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Automotive Traveler Magazine: 2012 10 1955 Sunbeam Alpine Series Three Page 2

Some cars and the films they appear in are inexorably linked. The best known is the Aston Martin DB5 James Bond drove in Goldfinger. Who can forget the first time they watched 007 shred the tires of Tilly Masterson's Mustang on Switzerland's Furka Pass?

For film distributor Tom Holland, another British sports car has left an indelible impression: the Sunbeam Alpine in Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 masterpiece To Catch a Thief, driven by the unforgettable Grace Kelly with an extremely nervous Cary Grant in the passenger seat.

"I'll never forget the first time I saw To Catch a Thief," Holland tells me with a smile. "Grace Kelly and Cary Grant were the perfect Fifties sophisticate couple, the French Riviera backdrop was breathtaking, and the intrigue of high-stakes jewel robberies from fancy hotels and chateaux were the icing on this Technicolor cake.

"But for me, the real star of the movie was the sexy blue sports car Grace Kelly drove at high speed along the steep corniches above the Mediterranean. Cary Grant played the nervous passenger, hiding both his fear of Grace's driving and his secret identity as the famous cat burglar John Robie. When Grace and Cary arrive at their romantic picnic rendezvous, it is the postcard view of Monaco that is supposed to catch the audiences' eye. I, however, was watching that jaw-droppingly beautiful car. It was a sleek, baby-blue confection--the prettiest car I'd ever seen. But what was it? Ignoring the double entendre dialogue, I strained my eyes hoping to catch a glimpse of the mystery car's badge or some other way to find