1. Welcome to the new SAOCA website. Already a member? Simply click Log In/Sign Up up and to the right and use your same username and password from the old site. If you've forgotten your password, please send an email to membership@sunbeamalpine.org for assistance.

    If you're new here, click Log In/Sign Up and enter your information. We'll approve your account as quickly as possible.


    Dismiss Notice

Rapier on Bring A Trailer

Discussion in 'Huskies, Imps, Rapiers, Fastbacks, etc.' started by Jay Laifman, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time


    I don't know that I've ever seen so many pictures of one, and a couple videos.

    I have to agree with one of commentators, that engine sounds noisy!

    I also have to agree with another commentator:

    It’s kind of like a Picasso. At first glance, I question what no-talent hack designed this thing. But the more I look at it and admire the lines, the more I appreciate it. I’m drawn to it.

  2. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    The fastback was nicknamed the "Mini Cuda". Think about that. I have had three with the auto trans. With the 3.70 gear in the rear the car was very sluggish and slow on take off. I prefer the 68/69 models. They have the wood dash and several differences to the interior and also the exterior. The manual trans is much better. Pull up conceptcarz.com, search sunbeam alpine GT and photos of a 69 GT should open. You'll see the differences.
  3. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    I tried to get the wife to buy it! First question was if it had A/C ?

    It is a nice vehicle but, would be even better with an A/C with outdoubt.

    And my Electric Power Steering (EPS) would enhance the driving around town also:)
  4. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time

    I tried that once. I bought for her a 1955 Alpine, Mark III, needing FULL restoration, but totally straight, and rust free - ivory/red. I never got to it. I sold it to some guy from northern Canada somewhere. I wonder what ever happened to it.

    FWIW, I did bring it up with my wife first. Total misread. I thought she "agreed". But when I showed up with the car ... oh boy. Not pretty. She did not think she agreed at all. That probably contributed to me not getting around to it. She's driving a 2018 Honda Civic Type R now - so it's not like she wouldn't drive a sports car!

    Also, there are aftermarket AC kits out there that work pretty well. I have one on a VW.

    At least I'm running an engine from one of these Rapiers!
  5. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    The Rapier was never imported to the states. The body is the same but there are other differences such as seats and interior, engine specs, brakes and trim. I have a 69 Alpine that has dual advance units on the distributor.
    The next time I have the 69 at a meet and you're there you'll have to take it for a drive. No need for P/S.
  6. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time

    I just meant I have an H120 engine in my Alpine. But, I'll happily enjoy a ride in your 69!
  7. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    How did you talk someone in the U.K. into selling you an H120 engine? Or did you build an engine to the Holbay specs/
  8. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time

    About 20 years ago, Sunbeam Specialties came across an NOS Holbay head, and had a few NOS H120 cams. I got new DCOE Webers, a TWM Weber manifold, and had custom pistons made. I had the distributor recurved (disabling the vacuum advance mechanism). I also came across a custom racing exhaust headers that happened to be the larger ID that matched the Holbay head exhaust ports. I also now have someone who will send me NOS H120 Webers. But, as I understand it my 40 DCOE 151 Webers are better - and they are totally dialed in. So I haven't jumped on those carbs. The clutch and flywheel are lightened too - but that's not really a H120 thing.

    I don't have a Holbay valve cover though! I am using one with "SUNBEAM" and the "S".

    FWIW, I strongly believe that if Sunbeam had this engine in the Alpine, they never would have made the Tiger. I'm not saying it's better than the Tiger (though I think it is in some driving). I'm just saying it's so much more power, that there wouldn't have been the pressure to make something different.
  9. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    About four years ago I bought a Holbay valve cover in the U.K. Gave too much money for it and it was shipped. I have no reason to not believe the person that handled the transaction and he provided copies of the shipping paper but it has yet to show up on my porch. I wanted it for the 69.
  10. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    The '70 GT sold for $5200 yesterday. From the photos, there's a month-of-manufacture sticker that says Nov 69. Interesting that Chrysler UK had already switched the dash etc from wood to brushed steel/aluminum(?). Only the 2nd one like this I've come across in 40 years.
  11. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    This car has been up for sale several times by "different " owners but the photos are always the same. Check out the turn buckles to hold the battery.
  12. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer Platinum Level Sponsor

    Well I've been sitting on my project 69 Alpine GT for a lot of years now toying with what to do with it. I'll be putting rear brakes on it here this summer as it wouldn't even roll around without removing a rear drum. I have toyed with the idea of a Lotus 907 engine in it making my own Lotus Sunbeam but I might just stick with the original 1725 and convert it to a manual gearbox and leave it as near original as possible.
  13. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    You could replicate the alegro they built with the V8 and 4 speed ....
    That said a modern all alloy twink or v6 with a 5 speed would make a fun sleeper car
  14. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Rear Disc are available, depending on wheel being used.
  15. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    The braking system is entirely different from the series Alpine. I can say that the Lockheed system does a good job of stopping. The front pads wear because the braking is mostly done by the front wheels. The booster is connected to the front wheels only and no boost is on the rear brakes. The steering does not lend itself to hard driving. These cars make Tiger steering look like a major engineering success. The wheels set at very weird angles when turning and they scrub the tires really bad. Jose spent a lot of time looking at my car and said he could set a 2.8 and five speed in it. The one unknown variable is that the 1725 couldn't be fitted upright under the hood. If you look at this photo you'll see where the center of the wheels is in relation to the engine. Unlike the series 5 you'll see that a lot of the engine sets in front of the front axles. The covers on the wheel wells are the top strut mounts. How much under hood clearance would there be? Another thing to consider as far as engine swaps is that the car does not have a cross member that is even close to the series Alpine and Tiger and it has struts connected to a C channel shaped lower control arm. They don't have a conventional A shaped control arm. I had two sets of new struts in my stash of parts and the stub axle was bolted to the strut. The owner mentioned converting to a manual trans. A series Alpine trans and bell housing will not fit these cars due to the engine being set at an angle. The trans has a longer input shaft and a longer tail shaft. The bell housing is deeper than the series Alpine unit and in order for the trans to set upright there is a different bolt pattern on the bell housing. The only engine parts shared with the series Alpine was the block . The head was different. 100_0254.JPG I'm currently working on my 69 and I'm pulling the radiator and a lot of bolt on parts in order to detail the under hood area. We love the car because it's a great cruising / traveling car.
  16. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    I think I've read Rootes/Chrysler UK was aiming for engine smoothness with the 10-degree cant of the engine. No, I don't know why that would make it smoother. Going upright shouldn't have caused a clearance problem. Smoothness was also the goal with that extra shock absorber on the driver's side motor mount - GT model only.
  17. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    If you lay a straight edge along the bottom of the channel running down each fender you'll find maybe 3/4 of an inch clearance between the straight edge and the valve cover and the heater hoses. That doesn't leave much room from the bottom of the hood especially if it still has the insulation. The engine shock absorber was used on all models of the fastbacks and sedans with the 1725. I've taken the above car to Mopar shows and had people mention the slant six and then I tell them it's a slant four.
  18. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    How's your noise level without the underhood and firewall bulge insulation? I found my two daily driver Coupes (sans insulation) to be much noisier than the GT's I've driven.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  19. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    We did a bare metal restoration of this car so when the upholstery shop did the interior the shop insulated the interior using the jute material he uses on street rods. No dyna mat product. The result is a very quiet interior.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020

Share This Page