Sunbeam Alpine MK III photo

1955 Sunbeam Alpine MK III

John Marston registered the Sunbeam name in 1988 for his bicycle manufacturing business. In 1901, Sunbeam began producing motor cars by assembling French Berliet automobiles in England. In 1905, the British based motor car business was sold to a newly incorporated Sunbeam Motor Car Company Limited to help distinguish it from Maarston's pedal bicycle business.

Sunbeam and Talbot-Darracq (itself the combination of the French Clément-Talbot and Paris-based but British owned Darracq) were acquired by the Rootes Group in the 1930s, and the first 'Sunbeam-Talbot' car appeared in 1938 as the 10hp Sports Saloon. After the war, the 'Ten' reappeared wearing pre-war designs. The first new design of the post-WWII era was the Sunbeam-Talbot 80 and Sunbeam-Talbot 90. The '80' was powered by an overhead-valve version of the 1.2-liter Hillman Minx engine. The '90' had a 2.0-liter Humber Hawk engine, and both the 80 and 90 rested on a modified Sunbeam-Talbot 2-Liter chassis. Independent front suspension was introduced in 1950 on the MKII, and the engine enlarged from 1,944cc to 2,267cc at the same time, with maximum power increasing from 64bhp to 70bhp. The MKIIA arrived in 1952, and horsepower rose an additional 7 horsepower and the braking system was up-rated with larger drums cooled by ventilated disc wheels. In this guise, the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 was driven by Stirling Moss to a 2nd place overall in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally. Works entries were awarded the Teamp Prize in the French Alpine Rally later in the year.

The Sunbeam Alpine two-seater roadsters were based on the existing Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkIIA saloon, with styling input from Raymond Loewy. They used the running gear and chassis from the 90, with modifications to the chassis to compensate for the reduced rigidity of the open-topped bodyshell. Additional modifications were made to the front suspension and the steering was revised. The 2,267cc four-cylinder overhead-valve engine received a revised cylinder head, helping to increase horsepower to 80 bhp.

The Alpine was initially built for export only, with the U.K. market not receiving the new Alpine until the autumn of 1953. Prior to its introduction, it was publicized through a series of record breaking attempts including at Montlhéry, France and Jabbeke in Belgium where Stirling Moss achieved a top speed of 120 mph. The Alpine also achieved numerous class wins in the Alpine rallies, but despite these accomplishments, the Alpine failed to compete with its lower priced rivals, and in 1955 the Alpine was dropped.

by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2019

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....
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1955 Vehicle Profiles

1955 Sunbeam Alpine MK III vehicle information

Sport Roadster

The Sunbeam Alpine was originally launched in 1953 and was the first vehicle from Sunbeam-Talbot to bear the Sunbeam name alone since the 1935 takeover of Sunbeam and Talbot by the Rootes Group.....[continue reading]

1955 Sunbeam Alpine MK III vehicle information

Sport Roadster

Chassis Num: A3501091/0D LRX
Engine Num: A3015078/RXS

This Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Mark III was purchased by the current California-based owner in 2007, and soon received a cost-no-object restoration. During the work, the engine was upgraded to the special, higher-compression version with enlarged valves ....[continue reading]

Sport Roadster
Sport Roadster
Chassis #: A3501091/0D LRX 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1955 Alpine MK III
1955 Sunbeam Alpine MK III Base Price : $2,700


97.50 in.
4 cyl., 138.34 CID., 77.00hp
$2,900 - $2,900
97.50 in.
4 cyl., 138.34 CID., 80.00hp
$2,700 - $2,700

Industry Production

1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)12,000
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

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