In early 1959 when Rootes were developing the Alpine at Ryton, Coventry, they constructed only eight pre-production prototypes. The car modelled is the third of those and the only survivor, making it the oldest extant example. It survived because, rather than being thrashed to breaking point in testing, it was allocated to the company's design department to be used in the development of new styles and trim. In 1961 it was sold to Rootes' development engineer Bernard Unett, who'd worked on the Alpine programme and wanted to go racing. He debuted the car at Silverstone in September 1961 and was deemed so dangerous that he wasn't allowed to start the second race!

However, Unett developed the car (and his driving, which led to 3 British Touring Car Championships) until it became a successful club racing machine; winning the Freddie Dixon Trophy in 1964. After racing, it passed through several owners before being purchased by Simon Goldby in 1972, who used it as his everyday car until 1976 then garaged it. Having learnt about the car's unique history, he began a restoration in 1995 which was completed in 2000. Simon sold the car to current owner John Willshire in 2005 and it has since become very well known as John has displayed it at the Goodwood Revival Earl's Court Motor Show recreation and many other events.


Brand Corgi

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