Steve Silverstein's Sunbeam Alpine

From Steve: "I recently bought this 1967 Alpine which was from the San Francisco area.   I thought it was unique because it had been a race car - probably from 1967 to 1970 - and then converted back to street use."

More from Steve:  "What really surprised me about the car was its originality - still with the scatter- shield and many other racing details.  Even more impressive , at least for an Alpine, is the limited 
slip.  A very rare option on an Alpine since the factory never offered the option.  Also, the car has a "Harrington Le Mans" engine (also, very rare) and of course the attractive American Racing Silverstone rims.

As mentioned, it was from the San Francisco area.   There is a small 
plate on the roll-bar which states, "Built by WM Bachman, San 
Francisco".    I suspect the former owner was in the military and 
transfered to the East in 1987 which would explain why it was near Ft. 
Devens in New England."

Overall, it is a nice car which somebody went to a lot of trouble to set up with some of the better Sunbeam competition parts available.   This is odd, after all, by the late 60's the Alpine was rarely being raced - remember, Rootes had been bought out by Chrysler by then and  all support  ended in 65/66.  I would love to find out more details of the previous owner if they exist."

More from Steve:  "As an Alpine it is unusual.  The limited slip is just such a rarity and when combined with all the other details on this car you start to appreciate the package. This must have been somebody's very special club racer.   Today most vintage Alpine racers simply stick a Tiger's rear end in the car (at a cost of 50lbs of unsprung weight).  But in the day, this Tiger rear end was illegal to run in the Alpine.  So, Alpine owners had to have people like Doane Spencer of Hollywood Sport Cars custom modify the pumpkin to fit a DANA  23.  No small task."

(4-25-05)   Update from Steve:

"I think I have found my car in an old photo. Check out this Simpleseven's photo.  Lots of details match... windscreen mount area detail, mirror, rollbar, oil cooler from an SII in the grille area.  Of course it is a late series car, which is unusual in itself. I am pretty sure this is Tom Elliot's car.  I found Tom's name listed in a 1968 Laguna Seca program racing a red Alpine under the number 66.  Notice how the "16" is odd - I think he had to change 66 to 16 for this race."

(5-8-05)   Update from Steve 

"I hit the lottery regarding the San Francisco Alpine's history!  I talked with Skip Adrian tonight.  He is the driver racing the Alpine in the photo found just the other week.  Here's the story...   the car was owned by Tommy Elliot.  Elliot owned a Chrysler/Dodge dealership in the 60's and when Chrysler bought Rootes Elliot started to sell Sunbeams, too.  Elliot, who had raced boats at one time, wanted to race the Alpine.  He didn't have an Alpine immediately available so he acquired the car from another dealer in Sacramento.  Then he had Bob Hagin prepare the car.  (You may have heard of Hagin since he prepared Bud Rose's Alpine which Steve Froines drove.)

Elliot took the car to Vacaville to get his license and over the weekend had problems with the car.  Adrian, then in college, offered to help out and kept the car running for the weekend.   Elliot offered to let Adrian race the car while he was away in Europe.  At one of the races at Laguna with Adrian ended up with the engine scattered all over -- this while Tommy Elliot was still in Europe.  This was one of the new 1725cc's engines 5 main bearing engines and they had oiling issues back then and they still do to some extent.

Adrian and Elliot opted to go back to the old 1592cc engine (three mains) and had much better results.   Skip Adrian would race in the national events and Tommy Elliot would race in the divisional events.   They actually ran one enduro at Sears Point.

The car started off life as a race car but was only really raced for one year maybe two years.    It was then sold to James Hui who probably never raced the car.

So, that's the story.... not sure if I captured everything correctly when I was talking to Skip but I think covers most of it."

(3-3-14)   From Ralph Steiner:

"The Sunbeam Alpine pictured on your website was my car. I owned it for about seventeen years and would enjoy getting in touch with the owner looking for information and/or the current owner."

If you have information for Steve or Ralph Please email me

Back to:   Updates --  March 2014

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