Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | September 16, 2021

1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

The first Alpine was sort of a sporty two-door roadster version of the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 sedan. It was introduced in 1953, and a Mk III version was also produced before production wrapped in 1955. No, there was not a Mk II. The Alpine was reintroduced in 1959, and the V8 version of that car would be known as the Tiger.

This Mk I is powered by a 2.3-liter inline-four that produced 97 horsepower when new. The bodies were by Thrupp & Maberly, and just 1,582 were produced between the Mk I and III (1,192 were Mk I). Of that grand total, 961 were exported to North America.

This example has been restored since 2006 and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $59,000-$63,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Sunbeam Stiletto

1968 Sunbeam Stiletto

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | April 17, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

The Rootes Group was like England’s version of AMC, and to continue the metaphor, that would make BMC Britain’s GM. So, BMC had a hit on their hands with the Mini, and Rootes introduced a small car competitor called the Hillman Imp. It featured a rear-mounted engine and a rear-wheel-drive layout.

Much like the Mini, the Imp was sold under a few different nameplates, including the Singer Chamois, Hillman Husky, and the Sunbeam Stiletto. The Stiletto was a “sporty” version of the Imp and it went on sale in 1967. The body style was different too, as this car is more of a fastback coupe than the 2-door sedan Imp. Production lasted through 1972.

The stock engine was a 55-horsepower, 875cc inline-four. This hot-rodded example has a Rover K-Series 1.8-liter inline-four making 120 horsepower. It is also teal (check) and has Minilite-style wheels (check). Stilettos are rare: only 4,735 of the first series examples were produced. This one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $26,892.

Sunbeam 12/16HP Tourer

1911 Sunbeam 12/16HP Tourer

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | Brooklands, U.K. | November 24, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Sunbeam was founded by John Marston in 1888 and started producing cars around the turn of the century. The 12/16HP model was introduced in 1910 and was produced up until the outbreak of WWI in 1914.

Power was from a 2.4-liter T-head inline-four rated at 16 horsepower. Later in 1911, the cars received an upgraded 3.0-liter unit, making this an early 1911 car. It was fairly conventional, with shaft-drive and a 4-speed transmission.

This attractive white tourer was on museum duty for 37 years before being purchased by the current owner in 2011. About 4,950 examples of this model were built, and this one should bring between $48,000-$58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $34,834.

Sunbeam Tiger Race Car

1964 Sunbeam Tiger Le Mans Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a Sunbeam Tiger before. That car was a road car – a true cousin to the Shelby Cobra. It’s a simple formula: take a nimble British Roadster and shove a big American V-8 under the hood. But this Tiger is a little different.

For starters, it isn’t a roadster. It’s a fastback and it’s one of only three such Tigers built by the Rootes Group. All three were competition specials – prototypes whose sole purpose was the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. The body was the work of Brian Lister – no slouch at building competition cars. The engine is a 4.2-liter V-8 from Shelby making 275 horsepower.

This car was the prototype. Once it was deemed competitive in testing, two further cars were built that were sent to Le Mans. This car only saw competition once it was sold and used in privateer hands. It’s passed through a number of hands and has recently competed in the Le Mans Classic and other historic events. It’s the rarest Sunbeam Tiger you’re likely to find and it should bring between $460,000 and $610,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Sunbeam Tourer

1919 Sunbeam 16/40 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | December 9, 2013

1919 Sunbeam 16HP Tourer

Sunbeam is one of the oldest names in automobiles. Of course, they aren’t around anymore, but the company did date back to 1888, when it was founded as a bicycle manufacturer by John Marston. In 1902, the first cars appeared, under the Sunbeam-Mabley marque, and 1905 brought Sunbeam as a standalone make.

In 1919, the company merged with Talbot and Darracq. That didn’t go so well, and in 1935 the trio became part of the Rootes Group. The final Sunbeam-branded cars rolled off the assembly lines in 1978 and the name continued on as a Talbot model into the 1980s.

The Sunbeam 16/40 was re-introduced in 1919 after WWI ended. It was a slightly updated version of the pre-war 16/20 that dated to 1912. It uses a 3.0-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower.

This Sunbeam is the oldest-known example of the marque backdated to the end of the Great War (in other words, one of the earliest cars made after the armistice). It was parked sometime around 1928 and entered the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in 1957. It spent 11 years on display before re-entering private ownership and being restored.

This is a good-driving old touring car that can be bought for somewhere in the neighborhood of $73,000-$89,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ auction lineup.

Update: Sold $60,369.

September Results I

Before we get to some September auction results, there was one more sale from late August I’d like to cover. It was Silverstone’s CarFest South sale and the top sale was this 1952 Bentley Mk VI Special for $82,520. It might look like a Volkswagen Bugatti replica kit car, but it’s a Bentley. You can check out full results here.

1952 Bentley Mk VI Special

Next up, Bonhams’ Beaulieu sale. The top sale there was this 1926 Sunbeam 3-Litre Super Sports Twin Cam Tourer for $246,605.

1926 Sunbeam 3-Litre Super Sports Twin Cam Tourer

Our featured Chicago Motor Buggy failed to sell. Interesting cars were topped off by this 1913 De Dion-Bouton Type DX Touring. It’s a car I wanted to feature but didn’t get to it. It sold for an attainable $24,185.

1913 De Dion-Bouton Type DX Touring

Our other three feature cars all sold. The Healey Duncan brought $59,119. The Alldays & Onions Tonneau sold for $68,077. And the sole surviving road-going Aster sold for $39,413. Other interesting cars included this 1916 Rauch & Lang Model BX6 Electric Brougham. It sold for $33,143.

1916 Rauch & Lang Model BX6 Electric Brougham

And finally, from the weird category, this 1971 SAVIEM TP3L39 4×4 Gun Bus. I think it’s a hunting car, but I really don’t know. Anyway, it was cheap, bringing only $1,254. Check out full results here.

1971 SAVIEM TP3L39 4x4 Gun Bus

The next auction that this post will cover was Auctions America’s Auburn Fall sale. Top sale was our featured Duesenberg Murphy Convertible Coupe for $1,540,000. Interesting cars included this 1950 Sunbeam-Talbot Mk I Convertible. It sold for $21,450.

1950 Sunbeam-Talbot Mk I Convertible

And how about this 1982 Freeway II? You don’t see these everyday. It sold for $5,225.

1982 Freeway II

Annoyingly, I somehow neglected to feature this 1919 Columbia Six Five-Passenger Touring. This happens every time Auctions America has a huge sale. Something is always overlooked because the catalog is too huge and hard to sort through. This one sold for $11,550.

1919 Columbia Six Five-Passenger Touring

A previously featured Duesenberg Sport Sedan sold at this sale for $962,500 – about $150,000 more than when it sold a year ago. Another Duesenberg, our featured Dual-Cowl Phaeton, sold for $858,000. Our featured Flxible Starliner bus failed to sell. Interestingly, there are about 10 Abbott-Detroit models known to exist. Two of them were in this sale. This 1917 Speedster sold for $19,800. Check out full results here.

1917 Abbott-Detroit Speedster

One more set of highlights: Mecum’s Dallas sale. Our featured Checker Aerobus failed to sell. Top sale was this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible that happened to be the 1967 NHRA/A Sports Champion. It sold for a ludicrous $3,200,000.

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Our featured Chevelle Z16 brought $200,000. A previously-featured Duesenberg failed to sell at this sale. Check out full results here.

Bonhams/H&H June 2013 Highlights

Bonhams’ Banbury Run sale was held last week and the top sale was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 which sold for $208,817.

1966 Aston Martin DB6

Our feature cars both sold. The 1899 Columbia Motor Buggy sold for $17,966. The ex-works demonstrator Javan R1 sold for $17,068. Interesting cars included this 1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Barker. It sold for $34,136.

1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe by Barker

Other cool cars included this 1929 Morgan Anzani Aero – a fairly early Morgan three-wheeler. It sold for $44,916.

1929 Morgan Anzani Aero

And finally, this 1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus “Rally Car.” These are moderately cool cars (the early-80s weren’t exactly “cool car” times) and this one sold for $17,966. Click here for full results.

1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus

Next up was H&H Auctions’ sale held at Rockingham Castle in the U.K. Our featured AC Ace Brooklands sold for $19,342. Top sale was this 1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe which brought $226,834.

1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe

Interesting sales were definitely led by this 1918 Le Zebre Sports. I don’t remember coming across it when I looked for cars to feature, otherwise I surely would have. It sold for $123,088.

1918 Le Zebre Sports

Other cars included this pretty 1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer (first below) which sold for $18,024 and the 1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer (second below) which went for $58,027. Check out complete results here.

1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer

1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer

Sunbeam Tiger

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mark II

Offered by Mecum Auctions | Kansas City, Missouri | December 8, 2012

The Shelby Cobra was more than just a badass sports car – it was an inspiration and a new way of thinking in the automotive world. A completely redesigned Sunbeam Alpine appeared in 1959. It was supposed to be a sports car. But by 1963, the most powerful engine available was an 80 horsepower straight four. Meanwhile, Carroll Shelby had transformed the 120-horsepower AC Ace into his famous fire-breathing 271 horsepower monster – and that was just the start, as later cars would have 425 horsepower. The Alpine didn’t compete with the Ace in terms of performance, much less the Cobra.

Ian Garrad, West Coast Sales Manager for the American arm of the Rootes Group and a few other employees realized the Alpine’s potential and figured out that Ford’s Windsor V8 would fit in the car. They sent an Alpine to Shelby and had him wedge one of the engines in. Then they shipped it to England to have the Sunbeam folks evaluate the car.

Sunbeam approved and tasked sports car maker Jensen with the production of the Tiger. Series I cars used the 164 horsepower 4.3-liter V8. Series II cars had a 200 horsepower 289 Ford V8 (4.7-liters). This is a Series II car and they are very rare – only 536 of the 7,085 Sunbeam Tigers built were 200 horsepower Series II cars. While it doesn’t compete with the Cobra in terms of power or performance, this is still a fast, powerful British sports car from the 1960s. And there is that always-desirably Shelby connection.

This being a Series II car ups its value to a fair degree. To read more and for more pictures, click here. And for more from Mecum in Kansas City, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Bonhams’ Collectors’ Cars at Goodwood Highlights (06/12)

Bonhams’ sale held during 2012’s Goodwood Festival of Speed had some impressive results. Like, really impressive. The George Daniels Collection was responsible for over $12 million worth of sales alone. Top sale came from said collection – it was this 1929-31 Bentley 4.5-Litre Supercharged “Blower” Bentley Single-Seater. This car held the Brooklands Outer Circuit lap record. It remains, some 80 years later, a seriously fast car. It sold for $7,900,000.

The Bentley just edged out this glorious 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Double Pullman Limousine by Barker. Known as “The Corgi,” this all-original Rolls is about as awe-inspiring as they come. It brought a world-record price for a Rolls-Royce at $7,300,000 (the Bentley above was also a record setter for the marque).

The next two highest-selling cars were two of our feature cars. First, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 with Le Mans history brought $4,200,000. Then there was the 1908 Itala Grand Prix car, which sold for $2,725,000. The only other million dollar sale was $1,200,000 for a 1928 Bentley 4.5-Liter Supercharged Tourer, which was my personal favorite Bentley of the handful on offer.

Top sale among the large collection of Lotuses went to the 1962 Type 19 “Monte Carlo” with Buick V8 power (below). It sold for $248,000. One of our feature Lotuses didn’t sell – the 1984 Etna Concept. The other one did: the ex-works 1956 Eleven Le Mans brought $239,000.

Our other two feature cars both sold. The 1951 HRG 1500 brought $57,000. And the 1907 Daimler Type TP Tourer sold for $564,000. Other interesting sales included a rare 1963 Sunbeam Alpine Harrington hardtop for $30,600.

Two other cars I liked (and would’ve featured had there been time) were this 1924 Ballot 2LT/2LTS Torpedo with coachwork by Lagache & Glaszmann (top) for $61,000. And this 1926 Amilcar Model G (bottom) for $54,000.

And finally, and this might have as much to do with the picture as the car, an ex-Elton John, 1985 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. It sold for $122,600. This has to be the most reflective shade of purple I’ve ever seen. It looks awesome. For complete results, click here.