Sunbeam Mk3 - About 'Tynny'

Tynny, around 1969It's a family affair...
Many things happened in 1969, Man lands on the moon, Led Zepplin release their first album, the Harrier ‘Jump-Jet’ enters service with the Royal Air Force and not forgetting the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register was born. But another little known fact was that around April 1969 my dad purchased a twelve year old Sunbeam MK3, registration TYN 431, or ‘Tynny’ as she came to be known.

She was bought for the princely sum of £50 from a gentleman by the name of George Ricketts from Harefield Middlesex and would become the family car. She was not only daily transport but was also employed on the many camping holidays my mum and dad would enjoy, reaching the highlands of Scotland, the Lake District and Wales to name but a few.

My dad kept a strict maintenance schedule detailing all the parts and consumables used in a service log, most of which we still have giving a great insight into the running of the Sunbeam then, and how things have changed with regard to the longevity of serviceable items these days.

She was eventually taken off the road in 1976 when I was born, and stored in our garage where she would be cocooned in all the various stuff stored in garages over future years. Many an hour was spent in my childhood sneaking into the garage and into the Sunbeam where the smell of the oil and leather along with fantasy drives were a heady concoction. Tynny has always been a part of my life, and it has always been my ambition to getting her restored to here former glory.

Tynny, around 1969The 17 year pattern

In 1993 I was 17 and with a fair amount of mechanical knowledge, mainly on motorcycles, I decided to see what I could do to realize my dream. With the words of my dad “If you can get her going you can have her” ringing in my ears, this was an opportunity I grabbed with both oily hands.

Sure enough with only a little encouragement she burst into life and I was able to move her out of the garage, albeit with one very flat and perished off side front tyre. I can remember my dad disappearing at this point, coming back after a few hours with two new fitted tyres, fantastic!

Alas although being full of inspiration I was a student at this time which meant two things that would doom any restoration project, money and time. Both of which I simply didn't have. Sadly Tynny would be parked up in the garden until such time as I could really get to grips with her.

Oh and the 17 year pattern... Well she is taken off the road in 76 then brought back to life 17 years later. 17 years on again and here we are, ready for the next chapter. Could this be destiny, I think we know the answer to that Sunbeam fans...

Tynny, as we take up the story in 2010It's Do or die for Tynny...

In late 2010 we take up the story again. This time due to necessity she needs to be moved from her current location to where, If all goes to plan, I will restore her.

I thought long and hard about what to do with her, whether to take her with me and restore her, or if she was too far gone, scrap or sell her on for parts. The later went against every moral I had, but would fate deal a final blow to the dream?

The fact is that where she was in the garden meant that if she couldn't get out under her own steam she was done for. We simply didn't know if she was seized solid from the wheels up, if she was it could be game over.

We all decided that we had to give her "a fair chance” So set about making a mental list of stages for the “fair chance” scenario. This would mean that each of these stages had to be achieved without terminal grief.

1. Get engine turning over by hand
2. Get engine running
3. Get Tynny rolling
4. Get cooling system going (if she can move we don't want to cook the lump)
5. Get brakes working

So find out how we get on in the restoration section for rest of this next chapter.