Sunbeam Alpine Series 4 Sports Car

                                              1965 Sunbeam Alpine                                                            This stunning example was seen during the London to Brighton                                                              Classic Car Run 2015

                                          Follow Me on Facebook

                                             from Classic to Modern

     The Sunbeam Alpine Series 3 sports car was finally replaced in January 1964 by the Series 4 after a production run of only eleven months, in which 5,863 units were built. It was showcased at the Brussels Motor Show of that year.

     Around 1963, Rootes Group realised that the distinctive rear fins of the Alpine were one factor that led to the model being regarded, in some quarters, as being old fashioned.

     With this in mind, Rootes set up an agreement with the Italian company, Touring of Milan, to assemble the Alpine in Italy in order to target that market.

     This resulted in them restyling the rear section of the car, and the updated Alpine was presented, in November 1963, at the Turin Motor Show.

     The Series 4 embraced the same styling changes as exhibited in the Italian version launched two months earlier.

     The most significant change was in respect of the rear fins which had now been drastically reduced in size to provide a softer and smoother image.

     Additional changes included:

  • Replacement of the four bar radiator grille by the addition of a single chrome strip across the front of the radiator
  • GT version was fitted with a veneered dashboard
  • Convertible version received a vinyl covered facia
  • Gearbox now included synchromesh on all forward gears
  • Leading edge of the bumper over riders received a reinforced rubber strip
  • Indicators were redesigned
  • An automatic version was offered, for the first time, as an optional extra

     It was suggested that a version with automatic transmission would be well received in the US especially in the 18-30 age group who, in the main, were not used to a manual gearbox.

     A further selling point in this model's favour was the fact that no previous American sports car had been given the option of automatic transmission.

Technical Data                           Alpine               Alpine                Lotus
                                                 Series 4
             Series 3                Elan
Production:                            1964-1965        1963-1964       1962-1975
Output                                       12,406               5,863                12,000
Engine cc                                     1592                1592                   1558
Cylinders, bhp                             4, 82                4, 77                  4, 105
Top Speed mph                            100                   98                       115
0-60 mph, secs                           13.5                 14.9                      8.7
Fuel consumption                         26                     25                       30
Standing 1/4 mile                       19.5                  19.8                    15.9

                                             Sunbeam Alpine Series 4                                                                      Alpines galore! This 1964-5 Series 4 used an 82                                                     bhp, 1.6 litre, S4 with 100 mph top and 0-60 in                                                      13.5 secs. This great line-up was spotted at a                                                  local sports car rally. Great to see such smart examples

                                        1968 Sunbeam Alpine Series 4                                                                       This immaculate example was one of the                                                                               highlights of the show

                                             Sunbeam Alpine Series 4

                                         1966 Sunbeam Alpine Series 4

                                              Sunbeam Alpine Series 4

                                                                                                  Full Screen

     Both the convertible and GT versions shared the same 1592 cc engine fitted with a single Solex twin choke carburettor, which increased output to 82 bhp at 5000 rpm and 95 ft/lbs of torque at 3500 rpm.

     The optional lower output engine, used in the Series 3, was now withdrawn.

     Furthermore, the engine had been modified to comply with the new safety and emission regulations that had been introduced in a number of American States.

     The suspension was now fitted with anti fade dampers, whilst the tension of the springs was slightly reduced in order to produce a softer ride.

     The Series 4 now represented the most stylish Alpine to date, and appealed to both US and Home markets.

     However, by 1964, Rootes Group finances were in a parlous state, which had not been helped by a strike at British Light Steel Pressings, which supplied the body panels, plus the spiralling cost of wages.

     The result was that the company was unable to fund development of necessary new models.

     Fortunately, in June 1964, an agreement was reached with Chrysler of the US to inject vital funds to stabilise the position of Rootes Group.

     Under this agreement, the manufacturing, engineering and sales functions of both companies would share information with each other to their mutual advantage.

     On the other hand, from the Chrysler standpoint, the most important benefit of the agreement was that they gained a much needed foothold in the UK market.

     In practical terms, the agreement meant that, in the US, a Sunbeam Alpine could be purchased at a local Chrysler dealership.

     In the final analysis, Chrysler ended up by absorbing the whole of Rootes Group by 1967.

     The Sunbeam Alpine Series 4 sports car was discontinued, in favour of the Series 5, in September 1965, after 12,406 units had been built. 


     A 1964-65 Sunbeam Alpine Series 4 in good condition would fetch in the region of £6,000/$10,000.



                                              see All My Reviews


› Sunbeam Alpine Series 4 Sports Car

                              Got an interesting Sports Car story  to tell?

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

                                                       Top of the Page

Sunbeam Links

Sunbeam Talbot

Early Sunbeam Alpine

Alpine Series 1

Alpine Series 2

Alpine Series 3

Alpine Series 4

Alpine Series 5

Sunbeam Tiger

Sunbeam Tiger Series 1

Sunbeam Tiger Series 2

Sunbeam Links End