Tolman Engineering’s restoration arm will showcase its extensive capabilities at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at Birmingham’s NEC (8-10 November), where it will also announce a shiny new partnership.
The bespoke Talbot Sunbeam Lotus that was unveiled to the world at Race Retro in February will take pride of place on Tolman Restoration’s stand as a representation of the Warwickshire-based company’s comprehensive restoration, engineering and race preparation capabilities.
As the ultimate road and track-specification Sunbeam, the car is an illustration of Tolman’s experience in conducting authentic restorations and race preparation in tandem with respectful modernising programmes that make cars useable and practical in today’s world.
In this instance, Tolman’s restoration arm took a 2.2 litre, 240bhp works engine from the period and pepped it up with a range of state-of-the-art electronics and driver aids, including launch control, traction control, multiple engine maps and a fly-by-wire throttle.
All that was neatly packaged inside a beautifully restored FIA-spec body that sports a bespoke green and yellow paint job – a nod to Lotus’s own iconic colour scheme – before the interior was fitted with a bespoke lightweight carbon-fibre dashboard and custom-made seats and harnesses, and three-way adjustable dampers with remote reservoirs.
However, Tolman is currently in the thick of a sentimental concours-level restoration to revive one of the most iconic hot hatches of the Eighties – an ultra-rare Sorrento Green Peugeot 205 GTi.
Upon completion, the 205 GTi will be another respectful restoration with modern touches, but the car’s freshly painted body shell will stand alongside the Sunbeam Lotus to expose Tolman’s restoration and engineering processes, as well as its supreme attention-to-detail.
Tolman Restoration’s Christopher Tolman said: “At Tolman, we conduct complete nut-and-bolt restorations, and the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus is a fine representation of our bespoke approach across the whole sphere of our capabilities. A lot of emotion goes into each restoration; we’re always keen to preserve a car’s authenticity and respect originality as far as possible, although we recognise our customers often want the sort of daily usability that can only be delivered by modern technology.
“We take pride in being able to strike a delicate balance, finding a middle ground that makes cars roadworthy without compromising their authenticity. The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus illustrates Tolman Engineering’s race, restoration and engineering expertise, while the Sorrento Green Peugeot 205 GTi body shell showcases the processes behind our restorations, the lengths we go to and our fine attention to detail.”