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2021 Club Calendar Monthly Car Articles

Discussion in 'General SAOCA Discussions' started by 65sunbeam, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Slainte

    Slainte Gold Level Sponsor

    I need to end April with a confession: A few of the elements of my calendar photo may have been … adjusted a little, and I may have relaxed a fact or two in my April 1st story. Before my moment in the spotlight is over, I’d like to set things straight:

    As of Saturday, February 5th, 2022, my raggedy ’67 Alpine and I will have spent fifty years trying not to kill each other. My parents - some of the best - saw high school graduation as a chance to provide their geeky son some street cred. Good money after bad, I’m afraid. The car’s first owner had purchased it for his wife as a Valentine’s Day gift, and it had almost no miles on it. The soft top had been up once, and the tonneau was still sealed in its original bag. Not bad for $750. The day after I got my hands on it, a couple of local cops complimented me on how well I’d maintained the car. I took the compliment, but dodged the citation.

    I did the things we’ve all done, but wished we hadn’t, yet secretly smiled about later. I raced. I packed in six friends and ditched class for a quick trip to McDonald’s. I hit deer. I made questionable mechanical decisions. I came to know the local police by name. (Pulled over twenty-seven times before my first ticket, and that was in a VW.) I treated the car like a Jeep, and it responded by not stranding me for my stupidity. My dad and I drove it from southern California to Vancouver, BC, arriving in Everett, Washington with a piece of firewood wedged between the alternator and the block because the bracket had broken. Again. The car introduced me to a few sketchy friends, and it made me appear interesting enough to catch the attention of my criminally amazing wife-to-be. Turns out, it’s way more fun getting into trouble with a hot brunette sitting next to you. Anyway, I used the Alpine with abandon, and when the Unpayable Bill finally arrived, I covered the car, gave it a pat, and moved on.

    The Alpine dozed in a series of garages as we finished college, started teaching, had kids, and moved to the mountains of northern California. Somewhere along the way, I ran into Jose Rodriguez - V6_Jose to most of this community. Together, we nuanced the Alpine, which resulted in, by my standards, a mildly terrifying little car. (It should be noted that “together” means I found the parts, and Jose did all the work.) I am not a mechanic. I teach English, so I am humble when discussing cars, but I choose my words carefully. The Alpine is bitchin’. Just … bitchin’.

    Today, I live at the foot of a volcano, and my next door neighbor is a national park. Every road within a hundred miles was made for this car. It’s the perfect vehicle, in the perfect place, at the (almost) perfect time. The Alpine is written into every chapter of my life. But I imagine many of you understand. Thanks for reading. Canadian Border 7-75.jpg HS Grad Party 6-74.jpg Day One w Sunbeam 2-5-72.jpg
  2. belmateo

    belmateo Gold Level Sponsor

    Wow, some wonderful stories here that I can not match. You guys are AMAZING!
    May already and my car was picked for this month, so here goes.
    I have always loved the Alpines/Tigers since they were first introduced and I wanted to buy a Tiger. At that time everyone I talked to about the Tigers complained of the horrible steering and sudden unpredictable oversteer. Too bad Rootes group threw out the Ackermen angle. Because of all those stories I didn't buy a Tiger in the 1970's when you could actually buy one. Regardless of that, the Alpine styling is always in my heart. Fast forward many Mopars and Porches, drag racing, autocross, time trial and road racing. While browsing Craigslist™ there was a beautiful British racing green virgin 1967 Alpine not too far from me. Sunbeam 1967.jpg
    I purchased this car from a Doctor just north of me. It came with a factory hardtop, softop, tonneau cover and extra spare parts. She even came with 5 minilite wheels! Now I can start looking for a wrecked Honda S2000 with a plan to transplant the engine and trans into the Sunbeam. Again back to Craigslist™ and found one near SFO. Sunbeam 1967.jpg S2000 Motor 9000 RPM.jpg
    Brought it home and started to take it all apart with the intention of moving all the drivetrain, suspension, steering etc to the Alpine. Sunbeam 1967.jpg S2000 Motor 9000 RPM.jpg CAM00010.jpg Sunbeam 1967.jpg S2000 Motor 9000 RPM.jpg CAM00010.jpg
    After taking the entire car apart short of removing the engine and transmission I continued to do more research. In my mind I was going to have and Alpine with a high revving 9K redline motor, 6 speed transmission, Electric Power steering, ABS, Fuel injection, Four wheel disc brakes. That is where it ended, forget the fact that the Honda has a more rigid chassis than most coupes. I would be forfeting power door locks, remote trunk opener, electric windows, A/C , 50/50 weight distribution.
    Well as you might have guessed by now the plan changed to put the S2000 back together piece by piece and fit a Sunbeam body onto it! Rest assured there was no way I was going to cut up this Alpine, so I put it on the market and it went to very good home.
    Searching Craigslist™ one more time and I found a front clip with motor and transmission. After contacting the seller, they would not part with just the sheetmetal. I was told that for $100 I could have the whole thing, went there in a flash and now had front sheet metal!
    I am very happy now that the front is starting to look like an Alpine. After some more searching I was able to score a rear clip from a guy that had a bunch of Sunbeams. From him I got the rear clip, a pair of taillights, and bumpers.
    Got the rear quarter panels grafted on the car, but this step required the back half of the car to be cut off and make everything up. Lots of sheet metal was purchased for this build as things got done sometimes two and three times to get it right. The project is really taking shape now, there was just one more thing on my list that needed to be addressed.
    On a trip to Croatia we rented a Peugeot with a retractable hardtop it gave me the idea to put this on.
    The rectractable hardtop, first attempt was a power roof from a Mercedes. Got the roof to line up, seal at the windshield and fit the body and all the plumbing (Hydralic system) and wiring. Now I needed windows to fit the top, that is where the brakes were hit on this project. Lost a year waiting for windows that were never made for me, now had to regroup and find another way to get a power top. As I was looking at cars that had a power top, which there are many. It seemed to me that the Mita MX-5 NC series Power Rectractable Hard Top 2007-2015 had a very similar door window as the Honda. I wasted no time going to Sacramento and picking up the top with motors. Now comes the fun part of modifiying the car again to accept the PRHT, so I ordered a new windshield support from a Mazda dealer and proceeded to get that installed after removing all that was done for the other top. When it was time to test fit everyting, the windows were so close but not right. Purchased some door windows on Fleabay, made some adapters and finally it is coming together. Needless to say the Mercedes required quite a bit of sheet metal to be cut away to allow the roof to be stowed in the trunk, it was time to find another rear clip. We planned on attending a nephews graduation from Southern California, for the hell of it I searched Craigslist™ in that area and damn it if I didn't find a rear clip!
    Scored that and put the car rear back together again. At this point all is good, but the car still looked rough. Since that time a bit of work was done redoing the front end and blending the quarter panels as well as building an entirely new trunk lid form an Alpine boot and a Miata cover. I want to thank all of you on here, because I really could not have done it without your knowledge and expertise. What follows now is final sheet metal touch up, primer and paint. Sunbeam 1967.jpg S2000 Motor 9000 RPM.jpg CAM00010.jpg Mendocino Resized.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
    Aladin Sane and Slainte like this.
  3. Slainte

    Slainte Gold Level Sponsor

    I helped Greggers prepare the photos for this calendar, and I spent a lot of time staring at your car, trying to sort the Alpine from the mystery. Your article answered my questions, so thank you! I'll bet you get a lot of double-takes as you cruise along!
  4. Silver Creek Sunbeam

    Silver Creek Sunbeam Platinum Level Sponsor

    Well...June snuck up on me. With two kids graduating college in May, my brain has been caught up in a whirlwind. Lol

    Anyway, I'm the owner of the Series V pictured for the month of June. I'm relatively new to Sunbeam ownership (I will mark two years having the car next week) but I have been around them since I was a young teenager, when my dad purchased his first Tiger. He has gone on to own another Tiger and a Series V, both of which he owns today.

    My car came from a close family friend, cousin by marriage, who being my dad's best friend wanted to be involved in things that my dad was involved in, so he bought an Alpine. His was more for social purposes than flat out 'car guy' purposes,so it was a bit of a passing fancy, but am I glad he bought it because he actually gifted me the car in 2019.

    So about the car itself...

    As you can see it is a Series V Alpine [B395012246 LRX with matching engine number and chassis #SAL 610990].
    It was produced the third week of November 1966 and the original color was Polar White.

    When the previous owner purchased it in the very early 90s, it had just been mechanically restored. My dad drove the car home for him sitting on an MG seat bolted to the Sunbeam frame. The driver seat was the only one in the car. When he got it, he did a cosmetic restoration but not frame off. It was painted and he re-did the interior and installed some type of Chrysler seats out of an 80s vehicle.

    When I got the car in 2019, it hadn't been driven since the very early 2000s, so there was much to be done. The engine was great because the previous owner had put probably less than 3000 miles on the rebuild but had to be addressed in the normal ways for a car that had been sitting for so long. Of course hydraulics had to be overhauled as well. With the help of my dad, my neighborhood Sunbeam expert, and 'a little help from my friends' it was made road worthy within a couple of weeks.

    Since that time, I have made a few changes in the car. I am a purist at heart when it comes to originality but there were two things that I took into consideration with the car. First of all was the fact that it is not destined for the Concourse. It is a survivor and I am completely okay with that. Secondly, in my opinion there are things that are available now that had they been available when the car was new, they would have put them on it anyway. My view of the car was the same as my view of my 1977 Nova....my first car...I was in love with it and wanted to make it 'mine', while keeping it's 60s heritage in tact. To that point, I've made the following changes (I'd like to call them improvements.

    As far as under the bonnet...not much has been changed mechanically other than installing a Pertronix ignition system and I ressurected the heater valve hookup (a cable taped to a support when I got it) with one of the newly produced heater valves from Alpine Innovations, after trying an orignal and a repro of the original that lasted until about the time I cranked the car. Cosmetically under the bonnet; unfortunately the engine compartment wasn't painted when the car was, so that is my 'elephant in the room'. I did do what I could, installing a polished valve cover and painting parts that I had to remove as I worked on them.

    The wheels/tires were the first order once the car was running. The tires had been on the car since the early 90s and it hadn't rolled since the early 2000s, so.....
    I stayed with 13', which are not in plentiful manufacturer now, unless you are putting them on a trailer. I found and have been happy with Kumho Solus TA11 185 70R 13.
    The wheels are Chip Foose 'one offs'...okay, I made that up but they are 'one offs' of a sort. To make a long story short, it had Superior wheels from the 80s that had drop in wire baskets and spinners that would reach out and grab you off of the sidewalk. I tossed the baskets and the spinners, polished the tubs, found center pieces that would fit and found die cut adhesive badges in the UK to place on them. They are far from what you normally see on a Sunbeam but it never fails that when I am at a show or when I post a pic on social media, the first comments and/or questions are about the wheels.

    My next couple of projects came out of what I considered necessity. The first came about after I drove the car for the first time in the dark. I might as well have been holding a flashlight above the windshield because it would have thrown out more light than the headlights. I live in a rural area, as in stretches with no street lighting, so I literally got out of the car, walked into the house and ordered Joe Parlanti's lighting all around...LED for me!

    The next project came out of one too many times of something blowing a fuse and killing the car, leaving me on the side of the road changing out fuses and figuring out what to unplug and what to leave plugged in to allow the car to run without blowing the fuse again. The owner prior to the person I got the car from had done some spaghetti splicing, so it wasn't as simple as tracing a wiring diagram. That and the fact that I saw no practical benefit to running a car off of two fuses...and most of the circuits off of only one...led me to order Pete's wiring harness from Steve Shuttleton. That was one of the best things I have done because not only did I bring in the security of the new wiring harness, I became fast friends Steve and he had been a great resource as well.

    With the installation of the wiring harness came stripping the interior. I wanted original seats, new carpeting and to redo my dash, so I figured I'd do it all at the same time. The seats are a horror story of their own (if you've had to disassemble them to rebuild them, you know what I'm talking about) but the undertaking became a COVID project, as my business was very much affected and slowed down for a while. I got seat covers, a console cover, material to do the bottom crash bar, material to do the dash and a soft top boot cover from Martha Christiansen (Wheat) and I was off. I matched the dash to the seats, which are both two-tone now, so it gave a little different look. With Steve's help over the www, the harness installation, although overwhelming a bit at the onset, went well.

    This left bringing the paint back to life which I did with the help of Griot's Garage system of polish and wax.

    Other than that, due to the events of another sad story, the front suspension/steering has been almost completely rebuilt and there are a few other odds and ends...AMCO Sunbeam shift knob comes to mind...but I'm pretty happy with what I have.

    My future plan is to hopefully install Dan Richardson's brake kit.

    I've spent tens if not hundreds of hours on the car, getting out of my comfort zone, making new acquaintances here and elswhere, and making the weekly episode from the Sunbeam Alpine Channel on YouTube my new favorite TV show. All the while, it's given me another thing to be involved in with my dad, another outlet for escape, and a cool little car the turns heads and leads to pleasant conversations.

    Yep...I'm pretty happy with my little survivor Sunbeam Alpine and thank all of you for help you have provided and continue to provide along the way.

    On a final note: I'd love to have information on the car ownership and history before the man who had it before me.
    He doesn't remember who he got it from but it was in the Atlanta metro area and I believe Cobb county.

    Attached Files:

  5. SierraNev

    SierraNev Platinum Level Sponsor

    Forgive my interruption,

    Are these calendars still available?

  6. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Platinum Level Sponsor

    Hi Emmett
    I am the calendar guy.
    You recently joined up at the Platinum level-I have been away for a few weeks and will send you your packet soon-which has this years calendar in it. I have a few other members packets to mail out too!
    Thanks for supporting our club. And we need good photos of Sunbeams to put together next year's calendar too
    thank you
    belmateo likes this.
  7. belmateo

    belmateo Gold Level Sponsor

    What happened to July car article?
  8. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    It was posted a while back in this thread. Go back up to the top and read down, it's up there.
  9. Toyanvil

    Toyanvil Gold Level Sponsor

    I am up, sorry so late.
    I am honored my car was entered and glad to see it made August, since my car was the last car to leave the assembly line on Friday, Aug 18, 1961 making it 60 years old next week.

    Just for fun I looked up facts from that date:

    John F. Kennedy was President of the United States
    Gas was $.29 a gallon
    First class stamp was $.04
    Gallon of milk was $.49
    A new home was $17,200

    The biggest thing that caught my eye was, the week my car was built East Germany replaced the barbed wire with a concrete wall. Glad to see that was torn down in my lifetime.

    My Alpine is the first car I ever bought in 1977, I was 15, and have loved it ever since. As most of you know I have been modifying it ever since. In 1979, I installed Datsun running gear in it and about 6 years ago replaced it with Mazda running gear. This was the best thing I have done to the car. This was my daily driver for most of my life and still enjoy driving it.
    Slainte and puff4 like this.

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