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Mini-Cudas: Three Sunbeam Alpine GTs


There have been three distinct types of Sunbeam Alpines imported to the USA. The first was a somewhat dumpy but graceful roadster in the ’50s, while the second is the one most folks are familiar with that Maxwell Smart drove that eventually gave birth to the Tiger. This is the third type, a fastback version of the Rootes Arrow (also known as the Hillman Hunter and various Singer, Humber, Chrysler and Paykan models in other markets from 1966-2005). They were imported into the US in 1969 and 1970. You’ll notice a certain similarity to contemporary Barracuda styling; I doubt that it’s a coincidence! Reader Chuck F has called our attention to where three of these rare cars are for sale here on craigslist in Winchester, Virginia for $3,500. The car pictured above has been partially restored, with less than 1,000 miles on a rebuilt engine, although it hasn’t been run in 6 years.

Sunbeam Alpine GT

Two parts cars are included, one of which looks restorable, while the other one looks like a tree fell on it. I’ve only ever seen one of these at a British car show in 35 years of attending them, so the odds are you’d be the only one in your area with this miniature fastback. Imagine showing up at a Mopar club meeting (Rootes was owned by Chrysler at the time of production) with this little gem!


  1. recar

    I love these. I had 4 or 5 of ’em- a dally driver for myself for some years and then one I got for my wife [then GF] One shabby one I turned into a red-neck pickup- just look at it –
    pretty obvious target! One I bought for thirteen dollars[$13.00], restored over months and sold for 1000 bucks. [Kids- don’t ever tell the buyer what you actually paid for it]
    As sold, they were pleasant grand tourers in the classic sense of the term- fast-back styling, lots of luggage room and passable handling, although not overly powerful! Decades later, I still have the instrument binnacle from one I parted out- it’s so perfect I always wanted to build a one-off car around it!

  2. Mark E

    My wife will be forever unaware that she’s glad these aren’t about 1100 miles closer! I think they’re pretty cool and the idea of shoehorning a small block ford into one is great! And you’ve got a parts car too. Woot! ^_^

  3. jim s

    cars have been listed for at least 26 days so maybe the seller will take a offer. might be enough parts to keep the one on road long term. when new the interiors in this model looked great but pricing had it completing with a lot of other nice cars. some dealers seemed uninterested in selling/servicing them. great finds

  4. Robert R. Member

    Great find, brother! If the “re-built” engine turns over (sitting 6 years) this is a DEAL.

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