Aimed at the North American market, where British sports cars were enjoying considerable success, the Sunbeam Alpine was produced between 1959 and 1968. Built on the Hillman Husky II floorpan, the Alpine employed Sunbeam Rapier running gear and the same 1.5-litre, overhead-valve, four-cylinder engine found in many of Rootes’ other products. In Alpine form the unit boasted an alloy cylinder head and twin carburettors, producing 78bhp, an output good enough for a maximum speed of almost 100mph. The Alpine was progressively improved through Series II-V, gaining an all-synchromesh gearbox in 1964 on the Series IV and a 1,725cc, five-bearing engine in 1965 on the Series V, which also marked the arrival of alternator electrics and an oil cooler, unusual standard features at that time. As a competition car, the Alpine is mainly remembered for some sterling performances at Le Mans where it won the Index of Thermal Efficiency in 1961. In rallying though, the Alpine found itself pitted against the more powerful Triumph TR3As and Austin-Healey 3000s. Leader-board finishes were hard to come by, Rosemary Smith’s Coupe des Dames in the 1963 Tour de France being just about the only notable result.
This UK delivered Sunbeam Alpine is finished in period red over black. Both engine and transmission are described as being in good condition with the delightful 1592cc engine performing well. With UK registration and an MoT until august 2016, this highly attractive little British sportscar is ready to be used and enjoyed.