1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk.1 Special RHD
Sale price: £17,995.00 make an offer
Last update: 21.10.2016
Sale type: Fixed price listing
Technical specifications, photos and description:
|Drive side:||Right-hand drive|
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1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk.1 Special RHD for sale
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This is a rare car. made famous by Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in the film "To Catch a Thief". It is a 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk. 1 Special finished in Red with Black interior. It was sold new by FN Morgan Co. and has only had 5 owners since new. It runs and drives but needs recommissioning before regular use.
Aimed squarely at the North American market. the Sunbeam Alpine roadster was based on the existing Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon with styling input from Raymond Loewy. The 90's chassis and running gear were retained. the former suitably stiffened to compensate for the reduced rigidity of the open-topped bodyshell. while the front suspension was stiffened and the steering revised. To enhance the Alpine's sporting credentials. the 2. 67cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine received a power boost to 80bhp courtesy of a revised cylinder head. Initially for export only. the new Alpine did not reach the UK market until the autumn of 1953. but before then the new model's launch had been enhanced by a blaze of publicity following successful record breaking attempts at Montlhéry. France and Jabbeke in Belgium where Stirling Moss achieved a maximum speed of 120mph. Nevertheless. despite valuable exposure accruing from these exploits and numerous class wins in the Alpine rallies. the Alpine was unable to counter the price advantage enjoyed by its rivals and was dropped in 1955. The Alpine was attractive enough to win an important supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 movie To Catch a Thief. appearing with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in a memorable driving scene along the Riviera.
It was Sunbeam dealer George Hartwell who had the idea of creating a Sports Roadster version of the Talbot 90 Saloon. Sunbeam liked the thinking and offered the so-called Alpine for general sale. and had the bodies for these striking two-seaters hand-crafted by Thrupp & Maberly. The Alpine Special was a limited edition version equipped with higher output engine. just 42 of which featured righthand drive. making the sale car a rare survivor. Within days of it being registered in 1954 it competed in the London MC Rally. It was apparently restored in the '70s. since when it has remained unmolested save for running repairs. A spare overhauled gearbox and the original Stromberg carburettors (it now runs on a single one) are included in the sale. These cars are becoming more valuable each year. this is the most desirable variant and presents as a great rolling restoration. enjoy it at weekends and restore over the winter!
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