, though the handle for the sunroof is loose and rattles within its housing while on the move.

Classic Cars magazine
Engine bay panelwork is free from corrosion ©Classic Cars magazine

The engine bay is a bit dusty, but there’s nothing amiss that we could spot. The radiator is in good condition, the wiring is presentable and there’s no evidence of excessive oil or fluid leaks. The Zen-ith downdraught carburettor has been recently reconditioned and a new fuel pump was also fitted in summer last year.

The history folder is far from comprehensive, but does include a factory record from the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register, plus some period sales literature, encouraging new buyers to try ‘Britain’s most exclusive light car from £248’.

This charming saloon drives well, with only few cosmetic areas that would benefit from attention, says Chris Hope

There’s much to like about this 1947 Sunbeam-Talbot Ten. It’s useable and it drives nicely – accel-eration isn’t especially strong and the brakes require a degree of forward planning, but it’s an en-joyable machine to pilot nevertheless. The logbook shows just two former keepers, it appears to have been kept largely original and although there are several cosmetic issues, it is crucially is solid throughout.

A small amount of choke is required on start-up but this was released shortly into our test. Power is modest but there’s nothing to suggest there’s anything amiss as this saloon gradually gathers pace – the healthy engine note accompanied by plenty of gear whine. The gear change from the long floor-mounted lever demands an unhurried action from the driver. It’s a full synchromesh ’box, though double-declutching is needed in order to drop down ratios smoothly. The leaf springs all round result in quite a bouncy ride, though not to the point that would suggest the suspension is overly worn. There’s plenty of steering play at the dead ahead, though again this is what we would anticipate.

The Gunmetal Grey paint is very flat in places; most noticeably the bonnet. Likewise, there’s mott-ling to the front wings and boot lid. Panel fit is good, the rear-hinged doors all hanging nicely, and we could find no signs of corrosion. Underneath, there appears to be a relatively new exhaust sys-tem and we found no signs of rust, although we weren’t able to get it up on ramps for a proper un-derbody inspection. The majority of the brightwork is in excellent condition, with no pitting, and only the dull chrome side-strips requiring a decent polish. Avon tyres are fitted all round with plenty of tread, though they appear quite aged and warrant replacement.

The front seats have been retrimmed, though they’ve mellowed with their surroundings. Headlin-ing presents well and doorcards are good too, though both rears are missing their integrated ciga-rette trays. The metal dashboard would benefit from a thorough clean and polish but all the gauges work. Carpets are in good condition, though a new owner may choose to affix them more neatly to hide the sound insulation lining the floors. The steering wheel grip has cracked in several places – think patina, rather than a problem. The sunroof and opening windscreen both operate as intend-ed, though the handle for the sunroof is loose and rattles within its housing while on the move.

The engine bay is a bit dusty, but there’s nothing amiss that we could spot. The radiator is in good condition, the wiring is presentable and there’s no evidence of excessive oil or fluid leaks. The Zen-ith downdraught carburettor has been recently reconditioned and a new fuel pump was also fitted in summer last year.

The history folder is far from comprehensive, but does include a factory record from the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register, plus some period sales literature, encouraging new buyers to try ‘Britain’s most exclusive light car from £248’.

Engine 1185cc four-cylinder, SV, Stromberg 175CD3 carburettor Power 39bhp @ 4400rpm Torque n/a 0-60mph 35.2sec Top speed 68mph Fuel consumption 27-34mpg Length 3962mm Width 1524mm

This Sunbeam is one of four classics for sale tested and evaluated in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

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