Sitting Since ’88: 1966 Sunbeam Alpine

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Rolling off the production line in 1966, this Alpine was a Series V version, which remained in production from 1965 until 1968. With only 19,122 vehicles built for worldwide distribution during Series V production, the Series V represents one of the largest production runs of the Alpine during its 9-year life-span, but the numbers can still be considered to be low when you consider the fact that these were distributed and sold in a number of countries. If you would like to get your hands on a little British classic, this one is located in Picayune, Mississippi, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

It would be unfair to refer to this Alpine as a stalled project because it is actually a project that didn’t get started. The owner purchased it to restore, but other things have gotten in the way, so he has chosen to part with it. The overall external appearance of the Alpine looks quite promising. There is no obvious visible rust, and the panels generally look straight. I may be alone on this one, but I don’t feel that this color does the Alpine any real favors, and I think that they look at their best finished in red. One of the bumpers is missing, but the owner doesn’t specify which. There is also some rust visible in the trunk floor, but we can’t be sure how solid the rest of the floors and the frame are.

Under the hood is the 1,725cc 4-cylinder engine, which is coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. The news is quite good here, as the engine does start and run. It also looks like the car has been fitted with an alternator, which would do the electrical system the world of good. There is some work required under the hood to tidy things up, but it all seems to be quite promising from a mechanical perspective.

The interior is a bit of an unknown quantity because this photo is as good as it gets. The seats look like they would respond well to a good clean, while the material on the door trims look like they might present okay with a bit of judicious re-stretching. There is no information on the state of the dash, but we do know that while the soft-top is present, it is looking quite ratty, and could do with replacement.

The Alpine is a competent and charismatic little car, but the relatively low production numbers haven’t resulted in values really soaring at this point. It is possible to find reasonable examples for around $14,000, but they can sell for up to $25,000 or more. The Sunbeam Tiger, which was based on the Alpine, is another story altogether, and it is difficult to locate one of those for sale for under $35,000, while $125,000 is not unheard of. If this one is solid, then the owner’s BIN price of $2,500 seems to open up a world of possibilities for the next owner.

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Comments

  1. Howard A. Howard AMember

    The poor Alpine, always lived in the shadow of the Tiger, and what a shame. The Alpine is one of my favorite ’60’s British roadsters. Kind of a fancy TR4. These had such a nice dash, which judging by no pics, is probably trashed. Nice cars, but they have to be better than this to start with.

    Like 1
  2. Solosolo UK ken tillyMember

    The Alpine could never be classed as a “Sports Car” to my mind, but rather as a really nice, open air cruiser. The Tiger is another kettle of fish altogether.

    Like 0
  3. Ben T. Spanner

    I think it came with an alternator. I recall working on these in the late 1960’s when they were 2 or 3 years old and the alternators were troublesome. No problem now, as a GM 1 wire alternator would be an easy retrofit, if ever needed.
    These are pleasant to drive, light clutch, easy shifting and a compliant ride.

    Like 1
  4. Nomader

    Did anyone notice the 56/57 continental mark II in the background?

    Like 0
  5. Healeymonster

    $125k for a Tiger?
    Heres mine. I wont be as greedy. $70k will take it away

    Like 5
  6. Backintheusa

    This looks like a fairly good buy for a complete Alpine, but a couple of things concern me. There is more than “some rust visible in the trunk floor”. Unless I am looking at the photo wrong, there is a gaping hole in the spare tire well. The bottom of the well often gets hit going over bumps, but the hole is off to one side, leading me to think maybe it was filled with debris and water. Add in all of the white spots on the seats and trunk floor and I can’t help but wonder if this is flood victim. If so, $2500 doesn’t look nearly as good anymore.

    Like 0

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