The Sunbeam Car Club is a very active club endorsing friendly interaction between members and their families, and the various branches. We generally have a club event at least once a month and encourage all members to participate regardless of whether or not they have a Sunbeam on the road.
Our library of technical information and assistance is second to none and there are members in the club who will gladly assist. We also have available the services of panel beaters and mechanics who specialise and have a passion for our much loved Sunbeams.
Subscription to the Sunbeam Car Club provides:
- A whole heap of motoring fun
- Regular branch newsletters
- The quarterly ‘Sunbeamania’ national publication
- Access to our spare parts department
- International connections to clubs around the world sharing our passion for Sunbeams
- Participation in the organised events both locally and nationally
- Access to club regalia – caps/hats, key fobs, hubcap badges, tea towels, windscreen stickers etc
ABOUT THE CARS
This is a brief description of the more popular Sunbeam models owned by our members.
Sunbeam Talbot 80 and 90
1949 to 1955. This model is a four (4) door sporting saloon, first manufactured as the 80 with a 1185cc motor but also available as the 90 with a 2 litre motor. A MKII model was released in 1950 with the larger 2 ¼ litre motor and independent suspension. The MK III model offered optional overdrive. In 1952, three (3) cars were entered in the Monte Carlo Rally with Stirling Moss driving one car into second place overall. Best known as a comfortable touring car with flexible top gear performance.
Sunbeam Rapier – Series Models: 1955 to 1967
The Series I was produced from 1955 to 1957 as a sporting toe (2) door version of the Hillman Minx with a 1390cc motor. In 1956 twin carbs were added and in 1958 the Series II was released with tail fins and a new 1494cc engine. A convertible version was also available. The Series III and IIIA covered the years 1959-1963, the series III introduced standard disc brakes and a bigger 1592cc engine. In 1964 the Series IV model featured an all synchromesh transmission, the Series V being introduced with the 1725 engine. The Rapier was a fantastic rally car, with too many victories to be listed here – team prizes all around Europe, a string of magnificent saloon car category performances in the Alpine, Monte Carlo and RAC Rallies. Top drivers of the period driving Sunbeams Rapiers to victory included Peter Harper, Paddy Hopkirk and Peter Procter.
Sunbeam Rapier – Fastback: 1967-1976
This model is based on the Hillman Hunter although the connection is hard to spot due to the stylish two-door body. The Hunter’s 1725 engine is used but modified head, camshaft and clutch. It has twin 150 CD carbs, electric overdrive on third and fourth gears and full instrumentation. Also known as a fast touring car. The H120 version had twin side-draught Weber carbs and a worked Holbay head, heavier clutch and other mods giving a top speed of just 105mph, but far stronger acceleration up to its maximum speed.
One of our members is currently restoring a Sunbeam Rapier Fastback, and converting it to run a Rover 3.5-litre V8 and 5-speed gearbox, rack and pinion steering and a host of other modifications. You can read about that project car on this link.
Sunbeam Alpine: 1959 to 1968
Introduced in 1959 with the 1494 alloy head engine used in the Rapier. Maximum speed 102 mph. 0 to 60mph in 14 seconds and fuel consumption around 30mpg. A well received sports car considered civilised and elegant. The series II was introduced in 1960 with the 1592cc engine and minor changes. In 1963 the Series III model was released with many changes including larger boot space due to the relocation of the fuel tanks into each rear guard, adjustable steering column, bigger front disc brakes and a new dash layout. The Series IV of 1964 saw the removal of the rear guard fins while the 1965 to 67 Series V was fitted with the 1725cc engine.
Sunbeam Tiger: 1964 to 1967
This is the V8 version of the Alpine which was built primarily for the America market where it became very popular. Powered by a 4.2 litre, 260 cubic inch Ford V8 developing 164bhp. Suspension, brakes, steering and differential were uprated to take the extra power. Top speed is around 117 mph, 0 to 60 mph time is around 9.5 seconds with an average fuel consumption of 17 mpg. In 1966 the Tiger II with a 4.7 litre V8 was released for the American market. This beast had a maximum speed of 122mph.
Sunbeam Imp: 1966 to 1976
This model is a luxury version of the popular Hillman Imp with upgraded interior trim, twin headlights and full instrumentation. Well known for excellent fuel economy with 50 to 60 mpg not being uncommon. The engine is an 875cc all alloy, overhead cam unit designed by Coventry Climax. The later models had a 998cc engine. Other Sunbeam Imp models included the Imp Sport with twin carbs and other mods and the Sunbeam Stiletto with a fastback body style.
The club has an extensive spare parts scheme which can supply new parts for all models. You must be a member to be able to purchase new spare parts from the club. This is a tax requirement. The joining page is here.