About the 15th of May 1960 B9007180 OD HRO was born and was first registered as 6969 EL the 1st of June same year. One of the first drivers of this Alpine was Miss Mary Handley-Page which she drove in the 21st International Alpine Rally 27th of June when she became 3rd in class, 3rd in Coupe des Dames and 27th overall classification. Co-driver was Miss Patricia Ozanne.

Pic above shows gas cap open. M.H-P waves back at photographers who she thinks wave at her racing but they are trying to tell her "gas cap open" Pic down left shows it closed. Pic down right before crash of left fender

After this success the car was brought to Harrington Ltd for conversion to a Harrington Alpine. An old employee remembers it as one of the very first conversions and it was undergoing many tests before Harrington Ltd made the announcements about the "New" Harrington Alpine Coupe. It is not any of the demo cars featured in McGovern book.

In 1961the car participated in the same rally as before now the 22nd Alpine Rally the 24th of June with the same crew M. Handley-Page/Pat Ozanne.

After its racing days the car was sold to an Alan Jones who restored it and painted it BRG and it was registered LJT 39. Here is an email which came from Alan in 2013:

Hi Jan, Thanks for the info, I was not the first owner. I bought the car in the sixty's in London area cannot recall the vear, the colour was white but the car was in a poor state, I know that it had full harness seat belts with the Harrington badge on the clasp unfortunately they were thrown away by the previous owner. I renovated the car and had it painted British racing green and then marriage forced me to sell it. I noticed in the picture on the trailer that the car was green, this looks like it may have been the car, (although it's sad to see it in such bad condition, it was based on the Alpine Series 1. The engine was a work of art fitted with a pair of 38 DCOE Webers, all with chrome linkages which all were mounted using ball races and grease nipples, at the time this seemed to be special. Not too sure about the size of the engine although the one pictured does not have the Weber carb setup. I had also fitted the enamel Harrington badges to the wings and the legend to the boot lid. I would have thought the DVLA would still have the change of owner for the registration number unless the car was written off ? If USY 266 is the same car it's nice to know that it's still running.

Then the car was unseen for a long time until it showed up late -80 or early -90. It was then purchased by Don Pither in 1991wellknown in Sunbeam circles. He was in need of fenders for another car and was going to scrap it but instead he decided to restore it for his wife Margret. In 1993 the car got a 1592cc engine tuned by Holbay.

Above: Just purchased - on the ways ot the body shop - final result

In November 1995 there was a feature of the car in "Classic&Sports Car" called "The Brighton Belle". At the same time it was up "for sale". The present owner of the car Nairn Brown convinced Don Pither to sell it to him since Pither regretted the "for sale" advert. Pither kept the registration number. Now the car carries registration number USY 266. Nairn has the FIVA Identity Card dated 1997. The card states under "Remarks" -

The Sunbeam Alpine Harrington was a closed coupe conversion manufactured by Harrington Coachworks of Old Shoreham Rd, Hove. This car, based on a series 1 Alpine pre-dates the official launch of the model and thus is undoubtedly a prototype or pre-production car.

In 1998 Nairn began to rally the car, he was completely unaware of its history, he drove the car to 1st in class - 4th overall in the 2000 Rallye des Alpes with his daughter Sally navigating, driving over the same route as did Mary Handley-Page 40 years previously! Nairn participated in many more rallies over a period of ten years which can be seen in the Racing chapter

There are evidences that this is the same car as M. Handley-Page drove and Nairn is the present owner.

When I saw the pic of 6969EL with Mary Handley-Page driving it and waving at the photographer it struck me that I've had seen that registration number before. I compared the two pics and found similarities like that the windshield wipers were in "down" position at the right in front of the driver which is very unusual for Rootes cars. Then the headlamp rims were alike, the big X-lights too. No bumperettes and there is also a dent on the front valance which is also visible at some pics. Steel wheels. The VIN plate says colour code 19 moonstone white. Typical extra bonnet lock common on rally cars.

So until anybody says I'm wrong, I'm 100% sure it's the same car



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