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Pictures from the Heritage Archives

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

It was in the early summer of 1957 that the Rootes Group were considering the addition of a sports car to their range. However production capacity was a major problem and being aware of the Parkside situation they looked to Armstrong Siddeley for assistance.

There had been a long friendship between the directors of the two companies allowing gearbox and engine technologies to be been shared to mutual benefit. On this occasion A.S. were able to offer design and development as well as manufacturing facilities.

A deal was struck for the full co-operation in the manufacturing of the new sports car, which would be built at A.S. Parkside incorporating a large number of components already common to existing Rootes Group cars.

The Sunbeam Alpine Series 1, fitted with the Rootes four cylinder, oversquare,1494cc engine powering through a 4 speed manual gearbox with overdrive option, first came off the assembly lines early in 1959.

The Series II Alpine featured a more powerful 1592cc engine.

This left hand drive Alpine was spotted at the New Year's Day Classic car meet held at the Fairmile, Cobham.

Production of the Series II Alpine switched to the Rootes Plant at Ryton in 1960, by which time 31,800 units had been produced by Armstrong Siddeley.

At Parkside the production lines fell silent, were dismantled and car manufacturing finally ceased.


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