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6 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2017 :  16:40:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just asking ...
We know just how many Sunbeam Rapiers of each series were built and the years in which they were built, but ...
Does anyone have data on the production subtotals by the week or month? The Sunbeam Alpine is documented as to the VIN, week by week.
Are there numbers on how many were made for export or the UK market, or even just RHD or LHD?
Convertible Rapiers were only produced for the Series II, III, and IIIA, are there numbers on total convertibles per series?
Just I might have one of the rarer models. An LCX, a LHD, Convertible, for Export.
And if this question has already been answered ... is there a link to it?


47 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2017 :  11:38:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also have an lcx 3a. number is 1208 from sept 1962 what is yours?
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6 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2017 :  17:53:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a Series III, 2577 built (best guess) early 1960, in Moonstone Blue, with a Gray interior, with engine matching #. Over the years the family has had a 1956 Series I (me - RED too), 1958 Series II (my grandmother and then me), 1960 Series III (convertible - Moonstone Blue with blue interior - my father). All were LHD in America. All VINs have long been forgotten unfortunately. I got my (new) Series III as my father taught me to drive in his, and they, the new and the old, are almost identical. I now say that I still have Dad with me when I drive.
Thanks for asking.

But the original questions remains, how many, what types, where marketed, etc.
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United Kingdom
1008 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2017 :  12:38:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The website does show production figures: there are small variances in what was thought to have been produced; not so much Series cars, but later Fastback ones; after production moved from Ryton to Linwood when the chassis numbering system was changed several times and in the latter years numbers were consecutive, but a different prefix differentiated what model it was - so no. 788788 may have been a Rapier, but no. 788789 could have been a Hunter making production numbers hard to establish exactly.
Anyway; here you go:-
Series I 7477
Series II 15151
Series III 15368
Series IIIA 17354
Series IV 9700
Series V 3759
Total of 68809
It is interesting to note that although a similar number of II's & III's were made, the survival rate of III's is much better. I think this is because the modern classic car movement was not around at the time and the Rapier was just another disposable car, as the III's were younger people started saving them and consequently there are more around - only my theory. Also despite nearly 7500 being made; Series I's are the rarest Rapier today, not the V, even though there were less of these made.
As far as I know the totals include all export models, but maybe not 'CKD's (kit form ones) that were exported. Of course a lot of II's went to the USA, so maybe there are a lot hiding out there?
Can't say we have any record of No. 2577 or 1208, but our registrar may know?
Just to complete things - the total no. of Fastback's produced is around 47,000 with a figure of 46,204 often being quoted in the press. As you can see, less than the Series model.
That figure includes all standard Rapier's, H120's and Fastback Alpine's; as well as export models, including the Alpine & Alpine GT exported to the USA.
I hope this is of interest.
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6 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2017 :  04:20:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
bigt80 has eloquently told the story, yet with a little repetition I have added a few bits of data? Or is that questioned?

I read your reply back in February 2015 on ‘How many soft top’ Rapiers. (
So, please feel free to correct my assumptions. And the Rootes and Chrysler Passenger Car Chassis Codes (i.e. serial number (s/n)), are easily obtainable. ( So, with that as my premise.

Series I began s/n with A3600001, with production beginning in September 1956 through February 1959 for a total production run of 7,477. Thus the last production s/n should have been A3607477. All were hard top saloons. As you said, they are becoming more rare as we speak. I know that the Series I owned in 1964 – 65 has long gone to scrap as it was involved in a bad accident. Although I did discover a few Series Is still sitting in barns around America. Yet, truthfully, they are in very poor shape.

The Series II began production in February 1959 and lasted to September 1959, with s/n from A3800001. With a production run of, as you stated, 15,151, the last s/n made should have been A3815151. All that is a mere 8 months.

I know that A3811473, a Left Hand Drive (LHD) Convertible for Export, is currently under restoration. That Rapier had lived in Oregon (USA) for many years, then relocated to Utah for restoration and finally to Canada. We all hope that it will be back on the road someday! I fear that my Series II has met the same fate as my Series I. I had both in California. The family owned that Series II from 1958 until 1969, when I sold it off for a slightly more ‘powerful’ car. A 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with a 396-ci engine and 375 hp.

Again my question is just how many Series IIs of the 15,151 were built for export, how many convertibles, etc. As you stated the survival rate for the Series IIs is much lower than other Series’, but just how many are on the road both in the UK and how many elsewhere? Plus how many convertibles, anywhere?

With the Series III, first letter changed to a “B” for the s/n, beginning with B3000001. After a production run of 15,368 in 20 months (September 1959 – April 1961), one can only assume that the last s/n built was B3015368. You said that there is no record of a 2577. For brevity, I guess I neglected to give the first four of the alphanumeric s/n. My s/n is B3002577 LCX, a Series III LHD Convertible, or 2577 for short. The Series III my father bought new in 1960, and I learned to drive on, was sold in 1965. But again, I fear it too has been sent to the bone yard. Best as I might, I have yet to find in our records the s/n of those specific cars.

Like wise the Series IIIA, which had a production run of 17,354, began with s/n B3050001 through B3067354 (I assume). Therefore, I assumed that the 1208, was actually s/n B3051208 LCX.

The Series IV were split into two production s/n. The 1963 models began with B3300001 and the 1964s were from B33100001 or so it is stated. And as you said, only 9,700 were produced.

With only 3,759 of the Series Vs made, they became the least made Series before the total body style change. Their s/n began with B325000001

Please excuse me for being so long winded, but …

This brings me back to my original question.
Does anyone have data on the production runs by VIN by week? The Alpine group has that data. (
Can any one provide data on the total production run of convertibles for each of the Series II, III, IIIA?
How many LHD and RHDs were made for each Series?
How many were made for the UK home market and how many for export?

Of the entire production run of all Series Rapiers, 68,809, I saw that less that 500 were MOT in the UK. I mean the survival rate is less that 1%. But that number does not include the exported Series Rapiers. Does anyone have any figures on the world-wide count?

I feel that Series Rapier, and all Rapier, owners are beginning to understand just how exciting it is to own a rare car. One that is just as stylish today, as it was some 50 odd years ago. I took my Series III to an auto show the other weekend. No one had ever seen a Rapier (of any Series) and only one person had ever heard of the Rapier. Many thought it was a Studebaker. I wonder why - <<grin>>. They had heard of the Alpine and Tiger, but NOT of Rapiers. But I will admit it was in America.

Again please excuse my long windedness. But can anyone answer the questions on “JUST HOW MANY?”

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7 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2017 :  08:15:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a drop in the ocean I suppose, but reading the thread here confirms my suspicion that a series 2 is a fairly rare Rapier. So I am pleased to inform you that A380430100LHO is an eager weekend runner in unrestored condition here in Norway. The car was bought new by my mother’s cousin and has only recently changed hands between these strings of the family. Some brake and clutch “pumps and plumbing” had to be replaced after 10 odd years of storage but otherwise the car seems to be more or less untouched since the 60’s when the electrics were changed to neg. earth and alternator and Halda fitted for the extensive rally and later challenge career the car has had. She now resides in my garage between a few MGs, and has become my wife’s absolute favourite as a driver, and as she “actually dresses for the Goodwood Revival” every day, the looks.
Morocco brown with white ( moonstone?) roof and flash is a lovely period combo.
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47 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2017 :  19:14:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
just want to add that 1208 is not 305 but 3061208 and is presumed to be born in oct/nov 1962
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