In the Fifties and Sixties, the Sunbeam Rapier had a distinguished record as a competition car, with Rootes "works" entries on most major rallies of the time, in the hands of people like Peter Harper.
Paddy Hopkirk and Peter Proctor, all stars of the day, who took the car to innumberable class awards as well as some outright wins. Success was not confined to the rally scene, as the Rapier was also a successful racing saloon.
Not surprisingly, competition success at the the highest level, and a reputation as a tough and reliable car, encouraged many amateurs to use the Rapier for their sporting activities, and any British rally of the early Sixties would have included a large number of Rapiers in its entry list. Even today, the Rapier remains a popular rally car, and is used by a number of drivers who look to its enduring reliability to get them through some of the longer and more demanding of the classic rallies taking place today.
For those who would like to try classic rallying for the first time, the Rapier makes and ideal car to tackle some of the smaller and cheaper events.
For example, the Road Rallies run by the Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR) all take place at weekends and offer excellent value for money through being organised by volunteers from local motor clubs and requiring the minimum time off work for most of us.
Most of the rounds planned include a good mixture of daytime, night and full weeekend rallies specially selected to please all tastes. To encourage older cars there is a special award for the best performance in a pre-1960 car, although classes recognise the experience of the driver and the navigatorm which has long been proven to be the most important contributor towards success in road rallies.