You see, there once was a French design studio of an American company for a mainly british market, that produced to near visually identical cars but had different drive trains?
Yeah, it’s pretty confusing to say the least. Much like it took me a few days to figure out how the whole love triangle called Where’s Waldo worked between Waldo, Wanda and her sister…seriously, the SunBeam Ti, Aka, Chrysler Sunbeam, aka Talbot Sunbeam was infact not the same car as the Simca Horizon, AKA Chrysler Horizon, AKA Plymouth Horizon, AKA Dodge Omni.
The Talbot R424 was designed by Roy Axe who was associated with Simca, which was a the french brand of Chrysler?!?!?
Now the Simca C2, was a completely different design, made by another designer: Roy Axe…errr the same guy.
So what’s the difference? Well, as best as I can sort out in my jumble of a brain is that, Roy appears to have designed two nearly identicals cars, perhaps right off the same sketches, but they got produced by two different Chrysler subsidiaries, Talbot and Simca. I’m not sure with what knowledge either had of each other? The cars, although similar in looks, the Sunbeam is RWD, and the Horizon is FWD.
Oddly enough, both were drawn into the world of Rallying thanks to Lotus, my favorite borderline coachbuilder/full time manufacturer and often times, race team, fuck they just like cars going fast.
You had the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, which was a wacky little Homologation special that faired very well in the RAC rally championships.
You also had the very obscure, and almost non-exsistant Lotus Horizon Group B prototype. Designed to take the FWD car to a 4WD turbo charged competition state. That’s right, Lotus tuned a chassis the same as that silly little Dodge Omni you stole the turbo out of for your Caravan.
What’s really friggin odd is that BOTH cars were introduced to the public in 1977, even though the Horizon was meant to be a replacement for the Sunbeam! hahahahaha. My God Lee Iococca had his work cut out for him! Funny how Group B somehow links kinda over to the design of the mustang, and Carol Shelby almost twice?