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Classic car enthusiasts "devastated" by daylight theft of Sunbeam Alpine in Bethnal Green

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:00 04 March 2014

The stolen Sunbeam Alpine

The stolen Sunbeam Alpine

Archant

The owners of a rare classic sports car, similar to one featured in the first James Bond movie, say they have been "devastated" by its theft in broad daylight.

Heidi Florence, 29, with boyfriend Peter Johnson, 30, and their Sunbeam AlpineHeidi Florence, 29, with boyfriend Peter Johnson, 30, and their Sunbeam Alpine

The blue Sunbeam Alpine was the pride and joy of marketing professionals Heidi Florence, 29, and her boyfriend Peter Johnson, 30, before it was stolen from a locked car park next to their home in Hackney Road, Bethnal Green.

Heidi said the couple always aspired to own a classic car and after buying it for £6,000 had invested nearly twice that figure on replacing parts, including a completely new engine.

They were planning a road trip to France to watch the renowned Le Mans Classic 24 hour race in summer.

“I have loved having it and I’m really gutted, we had lots of fun things planned we are not going to be able to do now.

The Sunbeam Alpine classic car which was stolen on February 25 from Hackney RoadThe Sunbeam Alpine classic car which was stolen on February 25 from Hackney Road

“A car like that definitely becomes part of your lifestyle,” said Heidi.

The two-seater series five roadster, registration RWJ666F, was stolen in the afternoon on Tuesday, February 25. It was only when Peter looked out of the window at about 4pm, having parked up at midday, that he noticed it was gone.

“I am actually devastated and really shocked,” Heidi said. “I’m especially shocked that it could be taken in broad daylight from outside the house with it not really being noticed.”

The couple said neighbours reported seeing a man in overalls driving the car at about 2pm but said they had no idea how any thief would have got into the gated and locked car park.

Police said: “The car has a removable hardtop and chrome wire wheels with white wall lines. The rear left tire white wall is brighter due to being newly painted.

“The interior is upholstered with light blue leather seats and door surrounds, with a walnut dashboard with chrome dials and a black leather steering wheel with a chrome horn ring.

“It is believed to be the only car of that type, in that colour, with those tyres in the UK.”

Just over 19,000 Sunbeam Alpines were made by manufacture Rootes between 1965 and 1968. A blue series two Alpine roadster is rented and driven by James Bond in 1962 film Dr. No.

Anyone with information should call 101, quoting reference CR4204707/14, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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