THE SUNBEAM ALPINE
I must concur with your correspondent Mr. Leslie Seyd in his views on the Sunbeam Alpine. I have owned a t,6o0-c.c. model for the past year and my overall impressions have not been very favourable.
My main criticism is of shoddy workmanship. The hinges on boot and engine cover were improperly aligned. The interior was liberally covered with rubber solution, but much of the rubber beading was unattached. The hood stowing mechanism was badly twisted and had to be dismantled from the boot before the flaps could be opened for the first time. The boot itself filled with water and mud from below and caused rusting of the tool kit. Waterproofing was carried out at an additional charge of Lip by the suppliers!
There was continuous shedding of nuts and screws due to .faulty tightening, culminating in breakage of the throttle linkage. Faulty wiring caused four total breakdowns, as well :as periodic failure of lights, indicators, etc. The gearbox was exceedingly stiff from new. After some time a slipped baulking ring eliminated 3rd altogether., My dealer informed me that only the cost of the ring was covered by the warranty and that I would have to foot the heavy labour charges of engine and gearbox removal! (This information, fortunately, was found to be incorrect.)
In fairness it must be recorded that when I wrote to the makers after months of growing irritation, my complaints were promptly and capably dealt with by their local organisation. Since then, the general condition and performance of the car are much improved.
I find steering, road-holding and braking very sound. The engine is underpowered for a car of this type and shows early loss of carburetter tune. I would be very interested to learn of readers’ experiences with conversions. General design criticisms are : The luggage boot is too shallow to be of practical use. The hood lowering and stowing mechanism is straight from Heath Robinson, time consuming, complex and
liable to cause damage to the hood fabric. There is a gap between hood and window. The bonnet release handle i8 placed just in front of the driver’s left knee cap. Even a minor crash is bound to produce serious injury to the joint.
Summing up, it seems a pity that a car of such outstanding appearance; basic .design and general finish should cause at least two of our Correspondents so much irritation, and at that mostly avoidable.
Fallowfield. H. I.. EIREW.