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Classified of the week: Sunbeam Alpine

This is it. The first ever Bond car. Yep, forget the Astons and BMWs and Lotii: this curious little roadster’s his first ride, and he romped it around the hills of Jamaica in Dr. No.

OK, so it’s not the actual one (that disappeared after filming), but it may as well be. It’s the same colour. It’s the same version. It’s even got the same engine…

This, dear TopGear.communists, is a 1961 Sunbeam Alpine. And unlike the anterior engined battleships he’s more recently associated with, this has just four cylinders, 1592 cubic centimeters of displacement and it’s only 3937mm long.

Despite its relative lack of power, this was a nifty choice for JB. He picked the Series II, which had a meatier 80hp 1.6-litre engine (up 0.1 litres), and revised rear suspension compared with its forbear. But unlike the later cars it kept a pair of rakish fins out back (Sunbeam trimmed them off for the 1964 model).

There was also a link back to the book with the Alpine. Ian Fleming (author of the paperware stories the films are based on, just in case you’re from the Pokemon generation) put Bond in a Hillman Minx (that’s considerably worse than the Sunbeam, Jigglypuff fans). Like Hillman, Sunbeam was a sub-brand of the Rootes Group, keeping his wheels in the family.

Just like the Dr. No car, this one’s painted in Lake Blue with matching upholstery (though it hasn’t got Bond’s bling-a-ding wire wheels and whitewall tyres), with an equally timewarp 61,670 miles on the clock. Tasty.

And it’ll only cost you £11,250. A far cry from Daniel Craig’s last ride, the £180,000 Aston Martin DBS V12 coupe.

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Which is all very well, but it does beg the question; where’s the original original Bond car? The Alpine Sean Connery drove was loaned by a local owner, who was paid 15 shillings (about five pence) a day for his trouble. After being chased by a hearse during James’ meander down the mountains, it does suffer some light damage, but a few scratches shouldn’t have been enough to take it off the road.

Any TopGear.commers know where it is?

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