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Rare Rides: A Very Rare 1969 Sunbeam Alpine GT, Barracuda Lite?

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Earlier this yr, we took a take a look at the distinctive fastback type worn by the unique Plymouth Barracuda. A few years after the Barracuda, British producer Sunbeam determined to make their very own miniaturized model. Don’t worry the Rapier.

Sunbeam was a British outfit that was a part of the sick-fated Rootes Group. Although the gaggle of manufacturers began out as an unbiased enterprise thought up by the Rootes brothers, monetary points meant an eventual takeover by Chrysler of Europe. Chrysler added extra manufacturers to the combination, and ultimately misplaced some huge cash. We touched on the Rootes Group story beforehand with the Talbot Tagora, so we’ll keep on with Sunbeam at the moment.

What North America acquired because the Alpine was referred to as the Rapier in different markets. The Rapier identify dated again to 1955, and was a line of two-door midsize automobiles in sedan, fastback, and convertible types. The unique model (although branded as a Rootes Group design) was truly designed by Raymond Loewy’s agency, and shared cues with the Studebaker Hawk.  Sunbeam stored the identical basic design by means of 5 successive Collection of the Rapier, making solely minor modifications via the 1967 mannequin yr. By then a redesign was overdue.

Beginning in 1967, the Rapier was based mostly on Sunbeam’s new Arrow lineup. Arrow was the idea for a number of automobiles made between 1966 and 1979, and wore Chrysler, Dodge, Hillman, Humber, Paykan, Singer, and Sunbeam badges. The brand new Rapier was restricted to a single physique type – a fastback coupe. Beneath hood of the 174-inch car was a 1.7-liter inline-4 which produced 88 horsepower. Zero to 60 arrived in a leisurely 12.eight seconds.

Two extra variations of the Rapier have been launched to the very complicated Rootes Group lineup. 1968 noticed the sporty Rapier H120. It had a modified engine that produced 108 horsepower, an in depth ratio guide transmission, and sporty exterior styling. In 1970 Sunbeam launched a decrease-spec Alpine Fastback Coupe for the European market. It had the identical engine and a worse carburetor and produced fewer horsepower.

The Rapier lived on by means of the 1976 mannequin yr, however distribution of all Sunbeam fashions in North America floor to a halt between 1969 and 1970. The Rapier was the final Sunbeam mannequin, because the model was liquidated and folded again into the Rootes Group circa 1967.

Immediately’s Rare Experience is a 1969 instance with a guide transmission and 39,000 miles. In considerably restored situation, it asks $15,500.

[Images: seller]


– Rare Rides: A Very Rare 1969 Sunbeam Alpine GT, Barracuda Lite? –

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