Retro rally legend up for auction with a six-figure estimate

The Talbot Lotus Sunbeam used by British rally hero Russell Brookes in the early 1980s is going up for auction – complete with its original, legendary Andrews Heat for Hire livery.

Brookes joined Team Talbot for both the 1980 and 1981 World Rally Championship (WRC) seasons. As part of the deal, he took long-standing sponsor Andrews Heat for Hire with him, creating one of the most distinctive Lotus Sunbeams in history.

Despite this being the start of the four-wheel drive era, with the Audi quattros starting to dominate, Brookes still helped Team Talbot win the 1981 manufacturers’ championship with the car.

This is the very car Brookes used in the 1981 Lombard RAC Rally. 

The late Russell Brookes still competed in the car even after it had retired from WRC, most recently in the 2010 Halloween Historic Stages rally.

Many rising rally stars also used the car, including Ladies Rally Champion Louise Aitken-Walker.

Silverstone Auctions, which is overseeing the sale, reports the car is fully original, diligently maintained and has a full MSA passport so it can continue competing.

Many original parts are also included in the sale.

The ex-Russell Brookes Talbot Lotus Sunbeam is up for auction at the Silverstone Classic Live Online auction, which runs on 31 July and 1 August.

Estimate? Reflecting its heritage, it’s a six-figure one: £100,000 to £125,000.   

But the lucky bidder will undeniably be getting a stand-out piece of WRC history.


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Richard Aucock
I'm Managing Director at @editorial_mr. I run a bit, cycle a bit, love the automotive industry. I'm a World Car Awards juror and Deputy Chairman of the Guild of Motoring Writers.


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