Bruce Dowell, who is concerned with Sunbeam affairs, has sent us details of a volume called First Athenian Memories by Compton Mackenzie (published by Cassells, 1931) in which the famous author paid a tribute such as is seldom paid to a mechanical steed in literature. The fulsome praise was concerned with the 3-litre Sunbeam which Mackenzie had had put at his disposal for his 1915 Balkans mission.
It was a 1914 12/16hp 80-bore model, supplied originally to racing driver Dario Resta, and must have one of the sporting versions of the successful 1912/13 Coupe de l’Auto racing Sunbeams.
The car then went to Mr Pass, who formed the business of Pass & Joyce. He in turn sold it to Mr William William Erskine GCMC, British Erskine, who became the Rt Hon Sir William Erskine GCMC, British ambassador in Warsaw.
Compton Mackenzie had it in 1915. His praise of it in the aforesaid book is too long to quote, but Sir William must also have though highly of the car, because in August 1934 the Sunbeam Motor Car Company of Wolverhampton sent out to him a Sunbeam Twenty-five.
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