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Martin Howey ClassicsMartin Howey Classics
Thirsk Yorkshire

tel: 01677367972     
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Well, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and I think this Sunbeam Rapier fastback is superb! This Rootes Group styling, unveiled to the public in 1967, still stands up today as a truly wonderfully designed 2-door pillarless coupe. Throw in their tried and tested 1725cc engine with twin strombergs plus overdrive on 3rd and 4th, and you have a fantastic piece of kit. This 44-year-old girl also has a full length Webasto roof fitted and so, with all four windows down, no door pillars and a wide open roof, it's a delight to be on the open road. The Rapier fastback was designed by Rootes man Roy Axe, although he always insisted that its distinct similarity to America's early 60s Plymouth Barracuda was purely co-incidental. Mmm. I think the jury has long been out on that one. Anyway, this Rapier is an eye-catching beauty in what I would probably describe as lilac. Remember those tiny sweets - Palma Violets - well, she is that kind of shade. Originally quite a dull looking burgundy going by the excellent and shiny boot floor, I think I prefer this colour. After all, she was a child of early 1974. It all fits together very nicely. I am assuming that she was rust-proofed at new as there are oodles of little yellow plastic caps all over the car with that "Z" logo on them. That means she was "Zeibarted" and therefore probably accounts for the vehicle's excellent structural condition. Her underside looks to be top class, as is the engine bay (treated to that black Zeibart treatment), There are no signs of repairs under the bonnet with the McPherson strut tops - at the time a First for The Rootes Group - seemingly untouched as well. Apart from some minor paint imperfections here and there, she looks stunning. And I don't think any such bits and pieces do anything to detract from her overall outstanding appearance. She is also excellent on the sills and in the door pillars and door checks (steps). Very good chrome too and an excellent interior. Who could fail to love that magnificent seven-dial sports dash? The seats are also in great order and totally undamaged. On the road, she is a joy and has - in effect - six gears thanks to overdrive on 3rd and 4th. She responds superbly and shows great oil pressure. Overdrive slips in and out without a hitch or hesitation. Overall, a rare opportunity to acquire a stunning piece of sixties British engineering and style. All my classic cars are treated as the equivalent of motoring antiques. This one, for example, is 44-years-old. They cannot be compared to the wife's six-month-old Chelsea tractor and they are bound to come with imperfections, quirks and bits and pieces that will need attention even if it is some time in the future. They do however come with oodles of charm, appeal and are there to be loved like a family pet. If you are new to the classic car scene, then please bear all this in mind. Most examples have clearly had work over the decades and I cannot predict how much or how little they will need in the future. That, I am afraid, is the nature of the beast in the world of classic cars. Motoring antiques is what they are. I love my Georgian dining table, but I can see all the scars and signs of previous woodworm. Had I wanted a brand new table, I would have gone to Oak Furniture Land. Well perhaps. Demand is outstripping supply these days and they don't make the old girls any more. So, make some allowances and drive away with a smile on your face. It goes with the territory, and therefore must be accepted, that they are always going to need on-going care, attention and repair. Don't tell me some way down the line that the full beam doesn't work, you have found a hole that needed welding or that you have discovered something I knew nothing about. They are bloody old. It happens. They come in and they go out. It seems as though I have become a "re-homer" of classic cars. So, you are more than welcome to come and view and then you can form your own opinion. It is natural that opinions will vary on such motoring antiques. Should you choose to buy without viewing - I do just that and probably the vast majority of my buyers do just the same - then you must accept that you are buying with a view to further improvement and restoration work. That, as I say, is the nature of the beast and therefore they are my terms and conditions. Thanks for reading. I accept all major debit cards and a ten per cent deposit is required at the point of sale with the balance due within three days. I can also assist with delivery and so please ask for a quote. Martin. (07595-020282).

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