• 1966 Sunbeam Alpine. This lovely Series V Alpine stayed with its first owner - a lady florist who was given the car as a present - until it was acquired four years ago by the vendor for a new keeper, who has now decided to sell it. Hurst Park had the car resprayed in the original Carnival Red when it last changed hands and it's still immaculate. There's no sign of corrosion in any of the vulnerable places, such as around the headlamps or on the scuttle. There's some pitting on the doorhandles, but the brightwork is otherwise smart.

    The car sits nicely, showing that rear springs haven't sagged - their front mounts seem solid. It sports virtually unused Uniroyal 165x13s and is just as clean underneath, with a thorough application of underseal, plus, we are told, Wax oil injected into the structure. There's a half-stainless exhaust, and the steel front end looks decent, leading down from a leak- free engine. The oil was a bit below the top mark and the coolant needed topping up, but the Sunbeam will be serviced before sale.

    Year of manufacture 1966
    Recorded mileage 44,340.
    Asking price £17,995
    Vendor Hurst Park Automobiles, East Molesey, Surrey; tel: 01372 468487; hurstpark. co. uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £954 19s
    Max power 92.5bhp
    Max torque 110lb ft
    0-60mph 13.6 secs
    Top speed 98mph
    Mpg 25.5

    Both doors open like a new car, revealing solid hinge mounts. The vinyl trim is factory, with only a couple of small holes on the driver's seat. The tired webbing in both chairs was replaced during the refurbishment, which included new carpets, but the tidy rubber mats - correct for a Roadster - are the originals. The vinyl-covered dash - featuring most of the period- option Jaeger instruments - and pristine sprung wheel were also part of the Roadster spec. The Smiths clock (£7 15s 4d extra) works, too.

    The 1725cc unit starts instantly on choke and settles to a reasonably even tickover at about 1100rpm, showing 40psi of oil pressure cold, or just below that at hot idle when the temperature sits at c75°C. There's a slight fluffiness - typical of twin Strombergs - but the engine is quite free-revving, with a fruity rasp from the K&Ns (the originals are included). The recirculating-ball steering is deceptively precise, the slick, all-synchro gearchange is superb and the overdrive works cleanly on third and top.

    The Alpine's hood is in good condition, under a mint cover. It comes with a full Rootes tonneau, a set of tools and will be sold with a fresh MoT.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR
    • Paintwork virtually flawless; both bumpers rechromed

    INTERIOR
    • Ryton vinyl over rebuilt seats; new carpets under factory mats

    MECHANICALS
    • Sorted bar minor hesitation VALUE ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

    For - Almost as good as new; painted wires look spot-on

    Against - Carbs might need tune-up

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    It's pricey but what the best go for.
    Ideal for showing - it won its class at the Double Twelve - or just using
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