1966 Sunbeam Alpine: Aged to Perfection

sunbeamalpine

With only 85,000 miles and an extended slumber of 25 years under its tires, this 1966 Sunbeam Alpine is extremely original and a tempting project – if you don’t mind driving the slower-sibling of the fire-breathing Sunbeam Tiger. Listed here on eBay with no bids and the reserve unmet, an Alpine may not be the quickest car on the road, but it’s a nice alternative to an MGB or Alfa Romeo of the same vintage. One of my best friends in high school had a white on red example, and while it was often gasping for breath going up hills, it still had character in spades and always attracted a crowd. I love the old college sticker on the front bumper from Hofstra University, and it’s not hard to imagine this family roadster getting passed from the parents to the offspring for campus cruising before being retired after the final kid left the nest. I hope this one is preserved and just receives a basic clean-up and preventative maintenance. Would any of you choose this Alpine over a Tiger?

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Comments

  1. Mark E

    If you’ll allow me to go off on a tangent, this seller could have a class on how to make good photos BAD! He’s obviously manipulated them in picasa or photoshop to the point that you can’t really tell what color the car is unless you read the ad. I asked two people and their answers were black with a black top and blue with a blue top. Personally I was tending towards black or gray/silver with a black top.

    The seller astounded me with the news that it’s BRG with a black top!

    Back on subject, I’m not a British car expert/enthusiast but I looked at an Alpine for sale back in the ’70s and found it similar to a Triumph of the same vintage, generally.

  2. Doug M. (West) Member

    My very first “sports car” was a 67 Sunbeam Alpine in BRG. I was just out of hi-school, just married, had to have a sports car! Then I kinda had this left out feeling when I realized the Sunbeam did not have the same respect as MG’s and Triumphs!? Sunbeam? Don’t they make kitchen mixers or something?? However, I outgrew that, and learned to love them (I eventually owned two more over the years). The Alpine is claimed to be the first British roadster with in-door roll-up windows. It has power assist brakes, and the seats are very comfortable! It is the only car I have ever owned that my wife cried when I sold it! And they are easy to work on. And simple. We once drove over 100 miles to get back home with a frozen alternator. I loosened the fan belt just enough so it would turn the water pump for cooling, but not get too hot on the frozen alternator pulley! It helped that the belt was glazed a bit (poor college student -only replace belt when broken) and I oiled the belt a bit from the oil on the dipstick. We drove home in the sun, top down, and made it all the way in style!

  3. Tim H

    Would any of you choose this Alpine over a Tiger? Good question and yes. I don’t want either, I don’t like the body style but I have a stock Miata and an 91 MR2 with 400+ HP. I take MR2 out once or twice a year. This happens to be the one of those weeks, went to the drags last night the car runs in the 12’s. The fun of high power to weight wears off quickly. A light, nimble, easy to drive car is fun every day. I am taking the MR2 to a club meeting this morning but only to show off I would rather be driving the Miata with the top down.

  4. Dolphin Member

    There are some younger people who for some reason really like Alpines. I met one last week who had never driven one but liked the look, and asked me lots of questions about them.

    This one looks like it might be an OK project with a little rust, including a few places where it has perforated. But these don’t get the attention from the few Alpine fans out that other cars get, so maybe it will sell for a few thousand and actually be restorable for less than a small fortune.

    But the presentation is truly weird, as Mark E said. At first I thought fluorescent lighting, but maybe it’s some kind of manipulation of the images instead.

    Marketing 101 says: AVOID MAKING YOUR STUFF LOOK WORSE THAN IT REALLY IS, but this Ebay listing does that, unfortunately. Odd, especially since this seller has been selling some desirable cars and car stuff recently.

  5. 1977ChevyTruck

    I am a younger person who does like like the look of the Alpines, and would probably pick one over a Tiger. They’re unusual and look pretty fun to drive, and I probably would pick one over a Triumph or MG, just because they are a little less mainstream.

  6. Mark E

    After reading Dolphin’s post I checked out the seller’s other items. He/she has a Plymouth Prower for sale and the photos are taken in the very same garage with (I presume) the same lighting. All of them are WAY better with the exception of the passenger side shot of the car which has been mildly manipulated like the Sunbeam. It was a tip-off to me that it wasn’t the lighting when I noticed that the items on the shelves in the background suffered from the same contrast-y bluish tint. I hope the seller reads these posts and doesn’t feel the need to do it again!

    Oh and it’s fun to read the nostalgic post from Doug M. Here’s hoping that an Alpine lover like him finds this auction and buys the car! ^_^

  7. Paul B

    These are really sweet sports tourers — and that’s how Rootes marketed them, not as “sports cars”. They are more civilized than MGs or Triumphs of the same period, and if they don’t handle every bit as well or go quite as fast, they offer many other fine qualities in exchange — including better materials and overall build, and frankly nicer driving characteristics, ride and comfort than their counterparts from BMC and Standard-Triumph. NO need to talk Tigers here. The Alpine was a fine little roadster on its own. Three cheers to any youngsters who like the look and find themselves interested. I hope one of them steps up, buys this and gets it back on the road.

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