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About Sunbeam Alpine

The producers of the 2008 movie "Get Smart" had a problem. When they could not find the rare 8-cylinder Sunbeam Tiger that star Don Adams drove in the 1960s comedy series, they used a 4-cylinder Sunbeam Alpine instead. Steve Carell, who played Maxwell Smart in the movie, learned that the two models were identical besides the engine. Manufactured by Rootes Group from 1953 to 1975, the Alpine came in Smart's preferred Carnival Red, as well as about 170 other colors. Rootes manufactured the first models, the Mark I and Mark III, from 1953 to 1955. Powered by a 2.3L inline-four engine, this two-door roadster has a saloon platform with a wheelbase of 97.5 inches. Alfred Hitchcock's wife Alma suggested that Grace Kelley drive a sapphire blue 1953 Alpine Mark I in his 1955 film "To Catch a Thief." In 1956, the Sunbeam Alpine underwent a redesign, debuting as a compact two-seat roadster in 1959. Produced through 1968, this sporty car kept the inline-four engine throughout its life. The wheelbase shrank to 86 inches, and the Alpine featured an open version and a removable hardtop model. No soft-top models were available, for lack of storage space. The post-Mark Alpine models came out in five series from 1959 until 1968. The 1962 Sunbeam Alpine was the only model year comprising the Series II example, with almost 20,000 produced. Enthusiasts of these classic roadsters can browse the listings on eBay for original or restored models, as well as Sunbeam Alpine parts.