Sat, 21st Feb 2004 0:00

Stoneleigh Park

 
  Lot 20
 

1959 Sunbeam Rapier Series III Works Rally Car

Sold for £19,688

(including buyers premium)


Lot details
Registration No: YWK 1
Chassis No: B30014500DHH0
Mot Expiry: None

When the Sunbeam Rapier was introduced in 1955, it was not yet a competitive rally car, but serious and detailed development work by the factory team soon changed all that. Within a year the 'Works' cars were performing with honour in the Mille Miglia, Peter Harper won the RAC rally of 1958 in a 'Works' Rapier, and the cars became successful in events such as the Monte Carlo and French Alpine rallies.

The original Rapier was a 1.4-litre two-door hardtop coupe, based on the same platform of the Hillman Minx of the period, but regular updates saw it given a 1.5-litre, a 1.6-litre and finally a 1.7-litre engine, along with front-wheel disc brakes and other refinements. The Series II cars ran in 1958 and 1959, but from the autumn of 1959 the Series III variant took over, with an aluminium cylinder head, a 73bhp / 1494cc engine, and a top speed of around 90mph. Laycock overdrive was an optional extra, most cars being sold with that feature included.

Because the 'Works' rally team, led by Norman Garrad, commissioned new cars as soon as the latest specification was available, it followed that five brand-new Series III types - registered 'YWK 1' to 'YWK 5' respectively - were made ready for use in 1960. Although these invariably ran in FIA 'standard' Group 1 condition, the 'Works' team cars were not only stronger, but handled better, and produced significantly more power, than the showroom variety. Overdrive was always fitted and, depending on the regulations for a particular event, this was sometimes arranged to operate on all forward gears.

Along with its four sister cars, 'YWK 1' was built at Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry, late in 1959, then prepared for the 1960 Monte Carlo rally, where it was piloted by race drivers Peter Jopp and Les Leston, but had to retire with a broken half shaft. The same car and crew then tackled the Greek Acropolis rally, where they once again had to retire.

'YWK 1' was then sold off by the 'Works' team, and was bought by Oakham-based Rootes dealer Julian Easten. Along with co-driver Graham Robson, this private team then contested many British events, their successes including membership of the winning club team in the RAC rally, second overall in the 1961 Welsh rally, along with victories in several Motoring News Championship events of the 1960-1961 winter. When Julian purchased a Sebring Sprite from John Sprinzel, 'YWK 1' was sold through that well-known outlet.

'Works' Rapiers of this type were always sturdy, and carefully built to last the toughest of campaigns. Neither in 'Works' ownership, nor in that of Julian Easten, did 'YWK 1' suffer any significant damage in accidents. However, later in the 1960s, with rallies changing so completely in type and character, 'YWK 1' was retired from motorsport, but re-appeared when classic rallying blossomed in the 1980s.

As offered for sale, 'YWK 1' combines originality (including its green paint and green interior trim, with rally plates from the 1960 Monte Carlo rally) with a series of improvements made for modern classic rallies. The engine fitted is now a Series IIIA type of 1592cc and there is a full roll cage, and Britax full harness safety belts. When the car was new, in fact, the use of a roll cage was strictly forbidden. The roof-mounted Lucas swivel spot lamp is as used by the factory at the time, while the colour scheme and the position of the registration number on the front bumper is totally authentic. The car is fitted with a rare, and valuable, example of the Halda Speed Pilot, which computes distances and average speeds by a cable drive from the speedometer.

Since entering the current ownership via our February 2004 Race Retro auction, 'YWK 1' has been dry stored, and is offered complete with old style FIA papers appropriate to its former use in classic rallying. It is thought to be the only ex-Works 'YWK' car to survive, and indeed to be the only survivor of eight Series III Rapiers used by the 'Works' team in 1960.
 

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:

               

Auction: Stoneleigh Park, Sat, 21st Feb 2004

View all lots in this sale

Do you have an item to sell?

If so, contact one of our friendly specialists for your free valuation by completing the form below and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

Contact Us Today!

 

Images

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.


A Car That Has Stayed In Production For 86 Years And Is Still Selling. A 1989 Citroen 2CV6 Dolly
Love Affairs With Bentley's Last Decades - Two Much Loved Bentleys Go On Sale
Stunning Classic Cars Achieved A £2.2 Million Record Sale
National Motorcycle Museum - Auction Highlights Video
Vincents Dominate At H&H Classic Bike And Scooter Auction At The National Motorcycle Museum
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. An Auction Of Classic And Collector Cars, July 27th
An Auction of Classic & Collector Motorcars - Wednesday 27th July 2022 from 1pm
Over 230 Classic Motorcycles and 50 Vintage Scooters Heading To Auction
The Best Suzuki Katana On The Market
Exquisitely Restored Rare WW2 Military Bike Complete With Gasmask
And Now For Something Completely Different. A Homage To The Morgans Of The 1930's
Three Bikes With Stories To Tell
Dozens Of Stunning Classic Cars Are Heading To Auction At 'No Reserve'
Don't Trash That Triumph!
Top Picks For The H&H Classic Bike Sale
Classic 1976 Jaguar XJ-C Sold For £40,000 To Aid The Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal At IWM Auction
H&H June 22nd IWM Duxford Auction Grosses 2.4 Million With Catalogue Cover Ferrari Making £400,000
Imperial War Museum, An auction of classic cars. June 22nd. Watch our preview video here!
The Oldest Surviving Jaguar In The UK Is For Sale With H&H Classics
One Man's Vision Of His Dream Ferrari. 1969 Ferrari 365 GT Rebodied In The Style Of 'Pontoon Fender'
A Century Of Classic & Collector Cars. Catalogue Now Live!
'A True Family Retainer' 1912 Darracq Spent Over A Century With Four Generations Of The Same Family
Take a Closer Look At This Selection Of Classic Motorcars On Our YouTube Channel
Some Like It Hot! 1965 Excalibur SS Series 1 Built For Actor Tony Curtis
A Very Rare RHD Mid-Engined Supercar 1973 Maserati Bora 4.7
Fire Breathing Scooter 1967 World Record Holder 151,936 KM/H Quarter Mile In 0-100 KM/H 7.6 Seconds
The Jewel Of The Next H&H Motorcylce Sale Is This 1976 Kawasaki KH 500 "KH Five" Allen Millard Build
Seeking A Princely Saviour: 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 Sl-eeping Princess Project
H&H Joining The Classic and Performance Car Spectacular
The Culmination Of Five Le Mans Wins This 1960 Beauty Did 0-60mph In 7.6 Seconds & 140mph Top Speed
It's Genius! A Prince Marries a Guiness and Packs Up the Rolls -Royce for a Life in Africa
Our stunning auction venues, perfect locations for sellers and buyers alike
Collector donates his classic 1976 Jaguar XJ-C 4.2 to aid the Ukrainian war effort
FAQ's
H&H Classics Auction At The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton On April 27th
Open for viewing - Buxton Pavilion Gardens Auction Wednesday 27th April
On The Menu At Buxton – Haute Cuisine Autos With H&H Classics Auction April 27TH 2022
An Auction of Classic & Collector Motorcars - Wednesday 27th April 2022 from 1pm
Looking for a challenge? Rare 1961 Mercedes-Benz Barn Find project
World Boxing Champ Wheels For Sale
Celebrity Scooter Sales at NMM Auction
Vintage, Rare & Unusual Bikes Achieve 80% Sell Rate
'How Vintage Scooters Got the Market In A Buzz'
Volvo P1800 for sale at H&H Pavilion Gardens Auction April 27th
Two-wheeled Maserati for sale at National Motorcycle Museum auction
Over 200 classic motorcycles and scooters available to view, bid on and buy
IWM Duxford Auction Grossed £3.5m In A Sale Dominated By British Marques
An Auction Of Over 100 Classic Motorcars - Wednesday 16th March at 1pm