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John Horsman's Harrington Alpine Le Mans Tiger is sold!

Discussion in 'Harrington Alpine' started by agmason, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. agmason

    agmason Donation Time

    I was reading the current issue of Keith Martins Sports Car Market and he reports that the Bonahams auction held in September had up for bids John Horsman's Sunbeam Harrington Alpine B9110308 ODHRO. It sold for $25,731 and needs a full restoration The car is a converted Harrington Alpine Le Mans that was modified by John Horsman with parts supplied by Des Odell and the Rootes competition department to turn it into a Tiger with a Ford 289 V8. John Horsman worked on the GT40 at Ford Advanced Vehicles along with John Wyer. They then formed JW Automotive which raced as the Gulf team and won Le mans several times in the 1960'a and 70's

    Here is the link with photos: http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/wspd...ItemNo=4077801&iSaleNo=16251&iSaleSectionNo=3
  2. Harrington Jan

    Harrington Jan Donation Time

    it's very important to read the note below the auction text. It went to Athen, Greece.
  3. Tullamore

    Tullamore Donation Time

    Wow, very cool car. Is there any pictures of it in race form?
  4. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    I think you will find the car was always a road car .. not raced. it's interesting to see the car finally sold.. there has been so much speculation over the years about it.. and so many attempts to bascially give it factory provenence from both Rootes and JW.. but as per the disclaimer in the auction listing.. while there are connections it was never a factory authorised car. I wonder if it will be restroed then tried to be sold again at a large premium.. I have always wondered if the car had the lever shock setup in the back still.
  5. 64beam

    64beam Donation Time


    There has been alot of talk regarding this car over the years and even makes an appearance in the B.O.N. As Michael stated it seems that the only connection with Rootes and the competition department is that the guy worked there. Is there any 'concrete' evidence that it was raced at all? I think the footnote is a little misleading and helped in its sale. Either way it will be a nice V8 Alpine conversion once finished.

    Regards, Robin.
  6. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    i dont think anyone has ever claimed it raced.. just that there is an implication that it was factory authorised/sanctioned or supported.. of which it seems the disclaimer for the auction sorted out. Would be an interesting car.. just that its still an alger.
  7. Harrington Jan

    Harrington Jan Donation Time

    Or a destroyed Harrington Le Mans. The word Tiger should'nt be connected to it.
  8. Tullamore

    Tullamore Donation Time

    Destroyed? Looks like it could be taken back to stock if someone wanted too.
  9. V6 JOSE

    V6 JOSE Donation Time

    I don't think so.

    With all the modifications that had to be done to it in order to get that SB Ford into it, you would have to almost graft a complete front end onto it, to get the four to sit in it properly. Too much money and effort.

    Jose :)

  10. Jim E

    Jim E Donation Time

    The note that straightens out some of the history on this car is interesting, really to bad it was not a test mule among other things. Actually when you think about it the test mule deal does not make sense being it is so much work to swap out parts with the engine in place. I still think it is a great car and well worth the selling price. I would love to have it at that price.
  11. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    This old thread came to my attention after reading a recently published item on Richard M. Langworth's website (https://richardlangworth.com/sunbeam-harrington).

    In 2014 while sitting at my friend's kitchen counter bar in Tubac, Arizona my attention was drawn to a book,


    On page 63 there was a Harrington Le Mans with a V8 engine installed.


    My excitement was shared with my friend and he said, "I know John, he lives in Tucson." I met with John Horsman for the first time after a brief phone call to his home. To engage in conversation with one of the engineers behind the Ford Advance Vehicles (FAV) GT40 program in the UK and the Gulf/Porsche racing program was prolific. Discourse with Horsman about his book and the Harrington Le Mans V8 did not disappoint. After hours I left feeling as though time had stopped. Horsman shared how he had asked one of the FAV mechanics about Carol Shelby's rebuilt 289 from a Ford Fairlane station wagon and if he could use the engine in his Harrington Le Mans. "They told me no problem if I wanted to use the 289 for the Harrington conversion. Along with original Tiger components and help from my friends Ermanno and Joachim we put the V8 Harrington Le Mans together. With the new engine it was thrilling to drive." This was Horsman's personal car during his ownership not a race car.

    I saw Horsman for the last time at the Tubac Annual Collector Car Show in 2018. John Horsman passed away April, 2020, age 85. The car did sell at the 2012 auction. As Janne Iggbom mentions above the car went to Athens, Greece and resides at the Hellinic Motor Museum. Hellinic wanted to put together a display in honor of John Horsman's work with the Gulf racing team. They resprayed Horsman's gift to auto enthusiasts in the Gulf colors. Note: there are no bumpers or trim - a different hood and gas filling component.

    I was going to go to Sweden last spring to visit with Janne Iggbom and see his Golden Rocket. The trip was put on hold. I want to feel the V8 power in a Harrington Le mans.


    Attached Files:

    Harrington Jan likes this.
  12. junkman

    junkman Gold Level Sponsor

    Nice write up Jerry, now you got me thinking about Tigering my HLM. It still sits waiting...
  13. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    Having an original Tiger, I thought about doing a V8 install to my HLM when I first purchased it. But everything was so original I chose to keep it close to factory original. Except for my employment of twin Webers, giving it a stage 3 tune, and the 1725 engine my HLM stayed as it was purchased and raced by Greg Vederoff in 1962. Half way through the restoration I discovered this HLM's rich history through a lot of Sherlock Holmes sleuthing and Janne Iggbom's assistance. This is one of those life moments where one makes the right decision.
    bernd_st and Harrington Jan like this.
  14. junkman

    junkman Gold Level Sponsor

    Well, it's pretty much just talk that I would bastardize the Harrington.All my restorations to date are as close to showroom as I can manage. Hell, I won't even put after market wheels on my cars! Although my HLM can't really be classified as historically significant, it will require a very substantial amount of time and money. A little daydreaming couldn't be a bad thing now could it? When the black dash Tiger currently in the shop is done, hopefully by June this year, the HLM will have it's time.
  15. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    There was a v6 converted Harrington LM in cali that sold to Australia. Its noe going back to stock...at least with a v6 conversion the modifications are largely bolt on apart from some small tunnel massage for the T5.
  16. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Years ago thirty five perhaps who grafted a Harrington top onto a tiger I don’t remember his name but it was done to a high standard!
  17. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    The PO of your HLM also seriously considered dropping a V8 into it, mainly thinking it would increase the value when he sold it. Aren't you glad I talked him out of it? :D
  18. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor


    I just got off a 1+ hour phone call with Rich Longstaff (PO). He is about to move from Cottonwood, AZ to Palm Springs to be closer to his son. It was satisfying to share the historical discoveries about our HLM. I refer to it as our HLM because Longstaff was instrumental in the premium custodial care while he owned the HLM for 40 years. Great to go over the current understandings about this unique HLM. Longstaff agreed that it was fortuitous he didn't put a V8 in our HLM.
  19. Harrington Jan

    Harrington Jan Donation Time

    Peter Mathews, sister car at the left.
  20. Gordon Holsinger

    Gordon Holsinger Diamond Level Sponsor

    Yes thanks for reminding me it was Pete Mathews. He and Wally Swift were friends. That’s where I met Peter, just before they went on a tour of the US.

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