Designed in 1959 to epitomize the opulence of the late 1950s’ “never had it so good” era, the Sunbeam Alpine emerged as a chic sports car. It shared its underframe with the Hillman Husky estate and was part of the lineup that included the luxurious Sunbeam Rapier and Singer Gazelle models, all from the Rootes stable. While the new Alpine adopted the Rapier’s engine and transmission, it featured an entirely new light alloy cylinder head.
During the early 1960s, approximately 200 Sunbeam Harrington Alpines were created as bespoke “grand touring” coachbuilt conversions based on the Rootes Group’s Sunbeam Alpine. These exquisite automobiles were meticulously crafted by Thomas Harrington Limited, a coachbuilder based in Hove. In 1961, only about 110 of these unique vehicles were produced, making them highly sought-after collectibles.
The defining feature of the Harrington Alpine was its distinct fiberglass fastback roof, giving it an elegant coupe appearance. The cars underwent engine variations over the years, including 1,494cc for the Series I, 1,592cc for the Series II, III, and IV, and 1,725cc for the Series V. The coachbuilding activities of Thomas Harrington Limited came to a close in 1964 following its acquisition by Rootes, primarily for its distribution outlets in Sussex.