1. Welcome to the new SAOCA website. Already a member? Simply click Log In/Sign Up up and to the right and use your same username and password from the old site. If you've forgotten your password, please send an email to membership@sunbeamalpine.org for assistance.

    If you're new here, click Log In/Sign Up and enter your information. We'll approve your account as quickly as possible.


    Dismiss Notice

Need some help researching a car

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by sunbeam74, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor

    Ok, last fall there was an Alpine on Ebay in Scotland which had some interesting details - most importantly, it had the factory competition aluminum panels on the hood and doors.

    The car is somewhat rough but the details suggest the car had been rallied. Extra lighting, engine modifications, headlight rings like the Sebring Alpines (not MkII rings but similar), 2 ear knockoffs, modified transmission tunnel, etc.

    However, I can't figure out the history of this car. I thought it might be the John Melvin Alpine that won the Scottish rally in 1961. The timing is right based on the manufacture date (same week as 3000RW which only adds more interest). Location the car was found makes sense, too, that it could have been Melvin's Alpine.

    I know the car's initial registration number and tried to search the UK registrations on-line to trace former ownership but nothing turned up.

    My question is, does anyone know of a way to trace UK registrations from owner to owner? (as mentioned, I tried the online website and when I put the registation number in it simply said no information could be found... heck, it couldn't find any information on the current registration number either)

    Any suggestions?

  2. 64beam

    64beam Donation Time

    Hi Steve,

    Do you have any sources in the UK that may be able to go to the vehicle registration office and try to search for it there? Assuming that they still have the records somewhere, they may be reluctant as it may be a manual search through many archives. Did anyone know the seller of the Alpine?

    Good luck with your search,

    Regards, Robin.
  3. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor

    The only method of tracing I could find on-line was this site:


    This might not be the right approach since the records probably aren't computerized. I would have thought there would be a branch of the registry you could write and for a fee find out more.

    As for people that know the seller - unfortunately not. The seller isn't very helpful at all.

    According to the seller it spent all it's life near Glasgow. (however, the first reg was Cryodon (sp.). I have speculated, without evidence, that it could have been a dealer transfer from Leon Gibbs dealership to John Melvin's dealership - this would be assuming that it was Melvin's car (a lot of assumptions but possible!)

  4. 64beam

    64beam Donation Time

    Hi Steve,

    I was just reading about the win John Melvin had on the Scottish rally in the 'Alpine - the classic sunbeam' book. John actually sent the engine to the Rootes works competition department for race tuning, which was returned to him and re-installed in his Alpine. He later found out that all they did was send him a new standard engine. He and the works team were amazed :eek: .

    Regards, Robin.
  5. Nickodell

    Nickodell Donation Time

    Steve: That would probably be Croydon, a borough of London about 10 miles south of the city center, and, incidentally, the first "London" airport.
  6. lemansvk

    lemansvk Donation Time

  7. 64beam

    64beam Donation Time

    Hi Steve,

    I did a bit of surfing on the internet regarding any information on the rally win in 1961. There was a magazine which could be purchased, but I don't know how informative it is. There is a Rootes car enthusiats club in Scotland, have you tried contacting them (I would try but don't have any details)? Have you heard anything yet?

    Regards, Robin.
  8. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor


    Thank you for checking.... I went and bought that issue of Autosport which covered the 61' Scotish rally. If you like I can e-mail the story to you as JPGs or PDF's (just e-mail me at the address below) It does have a photo of John Melvin's Alpine but I couldn't tell any other details that might make a positive identification.

    There are some details that are right... headlight rings, wire wheels with 2 ear knock-offs, and of course it is appears to be light in color. I even started an Excel spreadsheet with all the photos and details of each rally Alpine I find.... so, I can cross referenece to see if details match up.

    As mentioned the car was found in the Glasgow area. What caught my attention, besides for the aluminum panels, was the manufacture date of March, 1961. It was the same week as 3000RW and, of course, if you read McGoverns book it sounds like a car that was somewhat hastily prepared for the event in May of 1961. I could only guess Melvin took a car out of stock and started to have it prepared for the event - so the timing of the production of this car would be right. Or at least it is a thought of what could have happened. Again, finding details regarding rally events is so hard... my research I do on cars that ran in the SCCA is a EASY compared to this...

    Steve (*milano164@comcast.net*)
  9. Steve Kirk

    Steve Kirk Guest

    Is it possible looking at old photographs of the John Melvin car to check the registration number to the cars original?
  10. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor


    Melvin's car in the photos was 2BUS - which was probably his personal registration and a pretty desirable registration if I understand correctly.

    It would be great to be able to take the car's current registration number and trace all the way back to 61'. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is a way to do that - just checking online it doesn't seem to work.

  11. AlpineIan

    AlpineIan Guest


    You should have received a gree log book for vehicle registration when you bought it. This should state the cars first registration date.
  12. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor


    I found how to trace the car via a V800 form. We have the initial registration which was in Croydon but I think the car actually ended up in Glasgow very shortly after production - at least we think so based on some information.


Share This Page