Sunbeam Rapier Review from Australia and New Zealand

1970 Sunbeam Rapier V8 Ford 289 swap 289 V8

Model year1970
Year of manufacture1970
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 289 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles
Previous carToyota Cresta


Great looking fun car to drive


Broken exhaust mount, easily fixed.

General Comments:

A nice little "hot rod" with 289 V8, C4 auto and 9" differential. My wife drives it mainly, and the only real niggles are its heavy steering and awkward window winders that can stick. The steering is heavy due mostly to the V8 engine, which was not standard to the car.

Getting hard to find body and suspension parts for it, but the Ford drive line helps keep it on the road cheaply and easily. Has an Edelbrock carburetor (650 AVS) that helps drivability and economy.

Now a rare car on the road in Auckland New Zealand, so it does get a lot of attention wherever it goes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2011

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 1 review