Sunbeam Rapiers

with Simon Coulson

Here’s a pair you don’t see often in car mags. Maybe it’s rarity; maybe they just didn’t catch the imagination of the right crowds. Whatever the story, here are some pointers to making these super Sunbeams cool.

Series IV

The elder Rapier is a natural for the gasser treatment… it’s small, quirky and light. Apply all the usual tricks – straight axle, big’n’littles, spindle-mount rims, in-your-face ‘flake paint… it’s all there. Naturally, you’ll need a V8 in there – a Hemi should do it! – set well back (back seat driving anyone?) with de-rigueur fenderwell headers. See you at the strip!


The fastback is a more restrained affair, a combination of cafe racer and muscle. Torq Thrust D wheels fill the arches (the rear ones have been enlarged to make room), a chin spoiler adds purpose up front and a Holbay-tuned 1725 lurks under the bonnet. Inside, black vinyl abounds with the occasional glint of chrome catching the eye. Paint is a custom mix with a nod to the past in the form of some racy twin stripes on the lower flanks.