1924 Sunbeam 24/70hp Tourer Chassis no. 7076D Engine no. 247068D

1924 Sunbeam 24/70hp Tourer Registration no. DS 7786 Chassis no. 7076D Engine no. 247068D •One of only four survivors out of fewer than 100 made •Converted to left-hand drive by the factory in 1932 •Restored in the late 1980s •Present ownership since 1993 •Extensively campaigned •Recent transmission overhaul Footnotes: 'The impressions that the Sunbeam left on us are of a large car which can be handled as easily as many vehicles weighing less than half the weight, of a car that will respond with dignity and efficiency to the most searching test that a really hard driver can devise.' - The Motor on the 24/70hp Sunbeam, 11th March 1924. John Marston Limited's first Sunbeam production car, a De Dion-engined voiturette, was sold in 1901, but it was not until 1907, two years after the Sunbeam Motor Car Company had been formed, that the firm produced its first all-British model, the 16/20. The arrival of designer Louis Coatalen in 1909 and the pursuit of an effective competition programme enabled Sunbeam to establish a formidable reputation prior to WWI, its superbly made products enjoying a reputation rivalling that of the best from Alvis and Bentley thereafter. Sunbeam's 4½-litre six-cylinder 24hp model was first introduced in 1919, its development having commenced before WWI, and progressed from the sidevalve original to the overhead-valve 24/60hp and 24/70hp models. Introduced in 1924, the latter was notable in boasting four-wheel brakes and a gearbox-driven mechanical servo. It was also the most expensive car in the Sunbeam range, the tourer model, as seen here, costing £1,320, or roughly double the price of the average UK house at the time! Probably unique in having factory-fitted left-hand drive, this superb example of Sunbeam's top model of the early 1920s (of which it is understood only four examples are known to survive worldwide out of fewer than 100 made) was converted to that configuration at a cost of $2,500 by the Sunbeam Works for the original owner, Captain Crawford of the Empire Stevedoring Company of Vancouver, Canada. Captain Crawford drove the car for some 10,000 miles before shipping it back to the UK for a major overhaul in 1932. On its return to Canada, the Sunbeam covered a further 7,000 miles before Captain Crawford died in 1938. In his will he stipulated that his beloved car should be 'retired' from further service. Unfortunately his executors equated 'retired' to 'pensioned off', and disposed of the Sunbeam to a Vancouver auto-wrecking company, where it lay for two years before being rescued and stored in a Vancouver foundry. The car remained there until 1958 when it was acquired by a Canadian enthusiast, Mr Ron Carter of Burnaby, British Columbia. Some ten years later, the Sunbeam passed into the ownership of the Pioneer (Reynolds) Museum of Alberta. In 1987 the car was bought from the Museum and reimported by Roger Adams of Poole, Dorset. He decided to carry out an extensive restoration with the chassis and engine restored by marque expert Mick Collis, while bodywork was entrusted to a Dorset restoration company. All brightwork was nickel-plated and the owner rewired the car and renewed its running boards. After a few 'shakedown' runs, the 24/70 completed the 1988 Paris-Deauville Rally. The current vendor purchased the Sunbeam at Brooks' Goodwood House auction in June 1993 (Lot 151). In regular use since acquisition, 'DS 7786' has been enjoyed on numerous events ranging from family picnics and weddings to long-distance overseas tours with the STD Register in the UK and to France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland. Recent works carried out include JC Engineering rebuilding the propshaft and rear axle with a higher axle ratio (2019) and making new gears for the gearbox (2020). The vendor describes the car as in generally very good condition, the engine showing healthy oil pressure and decent cylinder compression, and starting readily hot or cold. The car is fitted with an Auster screen for the rear passengers, a full-length folding hood with side screens, separate tonneaus for the front and rear seats, and front seat belts. A wonderful early Vintage sporting car to delight the connoisseur. For further information on this lot please visit Bonhams.com