1954 Sunbeam Alpine

The Rootes Group acquired Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq in 1935, makers of the Sunbeam-Talbot automobiles. In the early 1950s and with the urging from George Hartwell, a Bournemouth Sunbeam-Talbot Rootes dealer and rally preparation expert, the company introduced the Alpine, a one-off rally car designed to compete at the Alpine rallies in Europe and the Monte Carlo.

Sunbeam quickly launched the Alpine model in June 1953. Along with highly tuned prototypes and the standard Alpine Model, E.R.A. secretly developed the Alpine Special. The Alpine Special was powered by a 2,267 cubic-centimeter MK I engine with a modified 8.0:1 compression ratio to deliver higher output. It used Siamese exhaust ports, an alloy rocker cover, a special induction manifold, and a twin-choke Solex carburetor helping to produce approximately 98 horsepower. The standard Alpines used a single downdraught carburetor. The Specials used a standard overdrive and revised gearbox and revised gearbox and rear axle ratios and straight through the exhaust system. They were clothed with aluminum panels on the boot and bonnet. To gain homologation, six left-hand-drive pre-production Alpine Specials cars were made along with six rally cars drawn from production registered MKV 21-26 in early 1953. With drivers such as Stirling Moss (car number 21), Peter Collins (car number 23), Sheila van Damm (car number 25), and G. Murray Frame, these cars were consistent winners. A prototype was tested in Belgium in March 1953 by Moss and van Damm recording a record speed of over 123 mph.

Between 1953 and 1955, a total of 1,582 Alpines were produced, of which 921 were exported to Canada and the United States. It is believed that less than 100 examples were equipped with the specially modified 'Special' engines (perhaps around 70), and of those, 42 were produced with left-hand drive. Each car was hand-built in the United Kingdom by Thrupp & Maberly.

A fleet of Sunbeam Alpines was shipped by the Rootes Group in the mid-1950s to the United States to participate in the Great American Mountain Rally created in the Catskills, in a similar fashion to the European rallies.

The Sunbeam Alpine was replaced in October of 1965 by the MK3.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2020

Related Reading : Sunbeam Alpine History

The Sunbeam Alpine was introduced in 1953 and its arrival was historic, as it was the first vehicle to bear the Sunbeam name alone since the 1920 merger of Sunbeam, Talbot, and Darracq. It was a derivative of the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Saloon, and thus (in modern times), is often referred to as the Talbot Alpine. It was the work of Sunbeam-Talbot dealer George Hartwell in Bournemouth who was working on....
Continue Reading >>

1954 Vehicle Profiles

1954 Sunbeam Alpine vehicle information

Sport Roadster

Chassis Num: A3015176 LRXS
Engine Num: A3015176 LRXS

The Rootes Group acquired Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq in 1935. In 1953, at the urging of a Sunbeam-Talbot dealer named George Hartwell, the company introduced the Alpine, a one-off rally car designed to compete ate the Monte Carlo and Alpine rallies in Eu....[continue reading]

1954 Sunbeam Alpine vehicle information

Sport Roadster

The Alpine was derived from the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Saloon, and is known as the 'Talbot' Alpine. It is a sporty two-seat roadster initially developed by Sunbeam-Talbot dealer George Hartwell in Bournemouth, as a one-off rally car. It had its beginnings....[continue reading]

Sport Roadster
Chassis #: A3015176 LRXS 
Sport Roadster
 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1954 Alpine
$2,900-$18,050
1954 Sunbeam Alpine Base Price : $2,900

$2,700 - $2,900

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Sunbeam
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)749
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)553
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)809
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)281
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)133
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)120
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)17

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