Mention the Sunbeam car brand in North America and instantly the next comment will include something about their Tiger model. Lesser known is the Alpine, otherwise known as “Tiger’s little brother”. With Tigers commanding large moola these days for even the scrappiest of specimens, lesser demand Alpines can offer tons of fun for smaller wallets. Find this modified 1963 Sunbeam Alpine listed for sale in Sacramento, CA, but located in Oregon, for $5,000 via craigslist.
Sunbeam has a long storied history dating all the way back to 1877. Some of their accomplishments include bicycles, motorcycles, aircraft engines, and the prestige of being the first British manufacturer to win a Grad Prix race. Their demise is a much sadder story, whereas Chrysler purchased the brand and systematically dismantled the company via poor quality products and brand erosion. The Sunbeam name hasn’t seen use since the early 1980’s.
This example has been fitted with a Mazda 12A rotary power plant and 4-speed manual transmission. The original 1592cc engine wasn’t noted for power or performance so the high revving Rotary could be a welcomed boost on drives. The owner does disclose that he cannot get the car to run properly and it will require some mechanical skill to sort things out.
The interior looks nice and was mostly likely redone over the years. Some deep cleaning and polishing would go miles towards making it presentable. The tonneau cover is a nice addition to have. A driver quality car seems to be lurking under all that dirt and dust.
The body looks straight and the seller claims minimal rust. California black plates hint at the cars environment history. If you have the wherewithal to bring this car back to road worthiness it could be a nice winter project. If a rotary engine isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure a small block Ford somewhere out there would be quite happy finding a new home potentially creating the ultimate sleeper.
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When not receiving complaints of “distracted by cars…again” from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.