1913 Sunbeam 16/20

Owner: Richard Black

Sunbeam made a name for itself with its stunning record in competition, spurred on by the efforts of its chief engineer Louis Coatalen. Born in Brittany, he made his life in the UK, and noted “racing improves the breed”. After he joined the company in 1909, on-track success followed – most notably when 3.0-litre Sunbeams locked out the podium in the Coupe de l’Auto in Dieppe, swiftly followed by third, fourth and fifth places at the French Grand Prix. This was a precursor to Sunbeam’s glory years of the 1920s, achieving both Grand Prix wins and Land Speed Records. The company also pioneered concepts such as four-wheel brakes, overhead-valve engines, power-assisted brakes and twin-overhead-camshaft engines.

An evolution of the 14/20, which had proven its worth in several races, including at Brooklands, the 16/20 was part of Coatalen’s plan to reduce Sunbeam’s reliance on proprietary components. It featured a pioneering sump-mounted oil pump and, in this case, a 6.0-litre six-cylinder engine, plus leaf-sprung suspension and rear-wheel brakes. Its robust nature meant the 16/20 was regularly used as a staff car during World War One, which is why so few survive today.

Power: 54bhp (est) | Top speed: N/A | 0-60mph: N/A