1922 Sunbeam 2-Litre

"Strasbourg" Grand Prix Two-Seater
£597,400 ($682,171)
Sale Price
£700,000 - £800,000
Est. Range
17 September 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 1.22. Black over black leather. RHD. 2L/88hp. 4-speed.

Evaluation: A prototype whose chassis stamping was reportedly only discovered in the 1970s when many layers of old paint were removed during a restoration. It has aged since but is in mellowed and presentable condition, and still looks rather good for a car that turns 100 this year.

Bottom Line: Sunbeam entered three works cars in the 1922 Strasbourg Grand Prix, one of the first post-war races to take place. One caught fire during testing, so the spare car was drafted in. Drivers Kenelm Lee Guinness, Henry Segrave and Jean Chassagne did what they could with the car, but the engine proved to be fragile and the Sunbeam couldn’t challenge the dominant Fiats.

This lot is one of those cars and has been the subject of a great deal of recent research. Sunbeam were not clear with their chassis numbering on the entry sheet, so proving which car was which has been difficult. However, the catalogue identified this as the spare/ prototype car that took place in the race. One of the other team cars sold in 2009 for £493,500 and this estimate seemed fair but the bidding didn’t rise and the hammer fell some way short of the low estimate.

by Hagerty Insider
22 September 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.