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Lot 208: 1966 Sunbeam Alpine Mk V

Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars, Coys (30 April 2006)

Launched in 1948, the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 was an elegant and individual sporting saloon. Its substantial chassis featured leaf spring suspension all round while its 1944cc, long stroke four cylinder engine, producing 64bhp at 4100rpm, was good for 80mph and 0-60mph in 26.8 seconds via a column change four speed gearbox. By Autumn 1950, it had appeared in Mk II form with independent coil spring/wishbone front suspension, considerably stiffer chassis and the Humber Hawk's 2267cc, 70bhp engine. A Mk IIA followed with numerous improvements before the final 1953 Mk III with 80bhp at 4,400rpm. Enough for 81mph and 0-60mph in 18.4 seconds. In 1952, however, George Hartwell, a Rootes dealer, converted a 90 saloon into an open two seater for competition use; Rootes saw it and put the car into production. Using a chassis with stiffer front and extra rear crossmember, uprated suspension and higher geared steering, the Alpine was more a roadster than a sports car. Well appointed and with a commodious boot, it was among the most handsome cars of the day with its sloping, graceful tail and a roof that folded out of sight. Nonetheless, the Alpine could also be no mean performer. To coincide with its launch in March 1953, one example, with 105bhp, aeroscreens, undertray, tonneau cover and no bumpers, and driven by Sheila Van Damm and smashed the 2,000-3,000cc flying kilometre world record at 120mph. The same year Stirling Moss won a Coupé des Alpes in the Alpine Rally and a Gold Cup in the 1954 event when Van Damm also netted a Coupé des Dames. Of the 3,000 or so Alpines produced though, the vast majority were exported and today these distinctive roadsters are much sought after. Even rarer, however, is the Alpine Special of late 1954 aimed at the more serious driver; complete with special cylinder head, higher compression ratio, twin-choke downdraught Solex carburettor with double manifold, straight through exhaust and overdrive, it produced 97bhp at 4500rpm, good for 105mph and 0-60mph in under 17 seconds. This extremely fine example has been well looked after with use only during the summer months. It was restored by the owner from 1990 for over ten years, you can imagine the detail into which he went. A number of improvements have been undertaken including the fitting of an unleaded cyclinder head. New wire wheels can be found at each corner with a new full length exhaust system underneath. The owner describes the car as excellent in every respect with just the cockpit showing light signs of use. An extremely pretty open sports car, priced to sell, and ready for the summer months ahead.

Lot Details
Auction Sports, Touring, Historic Road and Racing Cars
Coys, Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit
Lot Number208
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£6117
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberPRP 166D
Chassis numberB3950002240
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)1944
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors