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Lot
TBA

1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1A Roadster

$85,000

Specifications

Engine V8, 302-cid (see text)
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Engine No. 4704 F21KA
Chassis No. B382000190 LRX FE
Body Work Roadster
Colour Capri Blue
Interior Tan
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Cast Alloy
Brakes Disc/Drum

Description

Thanks to the success of AC’s brutal 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 the pretty Alpine sports car.  In fact it was the Cobra’s creator, legendary Texan Carroll Shelby, who 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-cid bent eight combined with a four-speed Top Loader transmission and the Alpine’s chassis was 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 their own Anglo-American GT cars - were 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 most other British sports cars of the day - and the Sunbeam received a warm reception from the motoring press and public alike.  With 164 horsepower on tap, the 0-100 km/h dash took a fraction over nine seconds on the way to a top speed of 200 km/h.  The Tiger adopted the latest Alpine bodyshell in 1965 with a strengthened cowl and new steering bracket and these cars are retrospectively described as Mark IAs.  A revised Mark II model was introduced in 1967 with the larger 289-cid V8 but sadly the model was 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 6,495 Mark I and a further 571 Mark II Tigers built and surviving examples enjoy a cult following in America, Britain and here in 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.  Not surprisingly, the Tiger has huge potential for tuning and many have been turned into successful track or historic rally machines over the years. 

History

  • Fabulous example of this fabulous Anglo-American sports car
  • Bare metal restoration carried out in 2002
  • Numerous mechanical & cosmetic upgrades
An original Sunbeam Tiger built in LHD export configuration according to the Certificate of Authenticity supplied, this 1965 Mk 1A model left the factory in Carnival Red but has since undergone a bare metal respray in Mercedes Capri Blue in 2002.  The Tiger’s upgraded drivetrain consists of a fully balanced 289-cid block stroked to 302-cid, a machined and ported cylinder head with Roller Rockers and original alloy Tiger rocker covers, TRW flat top forged pistons, Speed-Pro hydraulic valve lifters, high volume oil pump, stainless steel harmonic balancer and an ISKY Mega-Camshaft, along with an Edelbrock Performer 4-barrel inlet manifold, Holley 600cfm downdraught carburettor, Performance exhaust extractors and a twin stainless steel exhaust system.  The gearbox is a standard close-ratio Top Loader four-speed mated to a reconditioned 3.05:1 limited-slip diff fitted with traction master bars and adjustable Spax shock absorbers fitted all round, along with 15-inch wheels, electronic ignition, a front-mounted oil cooler, Halogen head lights and a new alternator and wiring harness fitted.  The interior has been retrimmed in Howe leather and Camel vinyl with a Burr Walnut dash featuring additional gauges, chrome roll bar, centre console and modern stereo.  Well-known to the local Sunbeam Tiger Register, the car was initially prepared for Tiger specialist Mal Clark’s wife Jacki, before passing to Alan Detrey of Goolwa, South Australia in 1999, followed by Tom Forrest of Balmain, New South Wales in 2007.  The current enthusiast owner took the car to Perth in 2013, continuing to both maintain and improve of over the past six years, including fitting a new soft top, a new alloy radiator and installing a Wilwood brake kit.  Currently registered in West Australia and therefore sold unregistered, the Tiger comes with a detailed history file and workshop manual supplied. 
 
Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research all vehicles before purchase to authenticate originality.
 

 

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