Sunbeam Alpine Buyer's Guide

Prepared by Daniel Levitin ( on Aug 14, 1995.

I. Where to find an Alpine for sale

1) Electronically

The Alpines mailing list ( has current owners from around the world. A notice there might turn something up.

The Special Car Journal classifieds have a fairly healthy Sunbeam section.

2) Hemmings Motor News

This is a monthly publication, typically 1500 pages, listing automobiles for sale throughout North America. It is available at magazine stands and some book stores, or by phoning to Hemmings Motor News at 1-800-CAR-HERE. Cars for sale are listed alphabetically, and the location of the car is indicated. A typical issue usually has a least a dozen Alpines for sale in all kinds of conditions and prices. The last time I looked, the prices ranged from $13,000 for a fully restored '67 Series V, to two Series IIIs (not running) for free to anybody who would go to Virginia and haul them out of somebody's ex-wife's garage.

I have found the Alpine advertisers in Hemmings to be conscientious, professional and friendly.

In the U.K., a good place to find Alpines for sale is the classified advertising in Practical Classics magazine.

3) Newspapers

Whenever I'm in a new city, I look at the classifieds in local newspapers. Every now and then, there's an Alpine for sale, usually listed in a category such as "Sports & Imports," or "Antiques & Classics" or "Special Interest Cars." Also, most areas in North America have an "Auto Trader" type magazine, which is always fun to look at even if you have no intention of buying anything.

4) Local British car repair shops

These might be a possible source - the mechanic might have a customer who would be willing to sell. And this way you can get some inside information about the condition of the car.

5) British car clubs

Almost every club, from the international to the local level, publishes a newsletter or magazine. These usually have a classified ad page. Plus, when looking for an old car of any kind, particularly a model you are unfamiliar with, it is always a good idea to join at least one local and one national club. In addition to finding cars for sale, the comraderie and information available are invaluable.

II. What to look for in a used Alpine

Darryl Coppenhaver ( downloaded this guide for us from Classic and Sportscar, May 1993. I will reprint it here in its entirety, and then add some of my own comments at the end of the section. I agreed to write this, but I do not consider myself an expert, just an enthusiast! So any additions or comments by fellow readers are heartily encouraged.

This first section here lists some technical data on Alpines. The first thing to do when buying an Alpine is make sure that the year and model car that is advertised is the car the seller actually has!

a) From Classic and Sportscar, May 1993

Series I
Oct 1959 to Oct 1960

Four-cylinder 1494cc engine, 78bhp, twin Zenith carbs. Large tail fins, optional aluminium hardtop. Top speed (o/d), 101 mph; 0-60mph, 14.0sec (Autocar figures). Series I has rarity appeal but later models better. Production: 11,904.

Series II
Oct 1960 to Feb 1963

Engine increased to 1592cc, 80bhp. Chrome side window guide on doors, driving position and hood better. Most common of the finned Alpines. Production: 19,956.

Series III
Mar 1963 to Jan 1964

Better Microcell seats, new steering wheel, less raked windscreen, fixed quarterlights. GT has hardtop, no hood, veneered dash. Twin side fuel tanks, filler cap higher. Single Solex carb on later models. Production: 5863.

Series IV
Jan 1964 to Sep 1965

Lower fins, grille now single chrome bar. Later models have squared-off door and bonnet corners, panel joints unleaded. All-synchro gearbox arrived mid-way through production. Gutless GT auto trans worst of breed. Production: 12,406.

Series V Sep 1965 to Jan 1968

Increase to 1724cc, 92.5bhp, five main bearings, twin Strombergs. Neg earth electrics, alternator. Identified externally by lack of lettering on nose. Extra power and refinement makes this best of all, but cost-cutting measures reduced build quality. Top speed (o/d), 100mph; 0-60mph, 13.6sec (Autocar figures). Production: 19,122.

The Sunbeam Alpine is one of those cars for which a renaissance of interest has always been just around the corner. But the fact that this corner is still a good way down the street -- and probably always will be -- makes these cars exceptional value. Around $8000 will buy a good example of a model which always lags at two-thirds the cost of comparable MGBs.

We all know the thumbnail judgements which hold the Alpine back: girl's car, too soft and comfortable to be much fun, looks a bit too pretty, modest acceleration. Make up your own minds about all that; the model has plenty of virtues, as any life-long Alpine enthusiast will confirm. The band of Alpine followers may not be very large, but it's remarkably loyal.

The most striking thing about these cars is how many of them survive in everyday use, often with their original owners, sometimes with people who use them for daily commuting journeys. They are cheaper to maintain than most modern cars, simple to understand, and mechanically very durable. They are sufficiently comfortable and refined to serve happily as regular transport, although overdrive is an essential option for motorway use. As useable classics for the not-so-wellheeled, Sunbeam Alpines are even more appealing than MGBs -- and far rarer.

Although an Alpine's elaborate structure makes a rusty one complicated to restore, these are strong, over-engineered cars, wellmade by mass-produced standards. With the right preventive attention, a bodyshell will survive for years, its strength helping to induce a feeling of well-being. I recently saw a car which had suffered very light damage after being clouted up the back by a Sierra; the Alpine needed only a new wing whereas the Ford was written-off. It's no coincidence that many people with a motor trade background look beyond the image handicaps and respect the Alpine for its overall integrity.

Which one to go for? The first decision would be whether or not you like fins. Either way, the accepted wisdom is to go for the last model of your preferred body style. The last of the finned versions, the Series III, has practical advantages over its predecessors, notably a larger boot (trunk), better hood (top) and more comfortable reclining seats. But survivors are scarce because this model was only built for 10 months. If you favour the later body style, as the majority do, choose a Series V because its bigger engine has more torque and this last-of-the-line version survives in the largest numbers. By a small margin, a Series V is the Best Buy in this family.

To find out more about Alpine strengths and weaknesses, I consulted three of the LJKs best specialists. On the bodyshell side, Hampshire-based Contract Paint Co, run by John Timms, has built up a formidable reputation for first-class restoration and lustrous paintwork. As for mechanical expertise, there's none better than Berkshire Sunbeam Alpine Centre's John Hayter, who has been specialising in these cars for nearly 20 years. And Wyatt Jamie of the UK's other big operation, Alpine West Midlands Ltd, filled in the gaps about interior and exterior trim. The Sunbeam Alpine Owners' Club's Bill Barwell supplied additional information.

That familiar rule of thumb when buying a steel-bodied classic -- is the body beautiful? -- is doubly important with Alpines. If neglected, these cars can suffer such extensive rust that it's almost a case of checking out the bodyshell and forgetting the rest. The mechanicals are simple and remarkably inexpensive to rebuild, but the cost of professional restoration of a decaying Alpine's structure - around $9500 for metalwork and painting - can exceed the value of the finished car.

It makes best financial sense to buy a restored car or a sound original one, but bear in mind that it's easy to be taken in by cosmetic botch-up jobs. When I visited John Timms, his workshop contained a Tiger (structurally identical to an Alpine) which had been imported from the USA by its owner in the belief that it was largely rust-free. It looked good superficially, but John recognised a few signs of bodged disguise which an untrained eye would have missed. On the half of the car that he had stripped away, all the typical areas of rust attack became visible behind crude layers of pop-riveted steel and glass-fibre. Even John admits that he can't always assess a car's condition until he starts pulling it apart.

Unless you can see photographs and invoices to prove the quality of restoration work, treat every car with suspicion because there aren't that many good Alpines about. Remember that visible rust is only part of the story, for it's the corrosion festering away out of sight which swallows much of the restoration cost and compromises the car's structural integrity. You need to be assessing repair standards as well as corrosion, for it's a rare Alpine that hasn't received some cheap remedial work in the past.

Much of an Alpine's strength is provided by the sills, each of which has three panels forming a double box section. Deterioration always starts at the forward end, where water gets into the sill -- whose centre and inner panels run the length of the wheelbase through a gap between the front wing and the inner wheelarch. The caulk seal which originally closed this aperture will probably have become brittle and dropped out long ago, while panel corrosion in the front wheelarch will open up the opportunities for water to penetrate. Before long, rust will be eating away throughout the length of the sills.

The true extent of corrosion will only be evident when the outer sills and the bases of the front and rear wings are cut away. John Tinuns says that this work is routine on aging Alpines, and typically costs about $750 per side to rectify and repaint. On a restored car, workmanship should be assessed because panel quality varies. Although the sill line should be slightly curved to match the door profile, cheap outer sills are straight and never look quite right.

Since sill rust works from the inside out, any bubbling along the sills or at the botton rear of the front wing is a definite sign that sill replacement is necessary -- but a clean appearance is certainly no guarantee of soundness. Checking with a magnet in the traditional way for filled repairs is useful, but weakened sills may also reveal themselves through structural sloppiness when you drive a car. Made from heavy gauge steel, the inner sills contribute so much of an Alpine's beam strength that corrosion in them causes the door gaps to close up, so that the top rear of a door touches the rear wing. Beware the vendor who tells you that his car's sills have been replaced and this movement is due to slack hinges -- it would be probable that only the outer sills are new and rotten inner sills are causing the flexing.

As another clue, it's worth jacking up the car front and rear, looking for movement in the door gaps as you do so. Ask the owner's permission before you do this, for the bodyshell could creak and show an alarming tendency to bend in the middle -- and that's a pretty obvious signal that you should look for your ideal car elsewhere.

Sill corrosion also migrates into the cabin floor, so lift up the rubber mats or carpets to see whether the steel is starting to break away where it meets the sills. Since the trouble starts from the front, check the outer edges of the footwells with special care -- the area around the accelerator pedal is often particularly crusty. The rigidity of the handbrake, mounted outboard of the driver's seat, also provides clues about the state of the floor, while in an extreme case the seats themselves may be starting to rock on crumbling metal.

While groping around inside the car, a common cause of MoT failure should be investigated. Behind the seats on each side is a 45-degree panel where the front hangers for the rear leaf springs attach. Again, this point is close to the sills, so decayed spring hangers are unlikely to be the end of the story -- there will almost certainly be extensive corrosion in the surrounding area of the rear wing and inner wheelarch. It's also worth checking the security of seat belt anchorages.

Having studied an Alpine's flanks in detail, go to the back of the car. The bottoms of the rear wings are often rusty, and rectified by half-wing repair panels costing around $200 each. From Series III cars onwards, a pair of fuel tanks in the wings replaced the single central tank of the earlier cars, and this later arrangement tends to be accompanied by more rust. Poor repairs can often be spotted because the drain hole in the base of the wing has been omitted, building in problems for the future.

Again, the strength of an Alpine's construction adds to restoration work, for the rear wings are complicated boxed-in structures. On a poor car, the inner wing will also have rotted at the top of the wheelarch, along a vertical stepped area which you can feel with your fingers.

Within the boot, the first areas to corrode are the vertical faces of the two 'chassis' rails on either side, near where the rear spring shackles are sited. The open ends of these rails form the jacking points at the back of the car, so the steel can give way when a jack is used. It's also worth examining the entire boot floor, but soundness in the rails is the important thing from the point of view of structural solidity.

Rust around the headlamps is often the worst eyesore at the front, but more severe problems arise at the back of the engine compartment. The vertical sides of the engine bay usually rust at the rear corners, the corrosion eating into the channels on which the bonnet sits. The bonnet itself however, never seems to rot.

A line of rusty dimples at sub-surface spot welds along the top of the scuttle might look fairly innocuous, but dealing with this syrnptom is expensive. It only occurs on the most recent cars, from late Series V, because the scuttle's structure changed. The vulnerable type is recognised by exposed seams on the scuttle and square corners for the bonnet. Rectification can cost more than $800, since a new scuttle panel costs $280 and the job is labour-intensive, requiring removal of the windscreen.

Doors eventually rust along the bottom where the sealing rubber fits, but repairs can be effected with new skins. Poor work can often be spotted because the profile of the base of the door looks different, without a channel and missing its rubber. Rust can also break out along the inside front edge of the doors, on the painted section just forward of the interior trim.

The GT hardtop version, available from Series III onwards, is less desirable because it lacks a hood (soft-top), and the hardtop has its own rust problems. Although the optional aluminium hardtop of the Series I/II survives well, the GT's steel type corrodes at the base of the rear pillars. The complexity of the structure means that repair costs around $900, and crazed perspex windows often have to be replaced as well. Any GT with a hood conversion (added convertable top) is best avoided because the workmanship is often poor -- a converted GT should reveal itself by a GT suffix on the chassis plate.

The final vulnerable area is beneath the cabin, where a massive cruciform structure provides additional strength. Severe corrosion is unusual, but the four ends of the cruciform can become affected by rust in the neighbouring sill and floor areas -- but by this stage you will probably have uncovered plenty of more serious horrors.

In contrast to the situation 10 years ago, all bodyshell problems can be overcome with off-the-shelf remanufactured panels which are surprisingly inexpensive. No-one could complain about $55-90 for a door skin or $40-55 for an outer sill- but steel gauge and accuracy of shape do vary.

Labour accounts for much of the cost, but John Timms' ballpark all-in figure of $9000 is actually very modest considering the extent of work involved. Specialists in more valuable cars often charge double this for a job of similar complexity, but would be pushed to match John's concours-winning standards of painting and finish.

Although none of the three engines -- 1494cc, 1592cc or 1724cc -- endows ball-of-fire performance, these are simple units with the virtues of being easy to maintain, cheap to rebuild and free of any significant parts worries. For those used to sports cars of more exotic specification, John Hayter's Berkshire Sunbeam Alpine Centre offers exchange engines remarkably cheaply. A reconditioned short engine costs $600 and a standard cylinder head is $210 -- just $810 for an as-new engine can't be bad. That said, there are two problem areas, both associated with lack of antifreeze. Hayter says that it's becoming increasingly difficult to find decent blocks to recondition, since many have to be scrapped because they have suffered cracking along a fault line in the water jacket adjacent to the dynamo bracket. Caused by water having frozen at some point, a crack may be so slender that an owner is unaware of it and a buyer couldn't detect it, but reuse of the block come rebuild time would be precluded because weld repairs will never be truly water-tight. In a more severe case, an appetite for water and stains down the side of the block would reveal the problem. A DIY mechanic would have to find a substitute block, perhaps from another contemporary Rootes model; someone wanting a reconditioned exchange engine would have to pay a surcharge for another block.

The aluminium cylinder head suffers from electrolytic reaction in the waterways when the cooling system has been starved of corrosion-inhibiting antifreeze. Provided corrosion is not too severe, the damaged areas can be argon-arc welded as part of the reconditioning procedure, but some heads are found to be beyond reasonable repair when they are removed. Look for signs of overheating when buying a car, for head corrosion eventually compromises the head gasket.

Clues to engine health are otherwise just a matter of working through the usual routine of checking oil, water and exhaust colour. But remember that lack of performance is part of the nature of the beast! The five-bearing 1725cc engine is probably the most durable, for the earlier three-bearing units are more likely to suffer low oil pressure through wear in the bearings and/or the oil pump. OIl pressure should be a minimum of 25psi at idle when hot, but 30psi is ideal.

Some pointers to past maintenance would be a bonus for a prospective Alpine buyer, but so many cars have passed through impecunious or unsympathetic hands that a complete service record is rare. Bear in mind also that a hard driver, perhaps frustrated by his Alpine's relative lack of performance, can dramatically shorten engine life, particularly on three-bearing units. Hayter says that engines can become tired within as little as 25,000 miles if thrashed, but equally there are gentler owners whose original engines have exceeded 100,000 miles without attention.

Although there have been a few parts problems in the past, Hayter has led the way in solving them. A reconditioned short engine involves a rebore with new pistons, a reground crankshaft with new bearings and thrust washers, camshaft bearing replacement as necessary, plus new cam followers, oil pump, timing chain and tensioner. Cylinder head rejuvenation includes welding, skimming, new guides if necessary, and new valves and springs as a matter of course.

Three carburettor arrangements are found on Alpines: twin Zeniths on the early cars, a single twin-choke Solex on late Series IIIs and Series IVs, and twin Strombergs on the Series V. Leaking spindles on the Solex and Stromberg types are relatively simple to deal with, but wear around the spindles on Zeniths often becomes so bad that many earlier cars have received a Solex substitute.

Anyone dedicated to originality could have Zenith bodies rebushed, but this would be more expensive.

The most important consideration on the transmission side is that overdrive, optional throughout production, is preferable because cruising is so much more relaxed. While no Alpine is a sprinter, an overdrive car can at least hold its own on a motorway without revving its heart out.

Overdrive was fitted to around half of Alpine production, but more cars have subsequently been converted. At the other end of the performance scale, automatic transmission, an option only on Series IV models, should be avoided unless you specifically want one.

Late Series IV and all Series V models have a definite edge in driveability because they gained an all-synchromesh gearbox which is reasonably modern in feel. By contrast, the earlier 'box, without synchromesh on its straight-cut ftrst and reverse gears, has an agricultural action and is noisy in these gears. Earty 'boxes can tend to jump out of third and top gears when they become tired, while sudden loss of oil is an occasional problem when the bolts securing the overdrive unit to the gearbox casing work loose or shear. Depending upon specification, reconditioned'boxes cost $160-195 on an exchange basis, but Hayter can also offer the DIY man a $90 rebuild kit comprising front and rear bearings, layshaft, synchro rings, seals, detent springs and gaskets. There are a few parts difficulties nowadays, but none is insurmountable. The unavailability of first and reverse gears for the earty 'box, for example, means that some whine from worn ratios is inevitable, while a tendency for the tailshaft on an overdrive 'box to twist with undue strain has led to a shortage.

Owing to the scarcity of overdrive gearboxes for conversions, many people imagine that the mechanically similar Hillman Hunter can be a donor. The Hunter, however, has a longer front shaft and a different bellhousing, making substitution pointless.

Two types of semi-trailing wishbone front suspension are found on Alpines, both using pressed steel wishbone 'pans'. Apart from telescopic dampers replacing lever arms at the start of Series III production, the leaf spring live axle rear suspension remained unaltered throughout. The earlier front suspension system, fitted until the end of Series III production, uses a lower trunnion/kingpin assembly which requires regular greasing of the threads to preserve taut handling characteristics. This maintenance is often neglected, so the typical well-used car develops severe wear or seizure in the king-pin assembly, as well as wear in fulcrum bars and bushes. There are no parts problems because reconditioned trunnion/kingpin assemblies are available for $75 each, and wishbone pans and top ball joints can be replaced. Replacement is often prompted by the annual MoT, for front suspension problems are a common cause of failure.

The Series IV/V type of front suspension features Metalastik bushes, introduced to remove the need for old-fashioned suspension maintenance. Extra durability was achieved at the expense of some handling crispness, but the rubber in these bushes does eventually deteriorate because of contamination with oil leaking from the engine.

Steering boxes are prone to wear and leakage, while the idler assembly can seize or develop play. Neither presents a problem because reconditioned units are available, although a steering box is time-consuming to fit. One steering peculiarity is that there are two track rod ends on each side, one with a left-hand thread and the other with a right-hand one.

The front disc brakes fitted to all Alpines suffer no parts problems, for reconditioned calipers, seal kits, pistons and discs (only refaced ones for Series I/II) are all available. The self-adjusting rear drum brake introduced for the Series V proved to be not as trouble-free as the manually-adjusted type on the earlier cars, so the very last Series V cars reverted to the older variety. Brake servo failure used to cause difficulties, but reconditioned servos and repair kits are now available from John Hayter, while former club chairman Paul Norton can also offer a repair service.

Although almost all interior trim items are available in remanufactured form, with Alpine West Midlands Ltd being the leading supplier, a careful assessment of condition is worthwhile because so many cars look decidedly shabby. Apart from normal wear and tear, about all the trim, dashboard, instrument and seat variations in order to judge an interior's originality.

For the few areas where replacement trim is unavailable, a little DIY ingenuity or professional trimming assistance can produce authentic substitutes. There are three main problem areas to be aware of. First, neither frames nor foam adding are available for the no-reclining Series I/II seats, although the superior reclining Microcell seats of later cars can be completely rejuvenated. Second, the plastic coating below the dashboard becomes brittle with age and tends to crack, and lack of replacements means that restoration involves trying to replicate the appearance by hand.

Third, damage to the Series I/II type of black sprung steering wheel and horn ring would be a problem because spares are very scarce.

As far as the interior is concerned, the ideal buy is the one-lady-owner-from-new Alpine boasting trim which has always been treated carefully. One problem for originality freaks is that most convertibles have long since had their original rubber floor coverings replaced by carpets -- but GT models were fitted with carpets from new. Remanufactured trim items are not always exactly similar to the originals, but prices are very reasonable. A few examples from Alpine West Midlands Ltd are seat covers at $60 each, a full carpet set for $135, door trims at $60 a pair and dashboard top rolls for $140.

Be guided above all by the state of bodywork and you shouldn't go far wrong when buying an Alpine. But remember that out of sight must not be out of mind. Superficial rust in the important places hints at severe inner decay, while some of the most expensive symptoms really can become invisible if they've been unscrupulously concealed. Do your homework and have a candidate for purchase checked by an expert.

b) Inspecting the car

Most of the procedures for buying a used car in general should be considered, but here I'll just list a few things that are specific to Alpines.

I'd like to reiterate one thing that the article above said: if you're buying a restored vehicle, make sure you get to look at the receipts from the restoration, and talk to the people who did the work. I bought a restored Porsche once that turned out to be a nightmare of trouble because none of the work was done properly.

For some reason, Alpines seem to attract a disproportionate amount of "duct tape and bailing wire" type repairs. This could be because of the relative difficulty of finding replacement parts, or because most professional mechanics lack experience with the Alpine. As a general rule, I try to avoid such "jury-rigged" cars, and it seems as though roughly half the ones I've encountered have experienced this type of indignity. I would avoid them on the general principle that if someone cared about the car, they would try to repair it properly. If the stuff you can see looks half-baked, just imagine what the repairs you can't see might look like.

Often this imaginative repairing is evident in the carburetor linkages or the electrical system. Although Lucas electrics are terrible, I would be skeptical of a car that doesn't have the original electrics unless the owner can tell you the details of how and why the electrical system has been modified.

This said, some repairs are difficult to do without some modification. The heater control valve on my Series V is from a Honda Civic and (gasp) I had to wrap duct tape around the engine compartment strut to mount the darn thing. The new Lockheed brake vacuum booster units mount differently than the original, so mine is now bolted to the engine compartment instead of hanging off the strut. What can I say? Some of this is virtually unavoidable. But I have seen cars that were unrecognizable under the hood, and this is to be avoided, I would think, at least to the purist.

I suggest performing the following inspection before driving:

1) Rust
As the article above says, rust is a real deal-breaker. Don't forget to check where the windshield meets the frame, and the door jambs.

2) How much oil is in the crankcase?
A conscientous owner will make sure the oil level is full. If the oil is more than a quart down, assume that the owner runs the car this way. Figure that you are going to have to deal with all kinds of engine wear down the line (perhaps sooner than later).

3) How original does the engine look?
Are there funny wires all over the place? Check to make sure that engine components are solidly fastened and not loose! (Is the alternator/generator mounted securely or does it travel and shimmy? Does the carb linkage have play?)

4) General cleanliness
Every Alpine I've ever seen leaks some oil (British engineering), but there shouldn't be thick masses of oil all over everything. Check the top and underneath sides of the engine and just note where the leaks are. A leak is a few drops here and there. If oil is actually drip-drip-dripping, it could mean a warped part, not just the need for a new gasket.

5) Condition of fluids
Check the oil to make sure there's no water in it, and check the water to make sure there's no oil in it.

6) Check the tops
Put the convertible top up and down and note how well it seals. If the car has a removable hard-top, try mounting that too. Don't assume that they will seal, and if they don't, it could sometimes indicate a bent frame or that the car has been in an accident.

By the way, the truth is that most parts are readily available. Tiger Tom Erhart ( The oil pressure should fall no lower than 20-25 psi at idle (and that on a hot day) and should be around 40 psi above 2,500 rpm. The car should not heat up much above 85 degrees C. If it does, it could be something as simple as a bad thermostat ($3.95) of course, but it could also indicate bad valves, a bad water pump, or a bad radiator.

Try running all the accessories at once - heater blower, wipers, cigarette lighter, lights - just to see how the electrics hold up.

All the other things that apply to buying a used car apply here, too. The gears shouldn't clatter or grind, the wheels and tires shouldn't shimmy, etc. I can't think of anything else Alpine-specific. There is a comprehensive used-car buyer's checklist available on the SOL web page.

d) Mechanical inspection

As with any other car, I'd have a mechanic inspect the car before making a final decision, to check the compression ratio, condition of the transmission, steering, etc.

III. How Much to Pay for an Alpine

Hemmings Motor News (see Section I, Part 2 above) publishes a price guide to antique cars called "The Gold Book." It works just like a Kelley Blue Book, except that it is for older cars. This is a reasonable place to get a ballpark figure. But since Alpines vary so much in condition, it is difficult to find the answer in a book.

For the USA, my sense is that a good condition, "unrestored" running Alpine, with no apparent mechanical or cosmetic problems should fetch between $2500 and $5500. Completely restored Alpines might go from $5,000 to $10,000. I've seen a few advertised for $12,000 but I think this is pushing it. These prices represent quite a range. Like all other cars, the price depends a great deal on what part of the country you're in, how badly you want the car, and how badly the owner wants to sell it.

I think these prices are probably fair for each of the years and different Series, but I'm really just guessing here, and would welcome any feedback from fellow netters!

My first Alpine (a 1967 Series V) had 150,000 miles on it when I got it (original engine) and I put another 150,000 after a valve job. If they're taken care of, these things last a long time. My current Alpine (1966 Series V) had 40,000 original miles on it when I bought it and is holding up great. I paid $600 for the 1967 in 1978. I paid $5,000 for the 1966 last summer (1994).

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