Garage Find: 1967 Sunbeam Alpine Series V

Finding a classic car that has been parked for an extended period due to ill health can be heartbreaking. When the vehicle is an iconic British sports car that is structurally sound and presents well, that is doubly so. That is the story behind this 1967 Sunbeam Alpine Series V. The car belongs to the seller’s mother, and she stopped driving this gem around seven years ago due to failing health. She has now reached the point where she knows it needs to go to a new home, so she has asked her son to list it for sale here on eBay. The Alpine is located in Brandon, Mississippi, and while the bidding has reached $4,400, that figure remains short of the reserve. For those who are deadly serious about becoming its next owner, the seller offers a BIN option of $10,000.

While it may now call Mississippi home, it appears that this Arctic White Alpine has spent most of its life in sunny California. That is a significant piece of good news for potential buyers because it means that this classic’s lack of rust is no great surprise. The seller supplies a wide array of photos with his listing and the ones of the underside show floors that are spotlessly clean and structurally sound. The panels are in a similar state, which means that perfect presentation will be a matter of applying a fresh coat of paint if the buyer chooses. However, the Alpine has already been treated to a restoration some years ago, and it still presents well enough to be driven and enjoyed as it stands. The paint has a few chips and flaws, but there is nothing major that would demand immediate attention. There are no dings or dents, and the car comes with both a removable hardtop and a soft-top. The glass is clean, as is the external trim. If I were to buy this car, the only thing that I would be tempted to tackle immediately would be to restore the wheels. The finish on these now shows its age, and since the ancient tires will need to be changed, that would represent a golden opportunity to have the wheels sparkling like a new penny.

The Alpine is a numbers-matching classic that features a 1,725cc four-cylinder engine and a four-speed manual transmission. The engine would have produced around 99hp in its prime, and with the vehicle tipping the scales at a mere 2,180lbs, the Sunbeam was a sprightly performer. The current owner treated the engine to a rebuild as part of the restoration project, and this clocked around 5,000 miles before she was forced to park it. The rebuild included swapping out the original dual Stromberg carburetors for a single Weber on a matching intake. From a driveability perspective, this was probably a pretty wise move. The Stromberg units could be slightly difficult to tune, and atmospheric conditions could impact their performance. The Weber is a “set and forget” proposition that would rarely need to be touched, and when combined with the better intake, it probably unleashed a few extra ponies as a bonus. The car hasn’t fired a shot in anger since it was parked, and the seller has made little effort to coax it back to life. The hydraulic system has been drained, and it will fall to the buyer to revive this classic and return it to a roadworthy state. I’m not sure how difficult this might prove to be, but the dry nature of the garage could indicate that there has been no significant deterioration. The seller suggests that the buyer should be prepared to replace seals and other perishables, but we know this is an unwritten law with most classic revivals.

When the rest of the car received its refresh, the interior didn’t escape the owner’s attention. Trimmed in black, it looks inviting in a stereotypically classic British sports car context. The seats are low-back buckets, while the dash features an array of essential gauges, a large tachometer in the driver’s line of sight, and a selection of toggle switches. The seller indicates that there are a couple of small tears in the seat upholstery, but these aren’t severe. I would be tempted to approach an experienced upholsterer to see if this damage could be blind-patched before I considered sourcing replacement covers. The heater has been bypassed, so if the buyer is from a colder climate, they might want to address this. Otherwise, the interior presents well and seems to need very little beyond a deep clean.

For those enthusiasts who aspire to own a classic British sports car, this 1967 Sunbeam Alpine must seem like a tempting proposition. These are not cars that command massive prices, and it is possible to find some tidy and roadworthy examples on the market today for under $20,000. However, spotless examples can often sell for beyond $30,000, and values are beginning to climb. Using that lower figure as a guide price, this Alpine should meet that description once it returns to a roadworthy state. Even at the BIN price, that leaves a lot of room to move before the car is no longer financially viable. There have only been sixteen bids to this point, but if the auction springs to life, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone hit the button to make this British classic a part of their life.

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Comments

  1. sir_mike

    Very nice Alpine.They were always an under rated sportscar back in the day.Nothing wrong with them.

    Like 8
  2. Dan August

    Does it use Whitworth?

    Like 6
    • Lyman

      Just in case anyone else is wondering what whitworth is
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Standard_Whitworth

      Like 5
    • Fred Veenschoten

      I had one of these and as I recall it uses standard inch dimension bolts.

      Like 4
      • Rick

        I think the British carmakers had gotten away from Whitworth in the mid to late 1950s.

        I owned a ’60 Vauxhall Victor in my teen years and the sockets and combination wrenches in my S-K Wayne US tool set worked perfectly. Many, many times. ;)

        Like 1
    • baltoalpine

      There are two Whitworth bolts on the car, the seat pivot bolts. Everything else is SAE.

  3. Slomoogee

    This appears to be a very nice example and still stock (except for the Weber) and not over restored like you see many. And a hardtop to boot! This is the the kind of car that really makes sense to me. As a young man I had a 61 (big fin) that I had for some memorable times. The only thing I would do if lucky enough to own this would be the usual belts and hoses, rubber items, fluids, and a good clean and polish. If there were funds, a set of mini lights and a overdrive if you could find one.

    Like 5
  4. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    I was on a 2 week deployment to Minneapolis in the early 90s with the Air Guard, and looking for a hobby car, preferably a 55 Chevy. I saw a nice 4 door for $3k, and a chopped top 57 sedan customized with a molded continental kit and scrape the ground low. I finally settled on a 66 Alpine I found on the middle weekend over the river in Wisconsin, it ran and drove, but needed the brake lights fixed, I had never seen one.
    I had a week to fix it for the drive back to Indiana, and didn’t have any problems, it made it just fine, and was nice, topless weather all the way. I had it for a year, and traded it for a 37 Chevy sedan, which rode like a log wagon compared to the Alpine. i put a new dash cover in it, aluminum wheels from a Ford, and white stripes, it was a fun car.

    Like 5
  5. Backintheusa

    This looks like a really nice Alpine, well worth the $10,000 BIN price. The hardtop alone is worth around $2500+ if it is as as solid as the car appears. And, in answer to Dan August’s question, there are only a couple of Whitworth fasteners on the car. The rest are standard, mostly fine thread, bolts and screws.

    Like 3
  6. Steve

    Had a 67’ after getting out of the Army in 68’. Loved that car. The only issue I had was it kept eating the throw out bearing( actually it wasn’t a bearing, but just a carbon faced surface that engaged the clutch). Was changing it about every six months. And the OP is right, those strombergs were a pain to synchronize!

    • 66jalopy

      Keep your foot off the clutch. Most British cars used that bearing, properly used it will last the life of the clutch. I always shift to neutral at red lights or whenever going to be stopped more than a few seconds. It becomes a habit after awhile. I put a used one I found in a parts box in my Morris Minor 8 years ago, still good.

  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    That top on this is weird looking. And if I’m going to buy a Sunbeam it’s going to be a Tiger and in convertible form. More money you say, that’s okay I say. When I buy I get what I desire, I don’t settle for something less.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  8. Will Owen Member

    I’m always glad to see a later Alpine that still has its 4-cylinder engine. Tigers are fun of a different sort, and have swapped easy engine access and pleasant, balanced handling for sheer grunt. I’ll take handling and access any day.

    The most successful competition use I’ve seen was our Alaska SCC President’s well-tuned but stock one in ice racing. The relatively low roll center and good overall balance let him DRIVE through the bends in the track instead of sliding like pretty much everyone else. That and his well-developed skills made him almost unbeatable on below-zero Alaskan lakes.

    Like 1
  9. Charles Norman Lemaire

    It wouldn’t take much to make it a tiger.

    • Will Owen Member

      Well, there’s that big hole you’d have to cut in the firewall so you can access the rear two spark plugs … unless you want to pull the engine every time.

      I think Tigers are pretty cool, too, but my personal preference is usually for the original version of any hot-rodded sports car. That goes for AC Cobras, too; I’d rather have a Bristol version any day, if only I could afford one!

  10. scott

    Can you say Alger!

  11. SMS

    This week there was a black Tiger at the shop I drive by. Had forgotten how nice looking these are. Someone is going to be happy with this one I think.

  12. Backintheusa

    Many Alpines are hopelessly butchered by people who think it will be easy to drop a V8 into it. “After all, the factory did it. How hard can it be?” The answer is “very hard.” Unless you have superior fabrication skills, and ideally a donor Tiger, most are better off not attempting it. Among other things, Tigers have different steering, a different firewall, different front and rear suspensions and a different transmission tunnel. Even then, the factory had to resort to special tools – including mallets – to bump out the inner fenders. And, even when well done, the car is still an Alger and rarely worth as much as even a ratty Tiger. Alpine owners who want more power than the stock engine can muster are much better off with different engine swaps. The most common is the Ford 2.8 V6, which has several kits available and doesn’t require any changes to the steering. A well set-up 2.8 can have more horsepower than a stock Tiger. But, more ambitious and skilled owners have successfully installed everything from Pinto to Volvo engines and been very happy with the results.

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