Sunbeam Alpine

1959-1968

 

Alpine Series IV
Alpine Series IV
 

The third generation Alpine was launched in 1959. Styled by Kenneth Howes, it was based on the contemporary Hillman Minx. It used the floorpan of the Hillman Husky, a short wheelbase Minx estate car.

As launched, it used Rootes’ 1494cc engine to Sunbeam Rapier specification. Initially all Alpines were built by Armstrong Siddeley. 11,904 Series I cars were made.

The Series II Alpine of 1960 received a 1592cc engine and various detail improvements. Production switched to Rootes’ Ryton facility midway through the Series II’s life. 19,956 examples were built.

1963’s Series III model gained a new interior and a roomier boot. Two specifications were introduced: Sports and GT. The GT came with a hardtop as standard equipment, but no folding hood. The lack of a hood resulted in a roomier interior and the engine was detuned for greater comfort. The Sports meanwhile had a hood, while the hardtop was optional. It also retained the sportier engine. Production totalled 5,863 units.

For 1964, the Series IV saw the tailfins cut back. It received a new grille and optional automatic gearbox. 12,406 were built.

The final version, the Series V, was introduced in 1965. It featured the five bearing 1725cc engine. Production ceased in 1968. 19,122 Series Vs were made.

The coachbuilder Harrington also produced a number of coupe versions of the Alpine which were supported by the factory and sold through their dealer network.

A register is being compiled of surviving Alpines. At www.sunbeamalpine.org you can see a list of known survivors and add your own car’s details.

illustration: Rootes Motors

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