Monday, December 8, 2014

20k: British Racing Verde: 1965 Sunbeam Venezia

Just over 50 years ago, a strange alliance between Rootes Group of the UK and Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, Italy produced a limited production coupe called the Sunbeam Venezia.  It employed the traditional Superleggera method of coach building by using a tubular steel frame covered in aluminum body panels.  According to various interweb sources (including this Bonhams auction from 2007) only 146 of the Venezias were ever built and about 26 remain intact today.  Find this 1965 Sunbeam Venezia here on craigslist offered for $19,000 in Ventura, CA.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The Venezia was a 2+2 coupe with a 1600cc engine that cost as much as a Sunbeam Tiger and more than a 2.4 liter equipped Jaguar Mk2. With less than 200 sold, you can't consider the Venezia to be a sales success, but it certainly makes an interesting blip on the Anglo-Italian classic car radar.  Read more about Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni and the 145 (or 203?) Venezias built here on

Power in the Venezia comes from a 1.6 liter inline-4 engine borrowed from the Humber  Sceptre and good for around around 80 horsepower. Oddly enough, the Chrysler V8 that appeared in the Super Snipe and Sceptre never made it to the Venezia, and this probably hastened the demise of this cosmetically pretty but performance challenged classic.

This car is a project, and looks like it has been for sale for a while from the same seller.  As far as market comps, the closest I could find was this 1964 Venezia offered in Monaco that failed to meet reserve twice on eBay, once with bidding exceeding $30k USD.  As far as this one...there are few other Italian coach built 60s classics that you could get into for the price of a new econobox.

See a cooler old oddball for less?


  1. Someone hasn't paid their water-bill, possibly ?


  2. The Sunbeam badge on the steering wheel looks like a dollar sign. You are going to need a few to complete this project...

  3. Replies
    1. It has been for sale at that price for a while, so it should be negotiable. Maybe not down to sub $5k...but you should be able to get some discount.

  4. Speaking of little green European beauties... Anyone know what that car is that's now at the top right corner of the page? I can't for the life of me remember where I even took the photo, only that I was in a car. I suspect UK, since it seems to be taken from the right hand side and I'm almost always the one driving.

    1. Citroen Ami 6 Berline. Mechanically identical to a 2CV, although the Ami 6 got the 602 motor first. Very comfortable car, but certainly polarizing from a styling standpoint.

    2. Citroen Amigo or Dianne. Scroll down on this link and you'll get a rear view.
      Found it: Citroen Ami 6

    3. Interesting. That's gotta be what Nien Nunb drives because it looks just like him!

    4. You know, when he's on Earth, visiting France.

    5. That is hilarious. I will be sharing this with some Citroen buddies. Thanks for a laugh.


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