The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus is a real ‘Heinz 57’ of a machine — is it a Rootes, a Chrysler, a Talbot, a Lotus.. or a Peugeot in a dress?
The truth is it’s all of that, and even a bit more when you throw in the mass of hillman Avenger parts which underpin it. But that didn’t stop it becoming one of the defining hot hatchbacks of the 1970s, and a design that endures today in both its highly sought after road-going form, and in its flame-spitting Group 4 rallying guise.
But the roots of the model stemmed from, err, Rootes, and a desperate hotch-potch of parts being mixed together in an attempt to find a saviour in the face of industrial crisis. During the 1960s, the British motor trade was in decline, marred by striking workers and the looming power of foreign industry.