Chassis No. 5190 R was supplied by Pass & Joyce Ltd in NW1, London, in 1933. The car’s special six light saloon coachwork was built by the Sunbeam Motor Car Company in Wolverhampton, England.
This four door Sunbeam 16 Saloon is a truly lovely example of the type, with an attractively styled body originally painted blue over black. With a lusty 6-cylinder ohv engine delivering 18.2hp, it is a delight to drive with fine steering and handling, a four speed gearbox and hydraulic brakes, only introduced for this model.
First registered in London on 29th April 1933, early records show that the car was sold to Mr Walter E Rutter of Rutters Garage in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in November 1937.
An esteemed and highly regarded car engineer, Walter Rutter started his own motor business in Bridgnorth in 1923 with the help of his wife, Florence. Over the years, his flourishing business continued to grow, opening new premises in the town in 1930. During this period, the business also expanded to provide taxis, wedding cars, a funeral hearse and coaches, with Sunbeam motor cars featuring significantly in their fleet of vehicles. Indeed, records show that AGU 94 was used as a funeral and private hire car by Rutters up until the mid 1960s. Rutters changed the colour of the car to all black, and it remained in this colour until 2001.
Following its use for funerals and private hire, the car was kept on display for many years in the showroom of Rutters Garage and in Mr Rutter’s private garage at his house known as ‘The Lodge’ in Salop Street, Bridgnorth. In total, the car was owned by the Rutter family for over 40 years from November 1937 to circa 1980.
Many past MOTs, invoices and photographs of work done accompany the car in a comprehensive history file. Mechanically, the car is in fine working order. Lovingly restored over a period of 12 years by its current owner, it is truly a lovely example, retaining much of its original charm and beauty.
In summary, this is a charming and stylish Sunbeam 16 Saloon, which is steeped in history having served a respected family-run motor business for over four decades and in total had only four owners since new.