1980 Talbot Horizon


Underrated make


Valve work needed.

General Comments:

I enjoyed the car. It was the top of the range model. It was a good car, although I know many people had problems - I had few.

I liked the Disco look interior. I assume it was very American even though it was a French car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2005

1979 Talbot Horizon L 1.1 petrol


Electronic ignition failed twice. Eventually gave up and fitted mechanical ignition instead.

The distributor failed when the rotor arm came adrift from the shaft. After many calls to the nearest dealer, I fitted a distributor from a Simca (which has the same engine).

Ignition timing was always going awry.

Brake calipers replaced twice. Ignition timing needed constant adjustment.

Servicing always cost a fortune. All spare parts were almost unobtainable, even when the car was being made.

The paint quality and body protection was poor. By 1986 the body had rot everywhere.

General Comments:

It had its good points. It had big, comfortable seats, lots of room front and rear, and a big boot. This is important if you have two growing kids!

Loads of wheel travel and good damping made it ride pretty well, even on really lousy roads. One of the few positive memories I have is driving to a slate quarry in North Wales, where the road had bomb crater sized potholes which the Horizon just didn't seem to notice!

The tiny 1142cc engine seemed to cope reasonably well with lugging about nearly a ton of metal, but was very noisy, especially on the motorway.

The car had the agility of a charging bull and the stopping distance of a car ferry.

Body corrosion is an endemic problem with all Chrysler/Talbot vehicles of this era. When I part exchanged it for a Ford Escort, it was in borderline MOT pass territory.

My kids have cars of their own now, but remember the Horizon more fondly than I do. I think the body corrosion has killed them all (Horizons, that is).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th January, 2004

2nd Feb 2005, 17:45

I agree with most of what you have written, but will advise anyone against buying one the parts are almost impossible to locate anywhere. Scrapped vehicles have long since turned to rotting dust lining the surface of scrap yards.

11th Feb 2005, 11:24

Well it was near impossible to get bits even while they were still making them so I'm not surprised that the situation didn't improve with time.

As regards buying one... well the last one I saw for sale was on a grotty garage forecourt in Wolverhampton in about 1994 and I think they wanted £50 for it.

There must still be one out there because I saw it in a classic car mag a couple of years ago.

1985 Talbot Horizon LE


Get a low mileage one, it'll run forever


Electronic ignition thingy stopped working, needed replacing.

Clutch plates needed replacing.

Radiator mountings failed.

General Comments:

This was an exceptional basic car. Unbelievably unfashionable, but reliable and cheap.

I commuted 500 miles from home to work several times a month with never a problem.

Driving on winding roads was a carnival of emotions. Handling and roadholding were inherited from bygone eras. Take care! On the plus side, I had the chassis straightened after an impact with a brick wall - it was as good as new.

The only problems, ignition, clutch and radiator mountings, happened after 100,000 miles.

It was impossible to sell. No takers, despite being in good nick. I gave it to my sister who used it as a school bus until 2001.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th September, 2003

1984 Talbot Horizon GLE 1.3


A high performance shopping cart


Driver's side ball joint strangely popped in half.

Exhaust broke. Could not get another anywhere after searching for over 2 years. So I made my own.

General Comments:

Very nippy, very cool, great reliability, different. All round great.

Only problem is the total lack of parts available for the thing. You end up using Pug 205, 309 parts all the time!

This thing is very quick when adjusted slightly, and can quite easily keep up with many other makes 1600s.

Economy is great at almost 40 MPG.

They're a real head turner. Mine is perfect; no rust, nothing.

I am getting rid of it due to a lack of parts, and that exhaust I made out of a Citroen one is noisy.

This thing never breaks down.

These things usually rust bad, but mine has none.

If you get one, keep it; they're becoming very collectable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2003