When motorcar enthusiasts approach a collector automobile for potential purchase, attend a car show or have a serendipitous encounter the experience is enhanced when an owner declares their example to be an original. Knowing the mechanical creature before us has all the attributes straight from the primary manufacture becomes a welcoming site. Far too often automobiles obtain personal touches that alter the true carriage created by the many engineers, artisans and workers striving to shape the end vision of a designer. The opportunity to view and understand the representation of a true specimen preserves the historical significance for us and others with whom we might share the viewing. Nothing is wrong with the personalized versions making up the majority of automobiles. These non-radical modifications maintain the intent of the primary vision and yet provide some increase in performance or pure occupant comfort. For decades there have been magazines/books, catalogs filled with plug and play options and clubs with creative and experienced members addressing typical adjustments. When does an original become altered to the point that one can no longer claim the configuration to be a native original? Clearly, street rods and kit cars are examples of a vehicles transformation to non-original status. Are there more subtle examples where alterations occurred to the point that one can no longer claim the configuration to be of native origin?
 In recent decades many terms have become frequent verbiage in the universe of automobiles. Hot Rod, customization, personalization, Rat Rod, authentic, original, barn find. replica, look-a-like, tribute, tooled example, race prepared, re-bodied, reconstruction, restoration and some that memory fails me or I have never heard the term. The setting here is to clarify the original versus the impersonator concept. One may impersonate a famous person but you can't legally go get a driver's license under their name or buy a house using their name or make any claim to being the real person because it is fraud. If one decides to replicate the celebrities hairstyle, clothing, and mannerisms they may fool many and the impersonator may even get a free drink or dinner in the process. Very little harm done. If one goes a step further and starts booking performances under the celebrities name that is called fraud and an impending legal proceeding will probably follow. Claiming originality in faux paintings, antiquities and primitive artifacts with technically exquisite craftsmanship has been occurring for centuries for prestige and financial gain. Again, it is fraudulent and if caught it may result in legal actions.
 Throughout our auto industry there are those that have perpetrated many a scam for financial gain. In the realm of collector cars and more specifically with Sunbeam Tigers many have attempted to replicate the Jensen factory's production of the famous Carol Shelby/Ken Miles/Norman Garrad Sunbeam V8 creation. Unfortunately, there are a few enthusiasts that have been prey to those raptors who don't disclose the non-original status of their fake creation. To protect such atrocities Norm Miller and others established the Tiger Authentication Committee (TAC). It is a sad state of affairs that a small portion of humankind necessitates such a protectorate to be developed. The standard for TAC is simple, the claimed Tiger must have the original VIN plate and all of a Tiger's primary manufacture's telling attributes present in ordered to be certified an original. The composition of a VIN plated Sunbeam Alpine body with components, original or not used in a Tiger (engine. transmission, rack-n-pinion, etc) does not constitute an original Sunbeam Tiger.
 Rather it has been named an Algers (Alpine Tiger). Fortunately, most all Alger owners/creators have integrity and damonstrate intelligence to avoid legal proceedings by being forthright about the true status of their fabrication. Unfortunately, the automobile collector hobby still encounters a few unscrupulous Algers owners claiming they have an original Tiger. Some have even attempted to solidify their claim to the point of attaching an original Tiger VIN plate. Having a personalized Tiger is more common than not. However, these individualized versions were all bom from the primary manufacture and are thus considered personalized originals. I have never met a personalized Tiger owner that, without, hesitation shared the implementation of personal touches to their Tiger. In fact, they are proud, as they should be.
 The Rootes Group choose the Harrington Ltd, a coach factory of longstanding, to transform a Sunbeam Alpine into a Harrington. Read the History section at Harrington Alpine.org to gain appreciation about the short run of these unique and beautiful creations. Having an opportunity to view any model of Harrington often becomes a moment where a viewer claims, "I have never seen one of these before." With few in existence and even fewer on the road or in restoration mode the Harringtons have become prestigious and economically valuable. Just like Tigers, Harringtons utilized a Sunbeam Alpine platform and some have taken on personalization qualities. And just like Algers Sunbeam Alpines may also be morphed into Harrpines (Harrington Alpines). All that is needed are some of the original or reproduced Harrington components attached to a significantly altered Sunbeam Alpine body. As an example, if one has a Harrington with a rusted out body requiring significant work to bring it back to roadworthy condition it will never become a running original without such efforts. Instead it could become a re-bodied Harrpine using the Harrington components on a Sunbeam Alpine donor car. Thus, an impersonator is created. If the VIN plate were transferred to the new body it would be subject to all laws regarding fraud. Yes, the re-bodied Harrpine has the facade of a Harrington, but it isn't a paragon original made at the Harrington Ltd factory legally displaying the original VIN plate. There are examples of Harrpines in circulation or being worked on claiming originality by their owners. Rather than a TAC system to monitor these unscrupulous owners we have to rely on the Harrpine craftsman to be forthright about constructing a re-body Harrpine.


by Jerry Logan


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