Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Sunbeam 3 cylinder Coupe de l'Auto Racer

Sunbeam Motor Company became famous after this little beauty of a racer and three other Sunbeams were entered in the Couple de l'Auto Race in France and won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Prior to that Sunbeam was a relatively unknown motor car company.....

John Marston, the founder, had begun a bicycle business in 1877 and supposedly his wife saw the way the black enameled frames reflected the sun and gave them the name "Sunbeam". Bicycles sales were good but automobiles were the wave of the future, and in 1901 he marketed his first motor car....The Sunbeam Mabley Cycle car, an unusual car with one wheel in the back, one in the front and two on the side. Surprisingly, they sold well. But it was when this 3 litre 4 cylinder racer won international recognition that Sunbeam really took off as an established automobile company. It could reach speeds of up to 85 mph, and my, what a fine body it had!

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