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Lot 108: Sunbeam Rapier Series III

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (13 July 2011)

The Sunbeam Rapier Series III arrived on the scene late in 1959. The bodies were built by Pressed Steel and were delivered to Thrupp and Maberley for painting and trimming. They were then moved to the Ryton plant to be finished off - altogether a rather complicated way of building a car by today's standards. The result, however, was a very fine product indeed. The earlier series Rapiers had been proven on the international rally circuit and many of the lessons learnt over four years of serious competition were incorporated into the Series III. These included the floor mounted gearchange, the 1,494cc 78bhp 'Rallymotor' engine with 8-port alloy head, twin Zenith carburettors and taut re-circulating ball steering. The Series III is often referred to as the definitive Rapier with much justification. This extraordinary example was purchased new by a Mr Mead of RS Mead, the then well known Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists. He kept and maintained it until 1962 at which point it had covered some 9,000 miles. The second owner used the car very sparingly until he was given a company car, at which point he stopped using the Rapier. He carried on a regular and dedicated programme of improvements, including polishing everything in sight until recently passing away. Still in immaculate condition today, the 13,500 miles is believed by the vendor to be genuine, with the dashboard and interior described as looking "virtually new". It even has the genuine Rootes Karobe seat covers that were originally supplied with the vehicle. In superb driving condition, it is MOTd until March 2012. 'Timewarp condition' is a much over-used phrase in the classified ads but this incredibly low mileage example, pampered all its life, is one car that justifies the cliche.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number108
Estimate£10500-£11500
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1959
Condition rating
Registration numberTRX 111
Mileage-
Chassis numberB3002674HSOOD
Engine numberB3002674
Engine capacity (cc)1494
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2