Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sunbeam Rapier Fastback Coupé (1967-76)

The Sunbeam company first made bicycles then motorcycles and cars from the late 19th century until about 1936, and applied the marque to all three forms of transportation. The last Sunbeam produced was the "Rootes Arrow" series which included the Sunbeam Rapier fastback coupés. Rootes Arrow was the manufacturer's name for a range of cars produced under several badge-engineered marques by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler Europe) from 1966 to 1979. Chrysler, who had purchased Rootes, disbanded the Sunbeam marque afterwards. 

The Sunbeam Rapier was a sporty four seat fastback coupé powered by the Rootes 4-cylinder, 5-bearing 1725 cc engine. With its twin Stromberg 150CD carburettors the engine produced 88 bhp. The model continued almost unchanged until 1976, when it was discontinued without a replacement. Maximum speed of the Rapier was 103 mph (166 km/h) and it could reach 60 mph (97 km/h) from rest in 12.8 seconds. In the United States, it was marketed as the Sunbeam Alpine GT.

During its lifetime it formed the basis for the more powerful Sunbeam Rapier H120, introduced in October 1968 and identifiable by its boot-lid spoiler and polished sill covers. The Holbay Engineering-tuned engine (with twin Weber carburettors) produced 110 bhp. The Rapier was also the basis for the slightly cheaper but similarly bodied, single-carburettor Sunbeam Alpine Fastback (1970-75).

Until 1976, including Rapier, H120 and Alpine versions, 46,204 units were built in all.

Sunbeam Rapier Fastback Coupé (UK)

Sunbeam Alpine GT (U.S.)

The more powerful Sunbeam Rapier H120 (1968-76). 
The Holbay Engineering-tuned engine (with twin Weber carburettors) produced 110 bhp. 
Identifiable by its boot-lid spoiler and polished sill covers.

(Photos from &

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