Classic Car Catalogue

Sunbeam 1964

Rapier Series IV
Alpine Series III - discontinued
Alpine Series IV - new model
Venezia Touring Superleggera
Tiger - new model
Imp Sport (USA only)

Great Britain

Nowa wersja Alpine - Tiger wyposażona jest w widlasty, 8 cylindrowy silnik amerykańskiego Forda.
Sunbeam Rapier Series IV Saloon superseded the Series III A in the autumn of 1963. Changes include a restyled bonnet and front end, reshaped side flashes, modified facia, adjustable steering column, servo-assisted brakes and improvements to the 1592-cc engine which increased the power output. Not available as a convertible.
Sunbeam Alpine Series IV. The modified Sports Tourer and GT Hardtop are distinguishable from the discontinued Series III versions mainly by the single horizontal bar radiator grille with central medallion, restyled sidelamp units and rear wings with fins being cropped down and overriders with rubber inserts. Power output of the engine is increased as for the Series IV Rapier.
Ian Garrad, manager of Rootes' operations on the West Coast of the USA, had been watching with interest the success of the AC Cobra. The Cobra was the result of fitting a Ford V8 into the AC Ace. In 1963, Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles were each commissioned to build a prototype Ford V8-powered Alpine. The Shelby prototype was eventually presented to Lord Rootes who was sufficiently impressed to give the project the go ahead. The Tiger, introduced in 1964, combine the Series IV Alpine bodyshell with a 4.2 litre Ford V8 engine. The Tiger is assembled by Jensen in West Bromwich. It is dubbed Tiger in honour of the 1920's Sunbeam racing car of the same name. In some markets, however, it is sold as the Alpine V8. Carol Shelby of AC Cobra fame fitted Ford 164 bhp 4261cc V8 into the Alpine to make the Tiger. Stiffer structure and springs, rack and pinion steering, and better brakes to go with it.
Sunbeam Imp Sport has Similar spec to Singer Chamois Sport with twin carb 51bhp engine, oil cooler and servo brakes. Externally no dummy grille but wide bar with central badge and "Imp Sport " badging on doors. Single side chrome strips and different wheel trims. Inside, Chamois style trim and extra instruments.
A few more Harringtons Series D were built based on the Alpine series IV. As yet there is no Sunbeam version of the Imp (except in the U.S.A.) but rumours speak of a larger-engined car for next year.
(London report) By the early 1960s Rootes were finding themselves increasingly in deeper financial trouble. There had been teething problems with the Imp, the two medium car ranges (Minx and Super Minx families) were proving to be a drain on resources and industrial relations problems were bringing production to a standstill. Rootes found themselves with no option than to seek a merger with another company. Talks with Leyland came to nothing. In 1964, a deal was made with Chrysler. Chrysler bought 30% of the voting shares and 50% of the non-voting shares in the company.


Series IV (1592 cc, 79 bhp)

Sunbeam Rapier (motor 64/1-5 program


Series III (1592 cc 82 bhp) - end
GT (1592 cc, 77 bhp) - end
Series IV (1592 cc, 82 bhp) - new

Alpine series IV

Sunbeam Alpine s.IV


Tiger (V8 cyl, 4260 cc, 136 bhp)





Imp Sport (USA only)






Entries and results:
  24h Le Mans 22.06.1964 Entrant: Results: Index:
#   chassis #     gen. class perf. eff.
8 Tiger   Ballisat/Dubois Rootes Group fail. - - -
9 Tiger B9499998 Procter/Blumer Rootes Group fail. - - -

Sunbeam Tiger Thunderbolt, engine: Ford 4.261 cc. (Claude Dubois / Keith Ballisat) at 24h Le Mans; Rootes Group.