Paddy Hopkirk Sunbeam found
Stolen Sunbeam Alpine back with owner after thieves dump it
One of the most significant Sunbeam Alpines ever made has been reunited with its owner after it was stolen and dumped.
The ex-Paddy Hopkirk Sunbeam Alpine, which raced at Le Mans in 1961, was stolen between 14-15 May in Warwickshire.
Bumbling thieves, who had no idea what it was, nicked the racer before abandoning it in nearby town Atherstone. Warwickshire police recovered the car on Monday 16 May.
3001RW was stolen on 13 May from a garage where it had been taken for engine restoration.
Owner and Sunbeam expert Keith Hampson says: ‘I was gutted about it, but it was found in little to no time. The thieves didn’t understand what it was and it’d be virtually impossible to sell. We got it back with minimal damage, and it’s been used since. The only dilemma we have right now is what engine to use in it as we’ve got two. It’s in fine health generally, apart from blowing a head gasket on one of the engines and we will be racing it at the Le Mans Classic next month.’
Police officers have checked for fingerprints and the car is now securely locked up. Investigations into the theft continue.
Matthew Ollman, trustee of The Rootes Archive Centre Trust adds: ‘It’s absolutely one of the most important cars in the history of Sunbeam and it’s phenomenal news it’s back in the hands of the owner.’
The Alpine racing at the Goodwood Revival. Experts say it’s one of the most world’s important Sunbeams.
Police tweeted this picture once the car was recovered.