There was nothing new about popping an American V8 into a pert English chassis. After all, that is exactly what Carroll Shelby did with the AC Ace to create the awesome Cobra. When Rootes in Britain decided to do the same with their Sunbeam Alpine, they also commissioned Shelby to produce a prototype; and although Rootes already had close links with Chrysler, the American once again opted for a Ford V8.
The first car to bear the stand-alone Sunbeam name for more than 30 years was the old-fashioned Sunbeam Alpine roadster introduced by the Rootes Group in 1953 to cash in on the postwar British appetite for open-top motoring, but it didn’t last long. The Alpine really came into its own after a complete revamp saw its launch as a new sports car in 1959. This had clean modem lines and would zip through the Swinging Sixties.