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Old 25th August 2021, 09:03
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Mister Towed Mister Towed is offline
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Your new engine has brought back a few memories for me, Mick, as I had a green Chrysler Sunbeam 1.6 GLS when I was 20.

I had a head-on crash in it after a year of trouble free ownership, when a drink-driver in a Morris Marina pulled out of a junction into my path on my side of the road.

The Sunbeam was built like a tank and pretty much destroyed the Marina - I suffered a concussion and a fractured ankle but the pissed driver and his girlfriend were lucky to survive. The Marina caught fire with them both unconscious inside it and the wreckage was completely engulfed in flames within 60 seconds of the crash. If I hadn't been able to pull them out that would have been it for them.

That was in 1983, when attitudes to drink-driving were still that it was completely harmless and that it was bad luck if you got caught. Quite a few people I worked with at the time (in rural Scotland) believed that their driving was better when they'd had a few drams and that their frequent crashes into other vehicles, parked cars and into ravines in the middle of nowhere were just the hilarious post-script to a good night out.

It wasn't just the Scots who shared that attitude, but, coincidentally I have just found this 1977 review of the 1.0 Sunbeam for the East Scotland Motoring Week magazine:

So, the author downs half a bottle of wine and two single malts with his lunch before embarking on his test drive, then blames the car when he nearly has a head-on crash, loses control and ends up skidding off the road.

Yes, a bit of a handful that Chrysler Sunbeam, especially if you've had a skinful.

He does like the engine though.
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