Rides from the Readers: 1963 Sunbeam Alpine

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Bob Doher

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to us at the above email. 

Today’s car is a 1963 Sunbeam Alpine. The petite British roadster debuted in 1959 with a 1500-cc four-cylinder that, in the ’60–63 Series II cars, made around 80 horsepower. These cars weren’t designed to be screamers, though. With their perky tailfins, comfortable seats, and simples dashes, ’63 Alpines channeled the simple pleasures of top-down, summer evening cruises. (The V-8-powered bruisers would come later.)

This particular ’63 Alpine was Bob Sullivan’s very first car, which he bought in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, in anticipation of his 16th birthday. Adult life soon caught up with Bob, however, and three years later he was married and expecting his first child. He sold the car to a friend, moved to Florida, and didn’t hear a word about the Alpine for years. Then the Sullivans discovered that Bob’s friend wanted to sell the Alpine back to Bob. The roadster was in need of some serious TLC, but that only made him more excited about restoring it. Unbeknownst to Bob, his two children put their heads together and wrangled the car through customs and across the Canadian border. Bob and his Alpine were reunited on Father’s Day, 2018.

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