2022 | London Auction
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk I
£75,000 - £100,000| Without Reserve
Historic Collaboration Between Rootes Group of UK and Carroll Shelby
Modified for Competition Use in the Mid-1990s
Presented in Period Color of Forest Green and Offered with Matching Hardtop
Eligible for Exciting Vintage Competition Events Worldwide
Includes Extensive Service Records and MOT Test Certificates
260 CID Ford OHV V-8 Engine
Single Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
Estimated 250 BHP at 5,000 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
Front Disc, Rear Drum Brakes
Front Independent-Wishbone Suspension with Coil Springs
Rear Live-Axle Suspension with Leaf Springs and Panhard Rod
Eyeing to improve the performance of the Alpine sports car, the Rootes Group reportedly first approached Ferrari to help enhance a 1.5-litre straight four. Eventually, the British company followed the advice of Jack Brabham to fit a V-8 engine instead. To ensure the transplant was successful, the help of Carroll Shelby was called in. He found that a Ford small block would indeed just fit in the Alpine’s engine bay, and the Sunbeam Tiger was born. Launched in 1964 and more modestly priced than Shelby’s Cobra, the Tiger remained in production until 1967. Its eventual demise came after the Chrysler Corporation bought Sunbeam and had no suitable engine to replace the Ford V-8.
Quite a few Tigers were prepared and raced in period, and they have been equally popular in historic racing. The example on offer here benefited from a rebuild to competition specifications in the mid-1990s at the hands of Brown & Gammons Ltd. The work included stripping the body shell to bare metal and repainting it in Forest Green, which was a Rootes period color. In 2009, an FIA Technical Passport was issued clearing the Tiger for FIA GTS12 competition.
In more recent years, the Tiger has been maintained by specialists Don Law Racing and Pearsons Engineering Ltd. Upgraded to competition specifications and accompanied by a matching hardtop and extensive service records, this Sunbeam Tiger will provide a great opportunity for its next lucky owner.