Paddy Hop­kirk Sun­beam found

Stolen Sun­beam Alpine back with owner af­ter thieves dump it

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Mur­ray Scul­lion

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.

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