Lot 650: 1954 Sunbeam Alpine Roadster
Aimed squarely at the North American market, the Sunbeam Alpine roadster was based on the existing Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon with styling input from Raymond Loewy. The 90�s chassis and running gear were retained, the former suitably stiffened to compensate for the reduced rigidity of the open-topped bodyshell, while the front suspension was stiffened and the steering revised. To enhance the Alpine�s sporting credentials, the 2,267cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine received a power boost to 80bhp courtesy of a revised cylinder head. Initially for export only, the new Alpine did not reach the UK market until the autumn of 1953, but before then the new model�s launch had been enhanced by a blaze of publicity following successful record breaking attempts at Montlhery, France and Jabbeke in Belgium where Stirling Moss achieved a maximum speed of 120mph. Nevertheless, despite valuable exposure accruing from these exploits and numerous class wins in the Alpine rallies, the Alpine was unable to counter the price advantage enjoyed by its rivals and was dropped in 1955.
This Alpine was imported - rust free - from the USA in the late 1990s and totally restored (photographic record available). Converted from left- to right-hand drive, the car has been fitted with the more robust Hillman Hunter overdrive-equipped gearbox and floor-mounted gearchange. Finished in Alpine Mist with red leather interior, the car boasts a new hood and comes complete with side screens and tonneau cover, while the engine benefits from a full professional rebuild (2005-2006) and conversion to unleaded compatibility (invoice available). Since its restoration�s completion �HSL 937� has won the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register�s Alpine Cup (for Best Alpine) in 2000 and 2005 and the Best Sports Convertible award at the Moffat Rally in Scotland earlier this year. Purchased by the vendor at Bonhams� Goodwood Revival Sale in 2006, the car has recently benefited from further attention to the engine and suspension at a cost of over �5,000. A fine example of one of Britain�s foremost sports roadsters of the 1950s, it is offered with current road fund licence, MoT to March 2008 and Swansea V5 document.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£18400|
|Registration number||HSL 937|
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