2019 Shannons Melbourne Summer Classic Auction
Lot
50

1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1 Roadster (RHD)

$70,000 - $80,000

Specifications

Engine 260ci V8
Gearbox Four-speed manual
Engine No. 5333F21KA
Chassis No. B9473528HRUFE
Body Work Convertible
Colour Red
Interior Black
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Minilite alloys
Brakes Disc/drum

Vehicle Report

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Description

Thanks to the success of the brutal AC Cobra, the Anglo-American sports car was already a well-established concept by the time the Rootes Group made the decision to build a V8-powered derivative of its pretty Alpine sports car. Indeed, the Cobra's creator, legendary Texan Carroll Shelby, was heavily involved in developing the initial prototype for Sunbeam, shoehorning Ford's small-block V8 under the bonnet with dramatic results. The first Tigers used the 260-ci V8 combined with a four-speed Top Loader transmission, the Alpine's chassis suitably beefed-up to cope with the additional power. The bodyshells were stiffened, rack and pinion steering adopted, and the suspension revised, while Jensen of West Bromwich - already building its own Anglo-American GT cars - was subcontracted to build the Tiger to avoid disrupting production of the Alpine. First offered for sale in 1964, the Tiger's performance was on an entirely different level to the relatively pedestrian Alpine, and indeed that of most contemporary British sports cars. With a top speed of around 200 km/h, the 0-100 km/h dash took a fraction over nine seconds. The car certainly received a warm reception from the motoring press and public alike. In 1967 a revised Mark II model was introduced with the larger 289-c V8, but the model was hastily dropped in 1968 when Chrysler took a controlling interest in Sunbeam and quickly put an end to production. The Tiger enjoyed a successful competition career, both in rallying and on circuits across Europe and America, with Brian Lister developing the unique Le Mans fastback coupes for an all-out attack on the French endurance classic. In all there were just 6495 Mark I and a further 571 Mark II Tigers produced, and surviving examples today enjoy a cult following in America, Britain and Australia. More than just an affordable Cobra alternative, the Tiger has a unique character, combining effortless performance with plenty of creature comforts and a surprisingly roomy cabin.

History

  • Genuine 1965 Sunbeam Alpine
  • Restored in the UK 
  • Used regularly for club competition
  • Big history file
  • Thoroughly maintained throughout its life
Restored in the UK in the 1990s, this much-loved 1965 Sunbeam Alpine came to Australia at the end of 2012. It was restored by its UK Sunbeam Owner’s Club secretary owner as a driver for regular use in club-level competition, hence the four-point harnesses fitted. It was purchased as the best-driving example he’d tried by the current Australian owner, who has maintained it meticulously since. Finished in red to a reasonable quality, its cabin is neat with its black-trimmed vinyl, wooden dashboard and matching wood-rim steering wheel and gear knob. There’s a non-standard fibreglass bonnet fitted, but an original factory steel one comes with the car in a crate. Recent work has included a new windscreen, brake hoses, radiator hoses and fan belt, oil changes and a new oil filter, and new rear brake slave cylinders. Our example also comes with an extensive history file of past owners, detailed invoices and test results from the engine rebuild by Maxwell Engineering, photos of its UK restoration, and the original registration documents and owner’s manual. There are also numerous brass plaques from events the Tiger has attended. Built for driving above all else, this 1965 Sunbeam Tiger has been on club registration, so is being sold unregistered.
 
Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.

Inspection Times

Showroom Hours

Monday to Friday

8.00am - 6.00pm

Saturday

10.00am - 4.00pm

Main Viewing Weekend

Saturday 16 February

9.00am - 4.00pm

Sunday 17 February

10.00am - 4.00pm

Auction

Monday 18 February

7.00pm
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