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Fins or no Fins

Discussion in 'Modified Alpine' started by jwtdvm, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. jwtdvm

    jwtdvm Donation Time

    I dont want to get any hate mail over this but has anyone here ever grafted Series 4/5 tail lamp housings /quarter extensions onto a early series????
  2. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    I believe a Gent in Atlanta has done something very similar to your question....He is building an Alpine early Series and putting it on a special built frame with a Chevy LS engine that may end up with the SV tail lights.
  3. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Why wouldn't you just get a later series car?
  4. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    Ok, so im going to assume you own an early series alpine already as if you dont and you simply prefer the early style grill, windscreen and side windows/ hardtop you can fit those parts to a siv/ v car... And you get the benifit of the better rear suspension, boot space and interior.

    A good example is this tiger:

    As for your question... Yes seen in done... Also there were a few scca racers in the 60s that got updated by having the tops of the guards rolled down. The proper way would be to source the later guards, unpick the spot welds of the originals and replace.. Then make a new pipe to connect up the fuel filler... Not a small job by any means
  5. volvoguys

    volvoguys Donation Time

    Actually, this is done more often than you may think .

    When I break a car, I always keep a sizable section of the taillamp fins, be they pointed or late production. Tho most requests I fill are for guys with later series wanting pointed fins for their SIV/SV. I occasionally get the latter.

    Mark .…. volvoguys
  6. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    Carl Christianson's series 3 race car had the later series rear quarters. Grafting the late series fender section to an early series requires removing top 3 or 4 inches of the early fender up to about the front of the trunk lid including a cut to remove the tail light area.. You don't need to remove the entire fender. The fender on the big fin cars is not level as on series 4 & 5. It's higher at the rear top of the fin. Never measured it but roughly an inch higher.
  7. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Platinum Level Sponsor

    I called this my Rootes styling department DSC08649.JPG prototype car. To compare big fin with later fin. Was a S4 the previous owner grafted a S3 fin on and never did the other side!
    absunbeam and Mike Armstrong like this.
  8. jwtdvm

    jwtdvm Donation Time

    Thanks for the response--I found an early series cheap and nearby several years ago and just dont really care for the fins--I bought some late quarter/lamp sections on ebay while back---there may not be enough of the sections to do this correctly according to a reply further up the page---you have any late "tops" that you removed to replace with early fins???--Need some early fins???
  9. volvoguys

    volvoguys Donation Time

    Sorry, but I currently only have one side late-production point section. The other side went onto a B9 MKI that kissed a wall during a race earlier this year in New York.
    Mark .…. volvoguys
  10. Jay Laifman

    Jay Laifman Donation Time

    Before you chop them off, I thought I’d convey how I went from flat-finnean to a pointy-finnean. With my SV, I always thought the flat fins were best until I ended up with a Series 3. Now I'm a pointy fin diehard. As I've written before, the original design of the car by Kenneth Howes was for the car to sweep up to the tip of the fin. "From the very beginning this was a car whose theme included a relatively low front end, with headlamps in the corners, and with a waist line which rose relentlessly towards the rear where it ended with a pair of fins." (Robson) The flat fin completely loses that flow.

    Also, I think it greatly depends on the condition and color of the car and the angle the car sits at. For the longest time, most Sunbeams I saw in good to great condition were always flat fins (and often Tigers). The pointy fin cars were usually in sorry states. But after many years, and I started seeing properly restored pointy fins, I saw a beauty that I never noticed before. And, as I said, some colors are just terrible for the pointy fins - but I happen to think the same for the flat fins - sorry to those out there, but I think white is terrible on a flat fin. That area behind the rear wheel just looks like a flat piece of paper, all the flow is lost. NOTE! This is my own humble opinion. I fully respect those that have and love white flat fins!

    I would also say that it depends on whether the car is in pictures or in person. For example, I love the round hard top in pictures, much more than the S3-V hard top. But in person, it is the other way around.

    As long as I’m on this path - I personally love the late SV non-peaked headlight rings on the pointy fin cars. It also more closely matches the original teardrop design. It wasn't until later after the prototypes were built, when the Rootes family got its hands on the car and thought changes should be made for the American market. They put on the peaked headlight rims, and sadly pushed the rake of the windshield more upright (and even more upright on the S3), and added badges and things, whereas Howes wanted a car beautiful in it's own right, without clutter. "The car will obtain its beauty from purity in shape, relying less and less on bits and pieces of chrome trappings idly and often ostentatiously placed here and there on the body." (Howes)

    Here is Howes' original design before the Rootes family changed it, and made it more drab, IMHO.

    Alpine Model.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  11. Toyanvil

    Toyanvil Gold Level Sponsor

    How can you not like big fins :)
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    bernd_st and Billm like this.
  12. Mike O'D

    Mike O'D Gold Level Sponsor

    When I started looking for an Alpine, it was "small fins" only. After looking at more and more cars and pictures, the early features including the big fins really struck a chord with me.

    Attached Files:

  13. phyrman

    phyrman SAOCA Secretary Diamond Level Sponsor

    Look at the small lamps on the Sebring cars! They used the common round ones, you could mate to a piece of sheet metal and attach like the pointy fin lights did
  14. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    I dont really understand the above, what are you suggesting?
  15. phyrman

    phyrman SAOCA Secretary Diamond Level Sponsor

    Like this

    Attached Files:

  16. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    Ah... Are you talking about the tail lights?
    I believe the sebring cars used the standard si-3 tail lamp housing mounted to the bosy but added the flat panel to mount the round lucas lamps. They used those as you could change the bult by removing the lens externally as opposed to internal for standard lesns.

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