1956 Sunbeam Supreme MkIII


  • Genuine 19,269 miles only
  • Single family owned for 63 years
  • Mechanically overhauled in 2019
  • Essentially as it left the showroom in 1956

The Appeal

Jersey is only nine miles long, which explains why despite being in regular use for nearly 30 years this delightful Sunbeam has covered less than 20,000 miles since it left the Rootes Piccadilly showroom.

It was owned and kept by the same family from 1956, obviously a much loved member of the family as it was passed from the original owner to her daughter, who then passed it on to her daughter. 

The Sunbeam 90 was produced between 1948 and 1956 in three versions, this example being the final MkIII saloon style body with a ‘pillarless’ join between the glass on the rear door and the rear quarter window.  Despite its “home counties” looks the Sunbeam MkIII was a highly competitive sports saloon in period with great success in International rallying, winning the Monte Carlo Rally outright in 1955. 

RXK 97 must be one of the best preserved, lowest mileage examples of these desirable, under-rated and under-valued sports saloons.  Re-commissioned upon arrival back in the UK in 2019 it is offered in excellent mechanical health, with a beautifully aged but entirely intact and comfortable interior.

Sunbeam (3).JPG 880.05 KB

History and Paperwork

  • Purchased from Rootes Piccadilly showroom in April 1956 by Mrs Tottie Cooper
  • Sold under the Home Delivery Export Scheme free of purchase tax for export
  • Initially registered in the UK as RXK 97 before export to Jersey
  • Re-registered in on arrival in Jersey as J15815
  • Passed from the original Owner to her daughter, and then to her grand daughter
  • Copy of Jersey Registration Certificate showing 3 family owners
  • A collection of Jersey tax discs from 1967, and 1979 to 1989
  • Grocery and shopping receipts from 1963 onwards found in the glove box
  • Service receipts from Jersey garage from 1971 & ’72 with mileage noted
  • Driven regularly from 1956 to mid 1970s mileage was circa 17,000
  • After a period of occasional use it was dry stored in 1993
  • Purchased in 2018 and repatriated back to the UK
  • Note from family friend and Jersey resident confirming the mileage
  • NOVA import document
  • DVLA letter from 2019 confirming reallocation of the original registration of RKX 97
  • Rootes Archive Centre Trust Certificate verifies production details
  • Major mechanical overhaul and cosmetic work carried out 2018-19
  • Top end engine rebuild due to low compression
  • Superb overall condition and mostly original inside and out
  • Purchased by the Seller in 2022, now offered due to change of circumstances

The Interior

  • Blue Grey and Pearl Grey with blue piping
  • Pearl grey leather seats in nicely aged condition with no damage
  • Blue Carpets replaced in 2019 remain in excellent order
  • Beige roof lining with large sliding sunroof, woks perfectly with no sign of damp
  • Tidy light grey door cars, blue painted dash
  • Art Deco style dash with period gauges, all working except fuel gauge and roof mounted clock
  • Banjo spoked cream steering wheel with some age staining
  • Original EKCO radio
  • Floor mounted gear stick with new boot
  • Original spare wheel and tyre mounted under boot floor behind rear numberplate
  • Original comprehensive tool kit mounted within boot lid
  • Good sized boot with a selection of original parts removed including gearbox and column selector
  • In general the interior is delightful, with plenty of charming detail and just the right amount of age 

The Exterior

  • Two tone, Dawn Mist Grey over Corinth Blue paintwork
  • Paint in lovely condition, no obvious marks or damage, mostly believed to be original
  • All glass and lenses in great condition 
  • 16 inch steel wheels with Sunbeam hubcaps
  • Set of chrome trim rings, not currently fitted
  • Lightly worn Maxxis tyres, original spare mounted beneath boot floor
  • Re-chromed original bumpers
  • Smart grille and associated brightwork 
  • Correct Sunbeam badging and trim in good condition
  • Superb exterior with no damage and minor wear

The Mechanics 

  • 2.5 litre 4 cylinder engine with 80bhp
  • Top end rebuild carried out in 2019
  • Fitted with four speed, all synchro gear box with overdrive, floor mounted
  • Original column change and gearbox come with car so could be reinstalled if desired
  • Rebuilt braking system
  • Rebuilt ignition and charging systems
  • Fuel system overhauled and new fuel tank fitted
  • New hoses, water pump and radiator
  • New exhaust system
  • Impressively corrosion free underside
  • Tidy and presentable engine bay looks to be factory original
  • Overall excellent mechanical condition with no work required


“It’s only original once”.  A phrase that we think sums up this delightful Sunbeam perfectly.  Having led a charmed life in the ownership of one family for 63 years it has been well cared for, and must have been a regular sight on the lanes of Jersey.  It was treated to a sympathetic re-commissioning when it arrived back in the UK and remains in mostly original condition, with a little renovation and sensible upgrades.  Now offered due to a change in circumstances we hope it is purchased by someone who appreciates its condition and rarity.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1956
  • Make Sunbeam
  • Model Supreme
  • Colour Dawn Mist Grey/Corinth Blue
  • Odometer 19,269 Miles
  • Engine size 2267
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Wokingham
  • Location Berkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
35 bids
  • Te•••• £12,250 29/03/23
  • si•••• £12,000 29/03/23
  • si•••• £11,750 29/03/23
  • Te•••• £11,500 29/03/23
  • si•••• £11,250 29/03/23
  • Te•••• £11,000 29/03/23
  • si•••• £10,750 29/03/23
  • Te•••• £10,500 29/03/23
  • si•••• £10,250 29/03/23
  • ta•••• £8,600 29/03/23

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