These cars were part of the badge engineering which went on in the British car industry. It was basically a Hillman Minx but was souped up with a more sporting engine, neat fold down side windows which completely opened up the side of the car. They added the Sunbeam name to give it a sporting air. They did the same with a uprated Hillman Imp and the Sunbeam Alpine touring car.

My connection, it was in this car owned by another Peter this time, that I went with the two Peters and a girl called Carolyn ona motoring tour of Europe. It had overdrive on second, third and fourth gears giving a 7 speed gearbox. Despite the heavy load, four people and camping equipment it got us from Leicestershire as far as Geneva and back via Paris. Nice cars.


This was the French answer to the Volkswagon Golf GT. The version I knew was the XS or XT, can’t remember exactly which. This was between the GT version and the more normal versions.

It was very lightweight and went like a rocket. It was just like a rollerskate around the corners.

It’s name was Claude!

SUNBEAM RAPIER Series III PEUGEOT 205