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.
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.
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.