Cars: Sunbeam-Talbot 4 Litre

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Launched at the 1938 Olympia Motor Show, the Sunbeam-Talbot 4-Litre was identical to the 3-Litre with the exception of the enlarged Rootes Blue Riband 6 cylinder side-valve engine which was 4086cc. This was achieved by increasing the bore from 75mm to 85mm without an increase in stroke. The 4-Litre was available as a Saloon, Sports Saloon, Drophead Coupe, Tourer, Touring Saloon, Limousine and Phaeton (no Phaetons were built). Production ceased in November 1939 with a total of 229 cars being produced.

Body Type

Saloon, Sports Saloon, Drophead, Coupe and Sports Tourer, Touring Saloon & Touring Limousine.


Six cylinder monobloc, side-by-side valves, detachable polished high-efficiency aluminium cylinder head. Engine flexibly mounted at four points in frame. Four-bearing counterbalanced crankshaft, full pressure lubrication, steel backed main and connecting rod bearings, special low-expansion aluminium alloy pistons. Down-draught carburettor with automatic choke, silencer, and air cleaner. Coil ignition with automatic advance and retard. Cooling by large capacity radiator, water pump and fan with thermostat. Bore and stroke: 85 × 120 mm (3.35″ × 4.72″). Cubic capacity: 4085.7 c.c. R.A.C Rating: 26.88 h.p.

Annual tax in Great Britain: £25.5.0.


Single dry plate operated by flexible control for progressive action.


Silent four-speed, synchromesh on 3rd and 4th gears, operated by light and sturdy, centrally situated gear lever insulated against noise.

Gear Ratios

Top 4.09:1. Third: 5.99:1. Second: 10.1:1. First and Reverse 15.15:1.

Front Suspension

Independent, of wishbone and transverse spring pattern. Fitted with leather gaiters.

Rear Suspension

Long semi-elliptic springs fitted with leather gaiters and silentbloc bushes.

Stock Absorbers

Double-action hydraulic, with adjustable ride control and sway eliminator at rear.

Stabiliser Bumpers

The front bumper incorporates a stabiliser, while rear quarter bumpers are fitted to all models.


Worm and nut design, self-centering and light in operation. Steering column adjustable for length,

Rear Axle

Semi floating, with spiral bevel drive in weldless one-piece steel casing.


Steel wheels with special discs. Fort Dunlop tyres, 16″ × 6.25″.


Lockheed hydraulic brakes are fitted. They are powerful, light in operation, act equally on all four wheels, and can be quickly adjusted.

Petrol Tank

Fifteen gallons (68.10 litres) capacity at rear of Chassis. Mechanical fuel pump with gauge on the instrument panel.

Electrical Equipment

Battery is 12 volt, 63 amp-hour capacity. Ventilated dynamo, with constant voltage and thermostatic control maintaining battery at highest pitch of efficiency. Ampere meter if fitted on instrument panel. Lighting equipment consists of two headlamps, with dipping device and separate fuses, two side and twin rear lamps, stop light, reversing light, and auxiliary driving light. The instrument panel lighting is controlled by a rheostat. Control for driving lamps is situated on the instrument panel, but in addition, headlamps can be fully controlled from the steering wheel. Two-tone wind horns are fitted.


By open propeller shaft, with special needle roller universal joints.

Instrument Panel

Combined 5″ speedometer complete with trip and clock, a 5″ instrument combining oil-pressure gauge, ammeter, petrol gauge and water temperature indicator. Instruments are marked in English and metric figures.

Chassis Dimensions
Wheelbase…   …   …   …8ft. 0½ in.2451mm.
Track…   …   …   …4 ft. 0 in.
Ground Clearance…   …   …   …6 in.152 mm.
Turning Circle…   …   …   …35 ft. 0 in.10668 mm.

Triplex glass is fitted throughout on all models.

Colour Schemes
Saloon, Sports Saloon and Drophead Coupe

Gun with Grey leather upholstery*
Ruby with Maroon leather upholstery*
Carborundum Blue with Blue leather upholstery*
Copper Bronze with Brown leather upholstery*
Black with Brown leather upholstery

*Jewelessence finish

Sports Tourer

Gun with Grey leather upholstery*
Copper Bronze with Brown leather upholstery*
Red with Red leather upholstery
Green with Green leather upholstery
Black with Brown leather upholstery

*Jewelessence finish

Touring Saloon and Touring Limousine

(coachwork by Thrupp & Maberley Ltd)

Gun with Grey leather upholstery*
Ruby with Maroon leather upholstery*
Carborundum Blue with Blue leather upholstery*
Copper Bronze with Brown leather upholstery*
Dreadnaught Grey with dual Grey leather upholstery
Black with Brown leather upholstery

*Jewelessence finish