Sunbeam Alpine Series 1. 1960 1,494 cc engine. 1 of only 21 remaining on UK roads and the only Black – DVLA records. Matching numbers – chassis/engine, original shell and gearbox. National Series 1 Winner + Overall 1979, 1980 & 1981 – Sunbeam Alpine Owners Club, 3rd in 2015 having been off road for 32 years (since 1982). Now done 124,500 miles .
The Sunbeam Alpine brand was launched in mid 1950`s as a large bulb shaped shooting back convertible. Built until 1958, less than 10,000, as Mk 1 and Mk 11 approx 30 remain on road commanding upward of £25,000 (2015 values).
Chrysler owned 24% of Rootes Group – an amalgamation of Sunbeam, Talbot and Hillman – and wanted a British (highly respected engineering worldwide) built 100 mph sports car for the North American market.
Pre dating the Mini and Jaguar E-type the Sunbeam Alpine Series 1 was launched in June 1959 in Monte Carlo. Based on the Hillman chassis with an aluminium headed 4 cylinder 1,494 cc engine, rear gull wings and detachable aluminium hard top (Series 1, 11) 80%b were left hand drive and exported – manufacturers got priority steel supply to boost foreign exchange currency.
Approximately 50,000 were built 1959 – 1968 (Series 1, 11 1,600cc and 111 to V 1,725cc) plus 6,900 Tigers with a 2.6 or 2.9 Ford beast dropped into the large engine bay in the USA. Another Shelby creation, these are highly sort after at £25,000 poor condition to £50,000+ (2015 values). Tiger`s short production run is due to Chrysler taking over Rootes Group in mid 60`s and not wanting a Ford engine in its brand.