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Alpine adventurers at Silverstone - Silverstone Classic 2009

  • As well as its own 40th birthday, the Sunbeam-Talbot Register will be looking back at the sporting achievements of the cars it looks after, such as this 1953 Monte Carlo Sunbeam-Talbot 90 model - 0
  • An Alpine view at Silverstone in 2008; many more will be on show this year - 1
  • Le Mans driver Peter Proctor alongside two competition Alpines at the 2008 Silverstone Classic Festival - 2
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Birthday celebrations at this year’s Silverstone Classic Festival promise an Alpine spectacular for sporting Rootes fans...

Alpine aficionados will have much to cheer about at Silverstone later this month when the Association of Rootes Car Clubs (ARCC) hosts a twin celebration there; 50 years of the Sunbeam Alpine and the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Register (STAR).At last year’s Silverstone Classic Festival, the ARCC won a special award for its commemoration of 60 years of the Rootes Competition Department. Now it’s planning a similarly impressive display for the 2009 gathering – from July 24 to 26 – with the focus once again on some of Rootes’ more racy offerings.It was in 1969 that the Sunbeam-Talbot Alpine Register was founded to encourage the use, restoration and preservation of Talbot, Sunbeam-Talbot and Sunbeam vehicles built between 1936 and 1957. Now, 40 years later, the STAR stand at Silverstone will be sparkling with ten of the cars it caters for. Stand out vehicles will be four well-known ex-works rally Alpines driven by Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Peter Harper and Ronnie Adams.Nearby, the Sunbeam Alpine Owners Club will looking back at half a century of the later version of the Alpine, with its display showcasing 14 cars. This model’s competition successes will be highlighted by the 1961 Le Mans 24-hour race Index of Thermal Efficiency winner piloted by Peter Proctor and Peter Harper as well as two of the mighty V8-engined Tiger offshoots of the type. To tell the story of the Alpine right from its birth, there will be a late-1950s Hillman Husky and Sunbeam Rapier – both of which the Alpine was developed from – as well as the only surviving pre-production prototype. A genuine press road test car will also be in the line-up as will examples of every variant of Alpine made from 1959 to 1968, including one manufactured on the last day of production. Among the Rootes names popping by to visit this Alpine party will be chief test engineer Don Tarbun and prototype road tester Mike Adlington.More general information on the Silverstone Classic Festival (July 24, 25 and 26) can be found at www.silverstoneclassic.com.

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