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H&H Classics

H&H Classics

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1920 Sunbeam Sixteen 3 Litre Tourer For Sale by Auction

  • 1920
  • BF4385
  • Dealer
  • United Kingdom


H&H Classic Auction  @ The Imperial War Museum, Duxford/ Cambridgeshire
19th June, 2024 13:00

1920 Sunbeam Sixteen 3 Litre Tourer
Treated to over £100, 000 worth of expenditure during the current ownership
£30, 000 - £40, 000

Registration No: BF 4385
Chassis No: 16/ 2639/ 20
MOT: Exempt

- Supplied new to Lady Sara Campbell, the second daughter of ex-pat New Zealand runholder, politician and racehorse owner William 'Ready Money' Robinson
- Repatriated to the UK during 2006
- Treated to over £100, 000 worth of renovation and improvement work by renowned specialists McKenzie Guppy since entering the current ownership in 2015
- An exceptional Vintage example of a well-regarded Edwardian design

Having cut his teeth at De Dion-Bouton, Clement, Panhard et Levassor, Humber and Hillman, Louis Coatelen joined Sunbeam in February 1909. A keen advocate of the ‘Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ philosophy, his first design for the Wolverhampton marque – the 14/ 20 - distinguished itself on the 1909 RAC ‘Ten Pound Note’ Trial (averaging 21. 3mpg over the 100-mile road section and 56. 65mph around Brooklands) and the 1909 Scottish Six Days’ Trial (finishing 2nd-in-class). Sharing Henry Royce’s aversion to proprietary parts, Coatelen ensured that ‘his’ Sunbeams were soon renowned for the quality and innovative nature of their engineering. Introduced in 1910, the 12/ 16 model gained a larger 3016cc four-cylinder monobloc engine the following October. Hailed as a class leader thanks to its sump-mounted oil pump, shaft drive, four-speed manual gearbox and efficient rear-wheel brakes, the newcomer could be had with open or closed coachwork. Proving a redoubtable staff car during World War One (with Rover building a version under licence), the 12/ 16 evolved into the Sixteen when hostilities ceased. A strong seller despite its lofty price tag, approximately 2, 050 were made. Selected by the Automobile Association to evaluate the relative merits of benzol in 1919, a Sunbeam Sixteen thus fuelled covered 10, 000 miles over sixty-two days (averaging 24. 57mpg). Stripped after testing, its engine showed no appreciable signs of wear. Afterwards the car was sold to a gentleman in Wiltshire who wrote to the factory some five years later to inform them that it had covered 100, 000 miles with minimal attention and never let him down!

According to its accompanying original registration certificate, chassis 16/ 2639/ 20 was supplied new to Lady Sara Campbell, the second daughter of ex-pat New Zealand runholder, politician and racehorse owner William 'Ready Money' Robinson. Correspondence on file records that Lady Campbell kept the Sunbeam until her death in 1927 whereupon it changed hands several times before being acquired in a dilapidated state by Jeremy Loughman during 1960. He got as far as commissioning a new aluminium body but the restoration was completed by his successor who took possession in 1982 and subsequently used the Sixteen on a number of South Island Rallies (clocking up c. 3, 000 miles per event). Imported to the UK around 2006, the Tourer formed part of a small Sunbeam collection prior to entering the current ownership in 2015. Despite having undertaken numerous Club tours to Ireland, Wales and Yorkshire, the vendor found ‘BF 4385’ to be subpar mechanically and so entrusted it to McKenzie Guppy. Although better known for their work on WO Bentleys and pre-WW2 Rolls-Royces, the Dorset-based engineering firm were more than up to overhauling the engine, gearbox and electrical equipment (bills amassed during 2015-2016 total some £96, 000). Treated to a further £12, 000 worth of expenditure in 2022, it is hard to imagine that there is a better sorted Sixteen extant? Fitted with hood, side screens and an Auster screen, this elegant Vintage Tourer is deemed by the seller as being in ‘good’ (interior trim, paintwork), ‘very good’ (bodywork) or ‘excellent’ (engine, gearbox, electrical equipment) condition. Offered for sale with history file containing correspondence, assorted MOTs, copy instruction book and copy spares listing.

H&H Classics

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