Tal­bot Samba

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Andy Tal­bot

ENGINE 954cc/4-cyl/OHC POWER 45bhp@6000rpm TORQUE 47lbft@3000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 84mph 0-60MPH 18sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 38-45mpg TRANS­MIS­SION FWD, four-speed man­ual MoT Novem­ber 2017 ODOME­TER 55,063 miles


The engine starts and runs ea­gerly and ef­fort­lessly, set­tling to a sweet idle without any un­due noises. The ini­tially heavy clutch feels lighter the more you drive it. The gears en­gage eas­ily, and the brakes are more than ad­e­quate, de­spite need­ing more bed­ding-in time. Sus­pen­sion damp­ing is ex­cel­lent and there are no rat­tles. Progress is sprightly enough for an engine that de­liv­ers its peak power at 6000rpm and there are no sig­nif­i­cant tap­pet sounds or other con­cern­ing noises.


The body­work ap­pears rust-free, al­beit with some ev­i­dence of touch up paint and re­pairs here and there. These in­clude some work to the off­side quar­ter lower panel – ap­par­ently to sort out a dent – which could be im­proved upon cos­met­i­cally. There’s also a welded patch on the A-pil­lar hinge mount. The in­ner arches look clean with no vis­i­ble signs of rust. The de­cal around the rear win­dow has faded but the boot floor is in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion with sharp and clean seams. The steel wheels are all in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, com­ple­mented by Tal­bot cen­tre caps and chrome trim rings. Tyres are Event 135 80 R13s with am­ple tread re­main­ing.


The im­mac­u­late burnt or­ange fab­ric seats are soft and very com­fort­able but have no head re­straints or seat-back ad­just­ment. The head­lin­ing and grey car­pets (in­clud­ing the one in the boot) are un­marked and in fan­tas­tic con­di­tion. The dash­board plas­tics and door cards are all in good nick. The tilt glass sun­roof works fine and there’s no ev­i­dence of leaks. All the switches work and a 12v socket has been added to the pas­sen­ger side of the dash­board. The af­ter­mar­ket 1970s-vin­tage Mo­torola ra­dio looks great but isn’t con­nected, so we can’t vouch for the sys­tem’s qual­ity.


The car was ser­viced and fit­ted with a new clutch, tyres and brake pads around six months ago and has cov­ered few miles since. The spare wheel – which sits on top of the engine – wears a Goodyear GT80 tyre with good tread, but is of in­de­ter­mi­nate age. The engine bay is un­likely to win any awards, but is all in or­der. The ex­haust ap­pears re­cent. Flu­ids are to the cor­rect lev­els and look healthy. A fan with ex­tra blades has been fit­ted. The pa­per­work con­tains MoTs dat­ing back to when it had 14k miles on the clock, con­firm­ing the cur­rent mileage.


This three-owner Samba Style – a runout model fit­ted with a ra­dio and sun­roof to help shift re­main­ing stock be­fore the car was dropped – is be­lieved to be one of three sur­vivors. It’s solid in the usual Samba prob­lem ar­eas (in­ner arches and A-pil­lars), but there’s room for cos­metic im­prove­ment.

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