Sunbeam, now part of the Rootes organisation, first announced its Alpine sports model in 1959. The new model was a change of direction for Sunbeam, previous models were larger touring cars, this model was aimed at the younger MG/Triumph TR market. Throughout its production life the model was continuously developed and improved, production finally finished in 1968.
The model was continuously developed throughout the Sixties with an Alpine II arriving in 1960. A Mk III came in 1963 with larger fuel tanks plus a 2+2, hard-top only, GT model. A restyled Alpine IV arrived in 1964 and a more powerful Alpine V followed quickly in 1965.
Apart from regular updates to the Alpine, Rootes also used the model as a base for some unique "niche models", including the special bodied Harrington Alpine and the V8 powered Tiger introduced in 1964.
Development of the elegant Sunbeam Alpine range continued in 1953 with the arrival of the Mk IIA model. The new car was based on a strengthened Sunbeam 90 chassis and used an 80bhp high-compression engine. Later cars had overdrive transmission as standard, although the gear-change were always column mounted.
These elegant sports/convertibles were well regarded when new and enjoyed success in many international rally events. Production of the Mk IIA finished in 1954 with the arrival of the Mk III.