Saturday, February 4, 2012

1963 Sunbeam Alpine

I love small, flirty, fling-able sports cars. I'm on my second white '90 Miata, and after driving one for four years, it's going to take at least a 10-minute Mrs. Geddie-approved speech to persuade me to drive anything else. Driving on an open highway with the top down on a starry summer night is a pleasure not easily replicated, even though it might mean leaving your luggage at home.

Being an addict to old small sports cars then, I just about flipped my lid when this '63 Alpine popped up on Kijiji. It's mind-achingly beautiful; so simple in its design, yet so elegantly purposeful, the very sight of it conjures up visions of twisting narrow mountain paths and carefree adventures into nowhere.

The Alpine was born in 1953 to British manufacturer Sunbeam-Talbot. Originally based on Sunbeam's saloon platform, the Alpine served for 3 years as a mildly sporty touring car before it was redesigned in '56 to the form you see before you. Targeting specifically toward the American market, the Alpine was fairly successful sales-wise, eventually giving birth to the somewhat more well-known V8 Tiger.

This particular model, a Series III, houses an 80hp 1.6L inline-four and features a removable hardtop, another little quirk that reminds me of the Miata. It looks to be in fine condition, and $11,000 for such a beautiful specimen of a pure sports car is a downright steal (compare with this Triumph TR6 at $18,000, another of my favourite British sports cars). Rest assured, this car will be racing through my dreams for a few nights, and I may or may not spend an absurd amount of time trying to find an extra $11,000 under the couch cushions.

Oh, and just to make you salivate over it a little more, it may interest you to know that James Bond's first car, featured in Dr. No, was a Series II Alpine.

Ignore the silly music. Or just go here to watch the real video that YouTube won't let me attach to this blog (curse you, Google-Youtube integration). Dr. No Sunbeam Alpine Chase

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1 comment:

Series2Alpine said...

This is a 1963. But not a series 3 car. Note gas tank position on the side of passenger rear fender. Series 3 cars the gas tank was at the upper bend of the fender to accommodate the split tanks in the fender. It is either a 62 series 2 or a 63 series 2 easiest way to tell is with the vin. Only 109 series 2 cars were built in 1963. It may be title 63 as well since in those days cars were titled when they were bought not when manufactured.