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2024 Club Calendar Monthly Car Articles

65sunbeam

SAOCA Membership Director
Diamond Level Sponsor
Time to get these started again!
Remember-all Gold, Platinum, and Diamond sponsoring members get a calendar each year.
Please send your photos to us at membership@sunbeamalpine.org and perhaps it will be in next year's calendar!

Here is the calendar cover. That is Michael Carter's Alpine leading the way. In the background is Bill B's GT and ABSunbeam's Hillman Estate. We were at the TE/AE United in Bowling Green, KY and visited the Corvette Museum-a great place by the way.
It is almost the end of January so hopefully Silver Creek Sunbeam will give us some background info about his Alpine featured as the January cover car!
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Silver Creek Sunbeam

Gold Level Sponsor
As you wish...here is some info on my Series V. :)

If you look back at previous calendar threads, I have talked in depth about my car, how I came to own it, and the work I have done on it, so I thought I would do something a little different this time. I am a second generation Sunbeamer. Many of you know my father, Russ Wheeler. I'd like to share with you the story of how it all started and progressed for us.

As a man in his early twenties living in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 1960s, my father had always been a car enthusiast, hanging out with the older crowd and working on hot rods and in a Napa store before he was even old enough to drive...at least legally. As an adult having moved to Atlanta, he worked just down the street from one of the largest car dealerships in town and would often stop by on his lunch break to admire the 'latest and greatest' on the lot. On one of those visits, on the lot was a brand new Sunbeam Tiger, which he had been reading about. As he was admiring it, a salesman came out and suggested he take it for a drive. My dad being just a couple of years into marriage and with the possibility of children on the way replied that he appreciated it but he couldn't afford the car. The salesman, who probably knew my dad from his frequent visits told him to take it for a drive anyway...and he was hooked.

From that day, he knew he wanted a Tiger and fast forward to around 1981 or 1982, he was driving through a neighboring town (we lived in Polk County by this point) and out from under a tarp, sitting with several other cars, he saw the smile of a Sunbeam. He assumed of course that it was an Alpine, given the rarity of Tigers, especially in this part of the country but after finding out who owned the building and going to inspect, he pulled the tarp off to find a Tiger underneath. Yeah...he bought it...but he didn't tell Mother. The jig was up though when the insurance agent, who was a family friend, called the house and told my mother to tell my dad that he was good to go and that the little sportscar he bought was insured. I let my dad know on the sly that mother knew, which led to a scene that I'll never forget. My mother and I were out in our yard when down the street comes my dad in the Tiger (with no windshield) wearing his ball cap backwards, his Ray-Ban Aviators and his big cigar smoking away as he proceeded to drive the car down the driveway, into the backyard, back around through the front yard and down the street out of sight, never slowing down or missing a beat. I guess he figured he might as well go down in a blaze of glory but to be honest, mother didn't care.

He rented a shop in the center of our small town to use as a garage space for the Tiger and over the years, that shop saw two Tigers and two Alpines refreshed and/or restored with a couple of more that passed through, including a GT that got away. It also made for a common occurrence of people stopping (pretty much everybody knew everybody back then in Rockmart) by that were curious and unfamiliar with the mark (NO IT'S NOT AN MG) leaving the place at least educated and most times admiring of the car they previously didn't know existed.

From the age of thirteen our fourteen, I myself have been around Sunbeams in every capacity from handing wrenches to my dad as a kid as he worked on his Tigers and Alpine up through doing pretty intensive work on my own Alpine (pictured in the calendar) since acquiring it in 2019. The Sunbeams themselves have brought a lot of joy (and work) but I guess the most special thing that being a Sunbeamer has yielded me over the years is all the additional time it has afforded me with my dad. From working in the shop to trips to Road Atlanta to visiting the local car shows to just sitting around and talking Sunbeams, it's been a great run and is still going.

As far as my car: 1967 Series V with the following modifications by me - OD Transmission, High Torque Starter, Full Pertronix Ignition System, Electric Fuel Pump (including new plumbing from the refurbed tanks all the way up to the original carbs), Single Wire Alternator Conversion, Lumax Rally Lights with Lucas Switch Panel, Wipac Reversing Lights, Restored Two-tone Interior, AutoPower Roll Bar, One-off 13 inch Wheels (that's a story in itself)

Thanks for the calendar inclusion...it was unexpected this year to say the least.

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Aladin Sane

Diamond Level Sponsor
I had a great relationship with my father, but cars were not part of it. That came more from my moms side of the family.
 

ernestovumbles

Gold Level Sponsor
My car is Mr. February..

I've owned it for about 4 years or so, and drove and stored it for a couple years before that from the prior owner.
Haven't had many issues after the first year of sorting out ignition and cooling systems, a loose exhaust bolt and broken turn signal switch. There is plenty of little things I should do, but I am a procrastinator and really just enjoy driving it locally. I get out almost every week in the driving season.
Today was the first ride of 2024 as the weather hasn't been great in Chicagoland. My wife bundled up for the 34 degree temprature for a ride around town and to run a few errands.

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65sunbeam

SAOCA Membership Director
Diamond Level Sponsor
Thanks for your update! I have to ask though-your February calendar photo shows the tower of Pisa in the background. Is it a Chicago landmark?? Or photoshop?
 

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Mike O'D

Gold Level Sponsor
Never knew that existed. Your wife is a trooper! I had my Alpine out yesterday (Cleveland, OH), but had the soft top up - nice and cozy!
 

nsbluenose

Silver Level Sponsor
Second day of a three day blizzard here in Nova Scotia. About a foot of snow down and blowing hard. Not fun!
 

absunbeam

Platinum Level Sponsor
Still have salt on the roads but no snow yet, have seen some classics out but most are under cover in Wisc. If the heater is working turn to high and enjoy top down fun!
 

65sunbeam

SAOCA Membership Director
Diamond Level Sponsor
I am posting this for John....

My Alpine is the March cover car!
My name is the same as my club ID… john hemsath, and I live (retired) in Northern California in the city of Discovery Bay. I’ve always liked British cars and owed a couple jags in my younger days. Not sure how I zeroed in on Alpines in 2015 but have enjoyed owning it for the most part. From the picture you might think it’s a “numbers matching” collectable but it’s not, even though I was told it was by the sellers agent! The car was gone thru by someone in Iowa but I was never able to locate that person. The paint is 95% pristine as you can see in the picture as is the soft top. Seat covers and carpeting were reinstalled with the proper padding and adhesive. The engine has a single 2-barrel carb instead of the standard pair of 1-barrels. I installed a few other parts in the engine bay I thought would help performance which I believe they did.

I haven’t been able to enjoy driving the car as much these past few years due to a hip issue but will try to get out on the open road now that Spring is here.

Thanks John and I hope you can have many happy miles with your Alpine!DSC07023.JPG
 

Greggers

SAOCA Vice President
Platinum Level Sponsor
Where was this photo taken?
Hopefully John can chime in for more context, but a reverse image search came up with St. Anne's Catholic Church in Byron, CA. That said, I can tell you that the calendar image is... um... only partially real. This was an image that John shared for consideration years ago, but as it was a vertical image, we couldn't use it for the calendar. With a shortage of usable images for last year's calendar, I decided to resurrect this image and test out some software that can widen images. The real image ends about 1 foot to the left and 1.5 feet to the right of the car. Everything else, um... doesn't exist (and doesn't make sense architecturally).

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DanR

Diamond Level Sponsor
APRIL 1st is known as April Fool's Day and has been enjoyed by me each year since I can remember. Used to play jokes on folks and have also had them played on me.

Motto: Enjoy Life to the fullest.

Well, I have enjoyed a great life with one particular event in my life that stands out fully. Seeing my first Sunbeam Alpine, a Series I in Bermuda all that way back to late 1959 and early 1960. My friend Camberlain bought a little Red One, ordered from England, delivered to Bermuda where upon arrival it was put in quartine by the Island Forty Thieves (Families that ran the Island) because it had too much power. Rootes sent a team to deflate the power some way. Never knew exactly what, but we stood by many times awaiting for its' release.

The day Camberlain was able to drive it was wonderful for all of his friends. Then, shortly came my reassignment to Charleston AFB in SC. Bought me a nice little 1959 Red & White Hillman Husky. Loved to drive it around downtown Charleston. In 1965 I spotted a Sunbeam Tiger in the show window of a Dealer off East Bay St. Took a short ride in a very fast Hot Rod. At the time I owned a 1958 Chevy Impala with a '62 409 Cu In that was a tad faster. I passed on the Tiger......

Then in early 1980 near my home in Greenwood I spotted a Sunbeam Alpine under a car port. A few days later I paid a visit to the house where the Alpine was spotted, knocked on the door, a lady came to the door, I introduced myself, asked if the Alpine was for sale, she said Her husband would not , but she would sell it. After a few more questions I discovered it belonged to my fishing and hunting buddy before we were out of school. We met up and discussed the times we had during our USAF Careers, how he had ordered the Alpine specially Colour Code 70 Mooron with OD, Hardtop and other extras in the UK and NO he would not sell.... After many discussions I convinced Kirby to sell. The deal was I had to haul off that Red piece of junk (1965 Early Series IV GT BW35). I did, put in storage for 25 years, saving another Alpine. Note: It became my 1st V6 Project.

1984 my son Danny found a '67 Sunbeam Alpine SV Comodore Blue that made him happy. He drove it until He headed to the US Army. Stored in the Shop until 2006-07 protected from the weather elements. Later, He decided he wanted a different vehicle, so we traded. He got some money, I got the Alpine.

With two Alpine Projects going, Red GT V6 and Blue Boy, I striped the Blue Boy down to only one screw left on it anywhere. Built a rotisserrie for it to ride upon for a couple years. It was free of rust except in two minor very small places. I cut out the rusty areas and replaced with clean metal, coated with POR 15 then proceeded to complete restoration of the body and the engine. The 1725 was in much needed repair as Danny had run the wheels off it....

After the restoration was complete I enjoyed driving a wonderful Alpine about very where I had time to go. First showing was at the British Car Show in Lexington, SC (Cayce Race Track). See 1st & 2nd PIC's.

I enjoyed that visit very much, meeting a lot of new friends, seeing their Sunbeams. It was here at this event I saw my first V6 powered Alpine.

Needless to say I got the V6 Bug..... Big Time.

Not long after this Meet, I ordered one of Jose's V6 Conversion Kits, not for the Blue Boy, but for a very badly rusted Alpine that had been a gift to me. The Kit was good quality, but not designed for what I wanted. I began designing components to install the FORD V6 in my RED GT. First was the straight back headers. This took me three years. Other things added to the delay also. Causing a delay with the installation on the V6 in the RED GT, I diverted my attention to selling the hot little 1725 that I had built to a friend (see 3rd PIC) then installing the V6 sitting in the shop that was supposed to go in the RED GT (See 4th PIC).

I encountered all sorts of delays. First thinking something that seemed to fit was later discovered to cause other problems that required additional modifications.

ENgine mounts became a major problem because each Alpine seemed to be a tad bit different. Then I hit onto an idea that has proven well, I figured a way to create a "stop/catch" built into the bottom mount that fitted well and made the "sitting" off the engine perfectly mating the headers as a template for spacing for the steering and the radiator/fan. (See PIC's 5, 6 7. Pic 7 dicpicts the "Stop/catck" designed into the mount)

More PIC's of my Blue Boy:
 

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DanR

Diamond Level Sponsor
Con't of Blue Boy.

Hope to see Ya'll in Columbia April 5 &6 2024
 

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65sunbeam

SAOCA Membership Director
Diamond Level Sponsor
That is my Husky on the May cover! After buying a few project Huskys over the years I decided to try to find one that was nice to begin with. Not easy to do.....About two years ago I found one in Texas that was advertised on the Hillman mailing list. It is an ex-California car with no rust that was pretty much totally restored by the previous long time (25 year) owner and the owner before him. It still has the original cast iron head engine with some interesting upgrades-an alloy intake, exhaust headers, Minx front disk brakes, and a Toyota 5 speed. He also installed power door windows as he was tall and the stock window winder kept hitting his leg! He would not sell it to me unless I promised to NOT put a V-8 in it like has been done to many of them. This car had sat undriven in his garage for many years so I have spent much time making things right-and that includes getting rid of the horn button on the steering column. The downdraft Weber carb had all the wrong size jets and that took lots of time to sort out. One last problem is that the clutch slips-so that is the next thing to fix so I can take it to a few shows this year. Why do I like the Husky? It has a full size rear seat that folds down to make a large luggage area and a large barn door that opens up to easily load stuff inside. The large side windows slide open to bring lots of air inside. You could call it one of the first SUV's before the word had been invented.
For those that hang on to Sunbeam literature, The 1997 TEAE club calendar has my Husky in it as well and it was also the May cover car! 27 years ago.....DSC05385.JPGDSC05384.JPGDSC05383.JPGDSC05642.JPGDSC05377.JPG
 

bernd_st

Bronze Level Sponsor
Eric, that's a really nice Husky you have there! We have one too with a highly tuned 1725cc engine and O/D gearbox in our club. Very cool. Have a look on the picture attached:

P.S. There is a project Husky for sale over here currently. Tempting, but OMG I already have too many projects...
 

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husky drvr

Platinum Level Sponsor
Eric,

Very nice!

There are a couple of "personalization" things that are a bit, to me, out of sync. Just me.

From your comments, I'll guess you haven't driven it very much, yet.

Looking forward to an in depth experience report.

Just curious if it still has the original rear axle, do you know if it has the 4.22:1 or 4.44:1 ratio?

Have fun,
 

Alpine 1789

SAOCA President
Diamond Level Sponsor
Very nice car, Eric! I hope to see it at an event in the near future!

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I know Eric won't mind if I insert a plea for more calendar photos here! I will post this in two other places, but this is a good a place as any to start the ball rolling. In the past, we've not gotten started on the new calendar until late in the year, which creates quite a strain for Eric and Greg. Greg because he has to hustle fitting editing the photos (no small task!) into all of the end of year/holiday season jobs the rest of us have. Eric because he has to assemble the membership packets, go to the post office during the busiest time of the year and mail out hundreds of packets during a very short time frame.

Both Eric and Greg have said that the calendar is the worst part of their "SAOCA year", entirely due to the last minute nature of the task. And I am sure all of us would love to have the calendar on our shop walls on January 1st, so this is a win-win! Please send your Alpine photos to Eric or Greg now! Let's make the 2025 calendar the best and most timely ever!
 
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