Classic Car Catalogue

Sunbeam 1961

Rapier Series III - discontinued
Rapier Series IIIA - new model
Alpine Series II
Harrington Alpine - March

Great Britain

Sunbeam Rapier Series III A Saloon and Convertible models replaced the Series III versions in the spring. Now fitted with a four-cylinder, 1592-cc, ohv engine developing 80 bhp at 4500 rpm and also feature detail interior changes. This model is priced at £1029 (Saloon) and £1087 (Convertible). Overdrive is optional. 15,368 examples of the Series III were built.
Sunbeam Alpine Series II was introduced in the summer of 1960 when it replaced the Series I model included a bored out 1592-cc version of the original engine which develop 85.5 bhp at 5000 rpm, minor transmission and suspension modifications, the introduction of disc brake shields and detail interior modifications. Top speed is in the region of 100 mph. Production switched to Rootes' Ryton facility midway through the Series II's life.
Sunbeam Harrington Alpine - fastback GT version of Alpine produced by Thomas Harrington Coach Builders Ltd by grafting a GRP hardtop with opening tailgate onto the MkII Alpine was introduced in March. The Le Mans without rear wings appeared in the autumn.



Series III (1494 cc, 73 bhp) - end
Series IIIA (1592 cc, 75 bhp) - new

Rapier – October '60 advert



Series II (1592 cc, 80 bhp)
Harrington (1592 cc, up to 104 bhp) - new

Alpine – October '60 advert

SUNBEAM ALPINE, roadster, $2595, Great Britain
Apparently with an eye to the best possible engine displacement for class racing, Rootes has bored out its Alpine engine from 1497 to 1592 cc (97.1 cubic inches) as the major change for 1961. With horsepower of the four-cylinder ohv engine now up to 85.5 at 5000 rpm, there is a corollary advantage in that performance should now be more easily attained and engine life lengthened. In addition, there are detail changes to carburetion, clutch and interior appointments. The two Zenith carburetors now have 30mm venturis instead of 28s. As for the clutch, need for adjustment is avoided due to an hydraulic cylinder which automatically takes up free play.
Acceleration is quite good - zero to 60 in about 14 seconds and a top speed just at 100 mph. The brakes to handle this speed are discs on the front, drums at the rear, and they do an excellent job. Ride and handling characteristics are considered good; there is fine two-passenger comfort for boulevard or touring, while recent amateur racing successes indicate that the car is manageable at high speed.
Interior finish is well executed and in good taste. There are individual seats with a package are - children's seat behind. The floor-mounted shift lever for the four-speed transmission is conveniently placed and has a short throw. Also of driver interest is the complete instrumentation located in good view. An overdrive with a dash-mounted switch is optional. Although it is termed a roadster, there are roll-up windows and an optional hard top. However, weather is well sealed out with only the soft top in place. Changes in the cockpit include a smaller wheel placed higher for better thigh clearance, and the option of moving the pedals farther from the driver for increased legroom and a better seating position for those with long limbs.
General specifications: Wheelbase, 86 inches; front tread, 51; rear tread, 48.7; overall length, 155.3; width, 60.5; height, 51.5.
Other versions: Only version available.

Motor Trend, April 1961

Harrington Alpine

Harrington 1572 cc 87.5/90/98 bhp – March - discontinued (110 ex.)
Le Mans 1572 cc 104 bhp – October

Alpine Harrington

Harrington Alpine Le Mans

VERY well established both at home and abroad is the Sunbeam Alpine, a fast, stylish, comfortable two-seater marketed at a reasonable price. In standard form it is open, with a soft folding hood, though a detachable hard top may be obtained, thereby converting it into a closed car.
In the belief that a demand exists for a permanent saloon version of the car Thomas Harrington Ltd., the well-known coachbuilders of Old Shoreham Road, Hove, Sussex, are now offering a model known as the Harrington Alpine. This is a two-seater in the gran turismo tradition, yet there is considerably more "interior space than in the standard car. This follows for two reasons; first, the new roof-a single glass-fibre moulding-is much longer than the standard hard-top and extends from the windscreen almost as far as the tail. Second, the soft hood has been removed which therefore provides more space for luggage. In addition, headroom has been increased by 2in. and there is a feeling of greater spaciousness when sitting in the car. Structurally the body is now stiffer because the glass-fibre roof is bolted at many points to the windscreen top rail and along the sides and rear of the body. There is also an extra body cross member at a point below the rear extremity of the roof and it is from this cross member that the abbreviated boot lid is hinged. The main part of the luggage space is formed by the large platform behind the front seats; a second platform at a higher level extends through to the boot lid beneath a deep parcels shelf, enabling golf clubs, for example, to be carried. Spare wheel and tools remain in their usual positions in the tail. The luggage space is fully carpeted. Large forward-hinged rear quarter windows with over-centre catches provide greatly improved ventilation. During a brief drive in one of the new models it was noticed that the body was now more rigid, giving a tauter feeling to the car; there was complete absence of drumming. Detail finish is to the high standard expected of this coachbuilder. The price of the Harrington Alpine, including purchase tax, is £1,225 and modifications may be carried out on existing Alpines. Weight is 28lb more than the standard Alpine with hard-top. At extra cost, equipment in addition to that offered for the standard Alpine includes competition type bucket seats, occasional detachable rear seats, which would be suitable for children or for an adult sitting across the car for short journeys, and fitted luggage. Engine conversions for the Harrington Alpine are also to be made available in conjunction with George Hartwell Ltd., of Bournemouth, an associate company well known for their preparation of Sunbeam models for competition work. The conversions offered are in three stages of tune. Stage 1 is for ordinary motoring and costs £Z5, while stages 2 and 3 are for competition work, the price being £75 and £215 respectively. All stages comply with the F.I.A. rules for grand touring cars.

Sumbeam Alpine Harrington Le Mans Type B



Entries and results:
24h Le Mans 10.06.1961 Entrant: Results: Index:
#         gen. class perf. eff.
34 Alpine Harrington   Harper/Procter Rootes Group 16th 2nd GT 1.3-1.6 19th 1st
35 Alpine Harrington   Jopp/Hopkirk Rootes Group dsq 1st GT 1.3-1.6    

Sunbeam Harrington Alpine (1.592 cc.); Peter Harper / Peter Procter; Rootes Group Ltd; 24h Le Mans.

Sunbeam Alpine (1.592 cc.); Peter Jopp / Paddy Hopkirk; Rootes Group Ltd; 24h Le Mans.

Sunbeam Rapier zmierza do mety odbywającego się w styczniu Rajdu Monte Carlo.