Sunbeam Rapier, Gippsland Vehicle Collection, Bygone British Marques exhibit.

A Sunbeam Rapier restored by Alan Jones of Traralgon.

Come along to this Sunday’s Cool Cars Kickin’ Cancer event and take the opportunity to have a look at our excellent Bygone British Marques display.

The exhibit features a 1956 Commer TS3 Prime Mover, a David Brown 2D Tool Carrier Tractor, a 1946 RACV Bedford Tow Truck, a 1926 Singer Tourer, a Humber Vogue Sedan and a 1962 Daimler Dart, as well as stars from the Rootes Group Car Club, a 1938 Hillman Minx, 1936 Hillman Hope Ute, 1938 Hillman V14, 1945 Hillman Minx Mk1, 1970 Sunbeam rapier Fastback, 1965 Hillman Imp, 1966 Hillman Imp Racer, Hillman Californian, 1967 Series V1 Minx, 1954 Humber Hawk, 1965 Superminx station wagon and a 1961 Series 111B Minx Convertible.

It also features a 1962 Sunbeam Rapier Sports, restored by Alan Jones of Traralgon, who rescued it from under a gum tree on the Mornington Peninsula where it had been resting for close to 40 years.

Mr Jones said the vehicle was in such rough condition when he bought it that he had to use a lot of parts from other vehicles.

“I had already restored a Sunbeam Alpine and had a fair few parts left over, which is why I wanted another Sunbeam project,” Mr Jones said.

“Then I found an old fellow in Mt Gambier who used to restore Sunbeams and he had about 90 per cent of the parts I needed.”

A roll bar was added to the mix and Mr Jones decided to restore the vehicle as a replica rally car.

“I thought that was something different, and I could do it for relatively little expense,” he said.

“I bought the car about three years ago, and I spent five to six hours every day of the week for two years working on it. It’s just something I enjoy doing.

“I had been looking for a Rapier for a long time – there are very few around. And the car I picked up from under the tree almost wasn’t worth restoring – the interior had been completely eaten out.

“But I got started and I kept going,” he said.

“Mechanically it’s very good now. I reconditioned the motor, the gearbox was alright, I just put new seals in; the brakes probably cost me the most money.”

The Sunbeam Rapier will be on show as part of the Bygone British Marques exhibition at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection until the end of October. Across the aisle from Mr Jones’ Sunbeam Rapier is another, unmodified Rapier in the typical two-toned colours of its time.