Classic Car Catalogue

Chrysler 1978


Great Britain

The one-litre Sunbeam is the smallest-engined of the Scottish-built hatchbacks, with a light-alloy motor derived from the discontinued Hillman Imp, but front-mounted. Not strictly a 'three-door' car, the Sunbeam has a large lift-up glass panel framed in aluminium to maintain rigidity. Available in LS or GL trim (the latter is the more up-market), the 1.0, like all Sunbeams, has individual folding rear seats to effect passenger/load permutations. Many of the body panels, and running gear stem from the Avenger models produced by the same company. The Sunbeam 1.0 is available with four-speed manual gearbox only.
Top Sunbeam has sporty wheels, luxury trim, and 1.6-litre engine. There are also GL versions with choice of 1.3 or 1.6 litre motors, both of which are modified pushrod ohv Avenger units. Other Avenger parts used in the Sunbeam 1.3 and 1.6 models include gearboxes, floorpan, rear axles, and suspension components. Both engine sizes can be had with four-speed automatic transmission as an option to the normal manual gearbox. The large glass area provides excellent allround visibility, and the lift-up rear window has an ingenious electric motor drive for the wiper. Bumpers are of steel but there are curved plastic end-caps.
Seven saloons make up the Avenger range, both two and four-door, with three trim levels (LS, GL, and GLS), and choice of 1.3 or 1.6-litre engines. Specifications are simple and effective rather than exciting, and the front-engine/rear-drive Avengers have a good reputation for reliability. Top model, the GLS, has super trim and comes in four-door 1.6-litre form only. All 1.6-litre Avengers are available with four-speed automatic transmissions as an option to the normal four-speed manual gearbox. Like the Sunbeam range, Avengers are Scottish-built. Front grilles are of corrosion-free plastic, and all models have rectangular headlights.
Derived from the four-door Avenger saloon bodywork, the five-door Estate is exceptionally roomy, and the folding rear seat offers three different positions. When flat the load floor presents a useful length of 160 cm (5ft. 3in.). Manufactured in both 1.3 and 1.6-litre form, the Avenger Estates are available in either LS or GL trim, but only the 1600 has the option of manual or automatic transmission. Latest-type engines have thermostatically-controlled electric cooling fans, and heated rear windows are standard equipment. A good bet for the keen camper, boat owner, farmer, hunter, or commercial traveller. Or large family man.
British-made version of the French front-drive hatchback which in France is designated 1307 or 1308 according to engine capacity. The British car has three trim standards, GL, S, and GLS, the GL being powered by the 1294 cc transverse engine, the other two models having the 1442 cc motor. The GLS is the super-trim model, but all Alpines have good-looking five-door bodywork with instant-fold rear seat to convert the smart saloon into a near-estate. A four-speed gearbox and front wheel drive are features of the Alpine range, and the all-independent suspension gives a supple ride. Plastic bumpers absorb minor damage.

London report



LS / GL (928 cc, 42 bhp)
GL (1295 cc, 69 bhp)
GL / S (1598 cc, 80 bhp)
Ti (1598 cc, 100 bhp) - Paris
  Hatchback 3-dr (wb: 2413 mm)

Sunbeam LS

Sunbeam S



DL (1295 cc, 59 bhp)
GL (1598 cc, 69 bhp)
  Saloon 2-dr (wb: 2489 mm)
  Saloon 4-dr (wb: 2489 mm)
  Estate (wb: 2489 mm)
GLS (1598 cc, 80 bhp)
  Saloon 4-dr (wb: 2489 mm)
GT (1598 cc, 80 bhp) - discontinued
1300 GT - discontinued
  Saloon 2-dr (wb: 2489 mm)



De Luxe (1725 cc, 61 bhp)
Super (1725 cc, 74 bhp)
 Saloon 4-dr (wb: 2501 mm)



GL (1294 cc, 68 bhp)
S / GLS (1442 cc, 85 bhp)
  Hatchback 5-dr (wb: 2603 mm)