Ever wonder what a “brand new” 34-year-old car might be worth?
Well, just such a car sold last week at Silverstone Auctions’ Classic Motor Show sale in England, and it sold for twice its pre-auction estimate.
The car was a 1980 Talbot Lotus Sunbeam, sort of the British version of the Dodge Omni Shelby GLH of the mid-‘80s on this side of the pond.
Chrysler owned Talbot and commissioned Lotus to get the Sunbeam hatchback ready for Group 4 rallying, where the Ford Escort RS was the dominant vehicle. Lotus replaced the standard 1.6-liter engine with its own 16-valve, 2.2-liter unit linked to a five-speed ZF transmission.
The rally version came with a two-tone, black-and-silver paint scheme with Marchal lights mounted atop the front bumper and riding “double four-spoke” cast-alloy wheels.
The car offered at the Silverstone Auction was never registered, simply put away for future use, though it was driven nearly 200 miles. It was found in a collection in Italy and earlier this year got fresh belts, fluids and filters.
The pre-auction estimate was in the 24,000 to 28,000 (pounds) price range, or $37,500 to $44,000. It sold for $79,225.
Overall, the auction did more than $7 million in sales, with an 81 percent sell through.
The top sale of the event was a 1994 Jaguar XJ220 formerly owned by the Royal Family of Brunei. The buyer, from Singapore, paid $387,000 (prices include buyer’s premium).