1953 SUNBEAM ALPINE Mk1
This fairly rare car (only 1,582 made) came to us in pieces for body restoration, assembly, and interior work. This two-door roadster is one of the original Alpines, and was hand-built at the factory. Most of them were exported to the U.S. as left-hand drive models, and it is estimated that only about 200 have survived. This is one of them. Many of the body pieces needed to restore the car were not available, and had to be fabricated. Photos ABOVE and BELOW offer a nice contrast from the bodywork stage to the just-back-from-the-paint-shop stage. Note the new wide whitewall tires, too. This car is turning into a real beauty!
Back from the paint shop, freshly painted wheels and new whitewalls installed ... Next is getting the engine and all connecting components installed, putting on the trim and the interior.
Right front fender – Outside view and inside view
The doors — Outside view and inside view
The seats obviously have seen many happy miles. At right, the trunk lid and miscellaneous other parts.
If you've never taken a car completely apart, you have no idea of how many individual parts there are. It's absolutely essential to take photos of everything as you dissemble a car, to help you remember how it all goes back together.
A good look at some of the bad rust that had to be removed. Replacement pieces had to be fabricated for this rare car, as very few panels are available.
As we said, much of the replacement metal for the Alpine had to be fabricated and custom fit to make the repairs to rusty panels. These pieces are to replace the beyond-rusty sills.
A look at some of the painstaking detail work needed to fabricate replacement parts that exactly match the contour of the original body part. Lots of fitting, piecing, refitting and repiecing.
After the frame was repaired, checked for straightness and painted, the engine is installed and we start fitting (and refitting) the body panels.
Repair of a bad spot in a fender wheel arch.
Fitting the transmission, with repairs to the transmission tunnel.
Back from the paint shop on a custom-built rotisserie, so we can rotate the tub to facilitate attaching it to the chassis and then the fenders and other body components.