Friday, 1 August 2014

Sunbeam Rapier

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

On the scale of 'names you couldn't get past the marketing department in 2014', Rapier scores pretty highly. But the 1970s were more innocent times, when such a moniker would conjure images of nothing more sinister than a massive pointy sword.
Well, I say 1970s... Sunbeam first started using the Rapier name in 1955; the sandy yellow thing you see here is a sixth-generation car from 1976. Its rakish fastback coupé styling and pillarless doors mix neatly with such retro appendages as vinyl C-pillars, Rostyle wheels and double go-faster stripes - and just look at that interior! A vision in tobacco-brown vinyl, you can just imagine your legs warmly sticking to it in the summer. The twin-carbed 1,725cc engine bestows it with an entirely not-crap 88bhp, and it can top 100mph if you give it a long enough run-up.
But it seems churlish to discuss such base affairs as performance figures - just look at it, it exudes rapidity even when it's standing still, as well as being effortlessly suave to boot. And stop sniggering at the name, it's dynamic.

Spotted at the 2014 Bromley Pageant - click here for more photos.

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