YOU DON'T JUST START IT...YOU UNLEASH IT!" -Carroll Shelby
If you’re a car guy, you surely know the Sunbeam Tiger. More than just another little English sports car with a big V8 stuffed into it, it was a genuinely civilized Anglo-American hybrid that was much more user-friendly than, say, the Shelby Cobra. It’s true that Carroll Shelby had a hand in the development of the Tiger prototype, and while he hoped to be awarded the contract to build the Tiger in California, they were ultimately built in England (with Ol’ Shel receiving an undisclosed licensing fee for each one built, of course) with help from Jensen Motors and Ford’s Industrial Division. 7067 Sunbeam Tigers were built over a four-year period, 1964-67, and numerous aftermarket suppliers popped up to supply upgrades for the surprisingly civilized little cars. Most notable among those was Los Angeles Tigers, or LAT, whose catalog was full of upgrades from custom wheels to 4-barrel carburetors to upgraded gearsets. The combination of civility, performance, and the ability to custom-tailor a Tiger to a customer’s exact desires made them highly desirable, both then and now. If you haven’t driven one, then perhaps you don’t understand (yet) but there’s a great deal of truth to the quote in a 1965 issue of British magazine “Motor Sport” saying, “No combination of an American V8 and a British chassis could be happier.”
You may notice the small Chrysler emblem on the lower right front fender—that’s correct for 1966 when Chrysler purchased the Rootes Group. There were attempts to find a suitable Chrysler powerplant to replace the Ford small block V8, but ultimately only the Ford would fit, creating the somewhat amusing situation where Chrysler was buying Ford engines for a British car.
This Sunbeam Tiger, a 1966 MK IA serial number B382002196LRXFE, is documented with a Certificate of Authenticity (number 0778) from the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association and the original Vehicle Build Details Certificate of Disclosure (number 0175)—it is, without question, a real Tiger. This Sunbeam Tiger is a born and bred Shelby creation, powered by the original 260-ci Ford V8 engine backed by a 4-speed Toploader transmission. This genuine Tiger comes with a box full of organized documentation. Some items include: the Original Bill of Sale, Letter from the Original Owner, Original Ownership Documents and so much more. This little gem is also in the book of Norman and includes Norm's Vehicle Build Details. The Letter from the Original Owner states that the Tiger has never been in an accident, the engine has never been rebuilt, has been driven regularly until 1995 and had a "down to metal" original color paint job in 1993.
The car's interior and suspension were recently redone. Within the last few years, a new clutch was installed, new convertible top, driver's side reproduction floor pan, carpet, door and interior panels, top cover, trunk platform was replaced and Sunbeam Specialties 13-inch alloy wheels and tires put on. The speedometer and tachometer were repaired/rebuilt, along with the brakes, fulcrum pins, bushings, ball joints, U-joints, shocks, Panhard rod, brake booster rebuild and vent flappers. A new carburetor has been installed along with a reproduction radio console from Australia. The rear bumper recently received a new chrome job. Please note, the car does retain the original air cleaner and the original wiring harness.
It’s a mistake to think of these as discount Cobras—the Tiger is vastly more sophisticated and polished. It’s a car that you can use every day and drive cross-country without complaints, and its diminutive proportions mask a car that’s spacious for today’s drivers. Sure, the weather equipment is typical British sports car, but if you’re worried about rain when you’re driving a bright red Tiger, you’re doing it wrong. This car is an absolute joy to drive: fast, competent, and comfortable, and the ownership experience is unlike anything else. Overlooked for decades, the Tiger is finally getting the respect and admiration it deserves, and this spectacular example delivers the brilliant driving experience that you’d expect. Contact us and schedule a test-drive today!