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Homepage. This page: Photographs, taken in 1954, of a '26 Sunbeam competing in the Anglo-American Rally.

A vintage Sunbeam 3 Litre.

A little while back I found a number of photographs taken of cars competing in the Anglo-American Vintage Car Rally, of 1954. The car featured here is a 1926 Sunbeam 3 litre, twin cam, seen parked during the Rally.
The event pitted a selection of ten Edwardian and Vintage cars pooled together by the British VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club), against ten equally venerable motor-cars sourced and shipped to the UK by the Veteran Motor Car Club of America. I plan to feature the '54 Anglo-American Rally in more detail on the site soon. Photographs of other cars competing in the '54 event, both British and American, will also be added to the site in the near future.

Twin cam Sunbeam registration YP 7363.

A twin cam Sunbeam 3 litre of 1926
Rally Programme 1954
As already mentioned, Car No.8 in the British team was a 1926 Sunbeam, seen here with it's hood aloft (Car 8 in the US team was a 1919 Stutz). Handily I've a copy of the original event Programme from 1954, and it includes details on each of the cars entered. The entry for the Sunbeam confirms that the car belonged to a Mr A. S. Heal of Beaconsfield in Bucks. A check online shows that the Sunbeam is still in existence - does anyone have a recent photo that they'd be willing to email over (see update below)? Some background info on this type of car, and YP 7363 in particular, is then given in the Programme:

"The 3 Litre 20.9hp six cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine of this Sunbeam is remarkably advanced for its date. It was designed by Vincent Bertarione who was also responsible for the car with which Sir Henry Seagrave won the French Grand Prix in 1923. This super-sports model reflects Sunbeam's long racing experience under the direction of Louis Coatalen, and a similar car finished second at Le Mans in 1925 driven by S. C. H. Davis and Jean Chassagne. The maximum speed is about 85mph. Mr Heal has completely overhauled this car since he acquired it in 1946, but except for the addition of electric petrol pumps it is in original condition. He has a collection of historic racing and sports cars and competes with success in many sporting events"
(Source: Official Rally Programme, Price Two Shillings)
Rear view of the vintage 3 litre Sunbeam

More news regarding YP7363.

In 2016, six years after posting the above photographs of Sunbeam YP7363 on the site, another photograph of the car competing in 1954, and news of its current custodian, has emerged. Oliver Heal, son of Anthony, advises that the car remains in the family's ownership to this day, as he now relates:
"Your feature on the 3 litre Sunbeam driven by my father in the 1954 Anglo-American rally has been brought to my attention. You may be interested to know that the car is still in the family and going well! The first [photograph, below] shows the car at Goodwood. The Anglo-American rally terminated there having driven down from Edinburgh. At Goodwood on the final day, the cars took part in a 40-minute stamina test. Anthony Heal and the 3-Litre Sunbeam put up the best performance, completing 16 laps of the 2.6 mile course at an average of 62.4mph. The other picture was taken earlier this year just after having a new hood fitted."
Many thanks for the update and photos Oliver - much appreciated.
YP7363 competing at Goodwood in 1954
The 1926 Sunbeam as it looks today
Return to Old Motoring Photos Page No. 9.
On a similar theme, and also of interest, are three photographs of a later 3.5 Litre Sunbeam Talbot that tackled an epic drive across Africa, coming second best to the tough African terrain.

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