Sunbeam - Sunbeam Rapier

The Sunbeam Rapier was built from 1955, the first of the unitary construction models built by the Rootes Group. The Rapier name continued to be used by the Roots Group for another 20 years. The body design was the work of Raymond Loewy, a 2 door coupe with 4 seats, using the uprated Hillman 1390cc engine . The same shaped cars were introduced a year later with the Hillman Minx and Singer Gazelle. A restyled Series 2 Rapier now had a Sunbeam radiator, and this rapier was also available in convertible, while the engine was enlarged to 1500cc. The Series 3 Rapiers had many detail improvements and the engine strengthened and enlarged further to 1600cc. The Series 4 and Series 5 Rapiers were hanging in there with various improvements, including 13 inch wheels, as well as stroking the engine to 1725cc. A replacement fastback "New Rapier" appeared for 1967, which made the previous models look dated. This Sunbeam Rapier (marketed as the Sunbeam Alpine GT in the USA) continued to be produced with little change until production ended in 1976. There was also a hotted up version of the Rapier called the "H120" available from 1968 and onward with a Holbay tuned engine 1720cc engine which was good for over over 105mph, the H120 being distinguishable by its Rostyle wheels.

Tyre sizes for the  Sunbeam Rapier are:

- Earlier Sunbeam Rapier Series 1,2,3 and 3A (1955 to 1963) had 15 inch wheels with a 4" rim width fitted with 5.60x15 tyre size, and the radial equivalent size to this is 155R15, and Blockley produces a superb steel belted period correct tread good speed rated 155HR15 size, and we also make this tyre is a whitewall version for those that want this - see full details of these tyres below. For thos that want a slightly wider and larger diameter we also make a 165VR15 tyre size.

- Later Sunbeam Rapier models (Series 4 and 5) had the smaller diameter 13 inch wheels from 1963 to 1976 (and including the Rapier H120) and the correct tyre size is the 165HR13 which Blockley produces. Initially with cross ply tyre size 6.00x13 which is in any case the equivalent of radial 165R13 tyre size. An alternative wider tyre would be the 175/70VR13 tyre which we have seen listed in old tyre fitment lists as an alternative "fatter" tyre for the Rapier.

Blockley Products for Sunbeam Sunbeam Rapier


Blockley Radial

£122.00 (£146.40 inc. VAT)

15/16 inch Rim Band (45mm wide)

Blockley Rim Band

£3.30 (£3.96 inc. VAT)

155HR15 White Wall

Blockley Radial

£125.00 (£150.00 inc. VAT)


Blockley Radial

£99.00 (£118.80 inc. VAT)

155/165x13 Thickened Inner Tube

Blockley Thickened Inner Tube

£12.00 (£14.40 inc. VAT)



£83.00 (£99.60 inc. VAT)



£89.00 (£106.80 inc. VAT)

Set of 4 165VR15

Blockley Radials

£488.00 (£585.60 inc. VAT)