Sunbeam Alpine – Bond’s first car

Sunbeam-Alpine-From-Dr-No

My son and I are huge fans of the British produced magazine “Classic & Sports Car” – said to be the “World’s Best-Selling Classic Car Magazine”. It’s a monthly romp through some of the glorious cars built over the last, say, 75 years, with “barn finds” and restoration stories returning classic cars to pristine condition. This month it featured the Sunbeam Tiger – in its “Case Histories – We Test The Classics That You Can Buy” section – the predecessor to the ever cute, wire wheeled, two seater Sunbeam Alpine.

The Sunbeam Alpine was first launched in 1953 by the Rootes Group – featuring names acquired from take overs of other motoring marques – but in 1956 it was substantially redesigned by Kenneth Howes and Jeff Crompton, as a sports car aimed at the US market where it was a hit.

The total production run of the Sunbeam Alpine, which ended in 1968 following the takeover of Rootes Group by Chrysler, was around 70,000 vehicles.

Sunbeam Alpine 3

Its movie star good looks saw the Sunbeam Alpine take a leading role in several movies:  In 1955 a metallic green Sunbeam Alpine Mk I – a more bulky coach-built Grand Tourer version of the parred down post 1956 “Series” models – was seen driven by the beautiful and white gloved, Grace Kelly in “To Catch A Thief” with Cary Grant;

Grace kelly 2

In 1962 a white walled tyre, lake blue Sunbeam Alpine Series II was seen as a first “Bond Car” when in the story it was rented and driven by James Bond in “Dr No” – it is said that it was the only suitable vehicle for such a movie to be found on the island of Jamaica. It’s said to be the “first” Bond car as it was the first car Bond drove that was neither supplied by his superiors/Q or commandeered from an unsuspecting bystander;

Sunbeam Alpine 2.jpg

In the 1971 film “Get Carter” starring Michael Caine a 1968 Sunbeam Alpine was driven by an dark haired accomplice who rescued Caine’s character.

Get carter.jpg

Finally, in the 1966 film “The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery”, George Cole’s character “Flash Harry” drove a crimson Sunbeam Alpine.

Would a Kindle subscription to Classic and Sports Car be a fantastic gift for yourself or someone close to you? If so, if you live in the UK, click the following link and add at least 12 months of huge pleasure to any Petrol Head! Classic & Sports Car

Ok so a fully restored, Concourse Condition Sunbeam Alpine may be a bit pricey, so why not “Get the T shirt” by clicking the following AMAZON link CafePress – Sunbeam Alpine V – 100% Cotton T-Shirt or add a die cast model of James Bond’s Sunbeam Alpine to your collection by clicking the following AMAZON link Sunbeam Alpine, blau, James Bond 007, 1962, Modellauto, Fertigmodell, SpecialC.-007 1:43

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