STOP PRESS New 2017 announcement at the Classic Motor Show
We're excited to bring you this stop press announcement, live from the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at Birmingham NEC. We're going to be here until Sunday so please do come down and see us if you can!
So, without further ado, we'd like to present a brand new model from the 2017 range - the Sunbeam Alpine, Seacrest Green, Pre-Production Prototype XRW 302 (VA07006)!
The Sunbeam Alpine is a two-seater sports drophead coupé, built by the Rootes Group from 1953 to 1955, and then 1959 to 1968. The car was the first model from Sunbeam-Talbot to bear the Sunbeam name alone, following the Rootes Group's acquisition of Clément-Talbot and later acquiring Sunbeam from its receiver in 1935. It received its Alpine name following Sunbeam-Talbot's success in the Alpine Rally during the early 1950s.
In early 1959 when Rootes were developing the Alpine at Ryton, Coventry, they constructed only eight pre-production prototypes. The car modelled (XRW 302) is the third and only surviving prototype, making it the oldest extant example. It survived because, rather than being thrashed to breaking point in testing, it was allocated to the company's design department to be used in the development of new styles and trim.
The car was sold in 1961 to Rootes' development engineer Bernard Unett, who'd worked on the Alpine programme and wanted to go racing. He debuted the car at Silverstone in September 1961 and was deemed so dangerous that he wasn't allowed to start the second race!
XRW 302 racing in 1964 (photo: Alan Cox)
After its racing career the car passed through several owners before being bought by Simon Goldby in 1972, who at the time had no knowledge of the car's history. After falling into disrepair, Simon began a full restoration of the car in 1995 and the car returned to the road in 2000. In 2005 the car was acquired by its current owner, John Willshire, who has shown the car at events such as the Silverstone Classic meeting, the Goodwood Revival and the Classic Motor Show where the car was awarded runner-up in 'Classic Car of the Year'. You can read all about the car and see fascinating photos of its restoration on John's website.
That's all for this stop press edition, but join us next Friday for more news from the Classic Motor Show, plus other exclusive news...
The Corgi Team
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