In 1953, the Alpine line of cars was born, but under the Sunbeam-Talbot name. These first Alpines were made to live in the Alps and had considerable success as rally cars, with four Alpines dominating the ’53 Coupe des Alpes Rally. In ’59 the Alpine was completely redesigned and the Talbot name was dropped. The redesigned car was more civilized and drivable, with a more reliable and smaller four cylinder. It also took aim at the U.S. market, where it saw considerable success. This beautiful survivor Alpine is currently for sale at the Sports Car Shop in Eugene, Oregon.
Ken Howes and Jeff Crompton were in charge of the Alpine redesign, which started in ’56. The Alpine borrows some styling cues from the Ford Thunderbird which is not surprising considering that Ken Howes worked for Ford before moving to Sunbeam.
This Series V Alpine is a true survivor, even wearing its original paint. The undercarriage is in good shape and is still the original metal throughout. This is quite a feat, as these cars were rust prone, but this car has obviously been garaged and well care for its whole life. Just take a look at the engine compartment…
One of the most drastic changes made to the Alpine after its redesign was engine size. The original Alpines had a 2.3L four that produced about 70 hp. The decrease in engine size to 1.5L was actually a good thing for the Alpine though. As the 1.5L was smoother running, lighter, and produced similar power. By series V, the engine grew to 1.7L with twin Zenith-Stromberg carburetors and produced 93 hp. This car’s engine is original, clean, and runs very smoothly.
The interior is original, but the door panels have been replaced but the originals come with the car. The dash pad has a crack in, which is pretty typical for a car this age. The seats appear to be original and in decent shape. The car even comes with the original jack and tool set and are still stowed behind the spare in the trunk.
We really like these Alpines, especially ones that are in exceptional condition like this one. We would leave this car as is and do preventative maintenance to keep it on the road. There aren’t many original Alpines still on the road, making this a very special car. We don’t know what the seller is asking for it, but we would guess they are asking somewhere in the $12k to $20k range. We are glad to see cars like this come to market so others can enjoy them instead of just letting them rot away.