Racers have long enjoyed the idea that ‘racing improves the breed’, but rarely does it do so as quickly and directly as with the Sunbeam Alpine Harrington Le Mans Coupe. It was added to Sunbeam’s product line in October 1961, just months after a similarly bodied Alpine special captured the prestigious Index of Thermal Efficiency and 16th place overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The fiberglass fastback roof was added to modified production Alpines by Thomas Harrington Limited and fewer than 250 examples were built, most for export to the US. With so few genuine Harrington coupes built, each one is special, but none are as stunning as this car.
A true labor of love, this 1961 Sunbeam Alpine Harrington Le Mans was restored to such an unbelievably high standard that it could rightly be called the best-restored car currently residing at Hyman Ltd.
Finished in a silver-blue metallic, it has a blue leather interior, chrome wire wheels, blackwall radial tires, spare wheel, tool kit upholstered in leather, gorgeous wood dash and a fire extinguisher. Under the hood is an immaculately detailed, chromed and mirror-polished engine bay housing the Alpine’s professionally built 1725 cc inline-four, which was given the Hartwell Stage III tuning with dual sidedraft Webers, 140 horsepower and a possible 110 mile per hour top speed. The original four-speed gearbox has also been replaced with a modern and tractable five-speed from a Toyota Supra.
The car was imported from England at the beginning of the last decade and brought to California for its unbelievably high-quality restoration, which was fully documented with photos and receipts. It was completely disassembled and stripped to bare metal, and the attention to detail on each and every part of the car is stunning. It has since been displayed at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. A 100-point automobile, it is in immaculate condition that has to be seen to be believed. The quality of materials used in the restoration, the fit and finish and masterful attention to detail make this car stand out in any setting. As an authentic Harrington Le Mans coupe, it is already a rare, desirable and significant automobile, but its amazing condition sets it apart even further and would make it the highlight of any collection.