Heckflosse Has Nothing On This – 1961 Sunbeam Alpine

In addition to wind-up windows, door handles, and a proper top, the Sunbeam Alpine was criticized for its styling. It had more than a passing similarity to Ford’s Thunderbird, and had some pretty huge fins for a post-war British car. However, it was quite prescient, and its more successful competition followed with cars like the MGB and TR4 sprouting wind-up windows and other comforts once considered too soft. As a result, the Alpine makes a pretty usable car, even by today’s standards. You can find this 1961 Sunbeam Alpine Series 1 for sale for $2750 in Beaverton, OR.

1961 Sunbeam Alpine for sale right front

Just with the bumpers removed, steel wheels without center caps or beauty rings, and the hardtop, this suggests weekend racer. A couple of period stickers might fool your average showgoer. It’s even got some period-looking bucket seats with very effective side bolsters. The seller says the car has a 1.6-liter engine, which, depending on your sources, is not correct for a Series 1. Perhaps this is a transition model? Do people typically upgrade from the original 1.5 to the 1.6 or the 1725? A long-since-fizzled habit of reading Practical Classics means the name Holbay should be somewhere on this car to ensure even more fun.

1961 Sunbeam Alpine for sale engine

You can see the sports seats here – they look pretty comfortable, and a lot better than some Recaros out of an old GTI. Those seat belts across the bolsters don’t look like they’d be too useful in an emergency, and the modern-ish steering wheel deserves to be replaced with something period. There also seems to be overspray on the door seals on the hardtop, but usually that kind of stuff is fairly straightforward to replace, and makes a significant difference not only in terms of looks and keeping drafts out, but also in the way the door closes firmly.

1961 Sunbeam Alpine for sale interior

Those pointy rear fins are just the right height to puncture the radiator of that SUV that’s been tailgating your 85hp butt. Incidentally, these early Series 1 cars were built not by Pressed Steel like subsequent series, but by Armstrong Siddeley. It’s not clear if the car comes with a soft top as well, or whether it’s one of the hardtop-only versions.

1961 Sunbeam Alpine for sale left front

The car has also had a substantial amount of recent work: the water pump, clutch master cylinder, tie rod ends, and front brake lines are all new, and the gas tank has been refurbished. The seats are newly covered, and the car comes with the original seat frames, spare rear axle, and spare engine (perhaps that’s the original 1.5). So if you can take the MGA, Triumph TR3, and Morgan guys laughing about you behind your back, you can enjoy your properly heated and sealed car, and wind your windows up and down as you drive by them. Yeah, that’ll show ’em.


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