The Chrysler Sunbeam T1 also known as the Talbot Sunbeam
The Chrysler Sunbeam was a small super-mini three-door hatchback manufactured by Chrysler Europe at the former Rootes Group factory in Linwood in Scotland. The Sunbeam’s development was funded by a British government grant with the aim of keeping the Linwood plant running with the small car being based on the larger Hillman Avenger, which was also produced there. After the takeover of Chrysler’s European operations by PSA, the model was renamed “Talbot Sunbeam” and continued in production until 1981.
Chrysler in order to maximise the Sunbeam’s image, launched a “hot hatch” version of the Sunbeam in 1978 at the British International Motor Show and Paris Motor Show, this was called “Sunbeam Ti”. The 1.6-litre (1598cc) engine fitted to the Sunbeam with twin Weber carburettors delivered 100 bhp. It featured sporty two-tone paint and body kit, and was very sport-oriented, being stripped of equipment that would compromise its performance (and image). It proved quite popular with reviewers and enthusiasts, and helped to emphasize the advantages of Sunbeam’s rear-wheel drive against more trendy front-wheel drive rivals.
Today we had the absolute pleasure of performing some diagnostic works on this beauty as it was not running as well as it should. Produced in 1979 (making the car 37 years old) it had been loving restored by its current owner. With the car run on the rolling road we where able to monitor the fuelling and also check the temperatures of the cylinders in the exhaust manifold with the heat gun. Cylinder 4 was found to be running a lot hotter than the others so we did a smoke test and found that the inlet manifold had a leak, causing extra air to be sucked into the engine. With this information the customer was able to take his Chrysler Sunbeam back home to rectify the issues.