Early 1950s Sunbeam Alpine

This model of the Sunbeam Alpine was made from 1953 to 1955.  This model was based on the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon, although this model was simply referred to as the Sunbeam Alpine – not the Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine.

I took the following pictures of the Sunbeam Alpine at the British Car Day at the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in 2007.

Sunbeam Alpine

To me, the Sunbeam Alpine looks more like a touring car than a sports car.  In my mind, “sports cars” of this era were the Triumph TR2, the Healey, Jaguar XK120, and the MG TD.  These cars appeared to be a little more sporty than the Sunbeam Alpine; however, as explained below, the competition record of the Sunbeam Alpine is impressive.

Note the Whitewall Tires!

The Sunbeam Alpine had a 2,267cc, in-line 4-cylinder with overhead valves.  This was the same engine that was in the Sunbeam-Talblot 90 saloon, except that by increasing the compression ratio from 6.45:1 to 7.4:1 the horsepower increased from 70 to 77 horsepower.  The some 1954 models and the 1955 model had the same engine with a slightly higher compression ratio of 7.5:1 which increased the engine output to 80 horsepower.

As Can Be Seen, the Sunbeam Alpine Had a Large Trunk

I don’t know how many of the Sunbeam Alpines were imported into the USA, but the numbers would be small.  For example, in 1953 the total imports of Sunbeam-Talbot cars, including the Sunbeam Alpine, only totalled 809 vehicles.  In 1954, this number dropped to 553.  As a result, seeing an early 1950s Sunbeam Alpine these days would be a rarity.

Sunbeam Alpine Interior

Note in the photo above that the transmission shifter is located on the steering column.  The Sunbeam Alpine had a four-speed transmission.  The standard Sunbeam Alpine had a reported top speed of 95 mph.

Stirling Moss with his Sunbeam Alpine at the Alpine Rally

The Sunbeam Alpine has a very impressive rally history.  Many people don’t know that Stirling Moss was a regular rally competitor during the early days of his Formula 1 racing career.  He was awarded a Coupe des Alpes at the Alpine Rally in both 1953 and 1954 while driving a Sunbeam Alpine.

Stirling Moss in a Sunbeam Alpine in the Alpine Rally

Only two people were ever awarded a Gold Alpine Cup at the Alpine Rally and Stirling Moss is one of them.  He drove a Sunbeam for all three victories.

Stirling Moss’s Gold Alpine Cup

Stirling Moss’s first big time rally was the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally.  He finished second overall in a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 saloon at the Monte Carlo Rally and then went on the win a Coupe Des Alpes in the 1952 Alpine Rally in the same car.

Stirling Moss in a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 at the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally 

The Sunbeam Alpine model was dropped after 1955, but was revived in 1959 with a newer, smaller model of the Sunbeam Alpine.

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4 Responses to Early 1950s Sunbeam Alpine

  1. miller steve says:

    i found one call asap 971-212-5568

  2. Mark Stys says:

    I’ve got 1 of the 2 known remaining 1953 Sunbeam Talbot Alpines Specials made the the Great Mountain Rally. I’m interested in all of the info I can get. It is undergoing a complete frame off restoration and should be done early 2018.

    • Hi Mark,
      I am interested in both the Great Mountain Rally and the Sunbeam Alpines. I have some information about this rally and the cars, but not too much. Most of it I have posted on this website. I would be interested in knowing more about the history of your car as well as the other Great Mountain rally Alpine. You can contact me by email at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net
      Steve McKelvie

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