Tuesday, October 25, 2016

the first and only British sports car to legitimately bear Il Cavallino Rampante, a Sunbeam Alpine

this rare left-hand-drive Sunbeam was raced by Filippo Theodoli, an Italian nobleman whose accounts as an executive for Gardner Advertising Agency included Ferrari and Alitalia Airlines.

Perhaps more importantly, he was also a close friend of Luigi Chinetti, the influential head honcho of the North American Racing Team. After personally taking delivery of the car in England, Theodoli soon put it to work at the 1963 12 hours of Sebring.

As an honorary member of N.A.R.T. for the race, the Sunbeam shared pit space with Ferrari 250 GTOs and the previous year’s Le Mans-winning 330 TRI, and received a number of NART-sourced parts including a 40-gallon endurance fuel tank and a blue bucket seat just like that found in a GTO.



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