1966 Sunbeam Tiger
STOA TAC #0613 – Certified Early MKIA Tiger
Extensive History / Documentation & Matching Factory Hardtop
Completely Restored Interior, New Vinyl Top, Panasport Wheels
We are always pleased to represent a car more than once. Selfishly it means the car has likely stayed somewhat local and there is some familiarity to that. While Southern California isn’t exactly around the corner, we still consider them neighbors, especially when they are car people. If they are neighbors and have a Tiger, well, they may as well be family.
OVERVIEW – THIS PARTICULAR SUNBEAM TIGER
What makes this Sunbeam Tiger unique? Well, unlike so many so-called Tiger’s, this example is verified/certified by the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association (STOA) as being a correct, factory produced Sunbeam Tiger. As is true with some valuable, limited production cars, there are more Sunbeam “Tigers” today than were produced between 1964-1967. As a result, documentation by Sunbeam Tiger experts is critical to ensure that a particular car is, in fact, one of the approximately 7,000 factory produced examples. The documentation for this car dates back many years and includes the following:
Sunbeam Tiger (STOA) Certificate of Authenticity verifying the cars numbers as:
- Serial #. B382001478LRXFE
- Model: IA
- Original Colour Code: 39
- JAL #. 661485
- Engine #. 6322
Vehicle Build Details – Certificate of Disclosure for Sunbeam Tiger B382001478LRXFE
- Original Engine #: Assignment: 6322 B19KC
- Original Colour Code Assignment: 39
- Original Body Assignment #: JAL 661485
- Original Gearbox #. Assignment: HEH E 016421
- Original Back Axle # Assignment: A66 5371
- Original TAC # Assignment: 0613
Certified by STOA 10/5/2004
ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL BUILD DATA ON THIS PARTICULAR TIGER
- The 1,458th 1966 Tiger built (within the 1st 500 MKI’s)
- One of 11 Tigers to have been built on February 11, 1966
- 3 of the 11 cars produced on 2/11/66 found their way to California
- The “factory” assigned engine, C4PZ-6001-CF was provided by Ford for this vehicle
- Original gearbox, HEH E 016421 was #6,421 of the gearboxes provided under the Humber contract for the Sunbeam Tiger
- Rear end produced by DANA as a Salisbury SANA 44 in January, 1966
- Keys as follows: Ignition/Doors RM 8** lock barrel, Secondary (Console/trunk) was barrel code FS 8**.
Information provided and documented by Norman Miller
Employing a similar formula to the AC Cobra, the Sunbeam Tiger represents the quintessential British sports car with a twist. Using the modified chassis and body of the four-cylinder Sunbeam Alpine combined with Ford’s venerable small-block V8, the prototype of the Tiger was constructed by Shelby at Sunbeam’s request. The resulting car was put into production, which was handled by Jensen, and just over 7000 examples were constructed between 1964 and 1967. The Tiger was manufactured in three series, Mk. I, MK IA, and MKII. The MK IA was built in extremely limited numbers with only 2,706 examples constructed between August 1965 – September 1966. This Tiger being the 457th MK IA produced in 1965.
This particular car is a genuine Mark IA and carries the STOA (Sunbeam Tiger Owner’s Association) certification. It is an original 260 cubic inch car, a left hand drive roadster specification with a factory hardtop. In addition to the STOA TAC certification supporting that the Tiger is an authentic, factory produced example, the car comes with extensive maintenance, repair, and restoration receipts and documentation. Notes in the materials provide a fascinating look at the cars history and report mileage and key facts as far back as 1969 when the car reportedly had 1,825 miles. The following highlights, taken from the significant volume of receipts, repair invoices, and other documentation, are worth noting:
- Car produced on and first registered October, 1967
- Indication in a hand-written log that the car had 1,825 miles on 1969
- Notes indicating that the Tiger was on blocks from 1979-1981
- Handwritten log documenting extensive maintenance & repairs from 1983 – 1991 including recording mileage of 80,000 and 149, 876 respectively
- Extensive receipts while owned by Mr. T., Arizona – (based on records from 1983-~2004)
- Sold to Mr. E, Northern California, in 2004 (who retained ownership until~)2007
- Considerable receipts and documentation during this ownership as well, including interior restoration and cosmetic improvements
- Acquired by a classic car dealer and retained as part of a collection
- Northern California Owner: 2016-2019
- 2019-Present: Sold to current Southern California owner. Various repairs and improvements made during ownership (see receipts in photo gallery)
Cosmetically, the car makes an excellent impression, with a lovely stock, unmodified appearance that is very difficult to find today. The exception to the cars totally stock exterior appearance is a lovely set of 14” Panasport 8 spoke wheels fitted with Dunlop tires.
The body is straight with good panel operation and fit, and the paint shows well, with a few blemishes on close inspection, but an overall presentation consistent with a car that has covered few miles over the course of several years. The body is free from damage and all of the proper Tiger bright work, emblems, and trim is in place. The chrome is in nice condition with a few swirls and light scratches. Glass and lights are excellent, and much of the trim has been replaced over the course of the cars lifetime.
The interior was restored to high standards and remains in excellent shape. The upholstery and carpets are beautiful, both in terms of condition and workmanship. The dashboard was restored in its entirety, including the upholstery, wood, instruments, and switches. A high-quality Moto-Lita wooden wheel is currently in place and the original; factory correct banjo spoke steering wheel is included with the car. The dashboard wood is in exceptional condition, as are the instruments, switches, and controls.
The engine compartment includes many original items including the air cleaner and other components. Some bolt on high performance items can be seen including an Edelbrock performance manifold and Edelbrock AVS2 carburetor. Valve covers are alloy an imprinted with “Tiger.” Recently, an oversized aluminum radiator has been installed and converted to Evans Waterless Engine Coolant. The engine compartment is tidy and free from excessive dirt, grease and signs of leaking.
The trunk presents well and includes the spare tire, spare, and jack. The upper trunk cover has the proper strap to hood it in place and has been recovered over time. The Tiger comes with a tool roll that appears to have all of the correct tools/bits and is in very good original condition (refer to photos).
The undercarriage can be seen in the photos and is original condition and we see no signs of rust through or noticeable damage, current or previous. The underside is relatively dry and the inspection reflects rear brakes being converted to disc brakes resulting in 4 wheel disc brakes on this car. The Tiger has benefited from maintenance to the front suspension and an upgrade to Koni shock absorbers and a recent stainless exhaust system. Some time ago, a remote oil filter was fitted and has been recently upgraded to a stainless exhaust system.
The car runs and drives very well. It is a tight example, with minimal rattles, taut suspension, and quick, precise steering. The throttle is linear, responsive and the engine runs very well, starting easily and showing good carburetion. It makes very good power and the V8 pulls the car authoritatively with wonderful sound through the cars dual exhaust. The brakes are very effective, having recent master cylinder and brake booster replaced. The gearbox has a robust but precise feel.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a well-documented, genuine Mark IA Tiger. It has had the benefit of relatively few owners from new and is a wonderful car to drive. The Tiger has received considerable ongoing maintenance and repairs over the years including a bare-metal respray and complete restoration of the interior and top. It is a well-resolved and nicely dialed-in car that is ready to enjoy. It is complete with hard top, comprehensive documentation, tool roll, and jack.
INCLUDED WITH THE SUNBEAM TIGER
- STOA TAC Certificate(s) of Authenticity
- Factory original hardtop
- File documenting the restoration & maintenance
- Restoration photographs
ADDITIONAL SUNBEAM TIGER HISTORY
The slick style of the Sunbeam Tiger puts one in mind of a small Shelby Cobra, and with good reason: Carroll Shelby himself was involved in its design.
Shelby’s A.C. Cobra wasn’t the only British sports car to benefit from Ford V-8 power. The Sunbeam Tiger boasted genuine Carroll Shelby involvement, and could be regarded as a sort of a Junior Cobra.”
Sunbeam was the sportiest of several English brands controlled by Britain’s Rootes Group. Sunbeam had run Grand Prix events and Indianapolis and built sporting road cars before the Rootes takeover in 1935. Rootes marketed touring cars under the Sunbeam-Talbot badge, but not until the ’50s did the name appear on a sports car, the Sunbeam Alpine.
Seeking more performance for this trusty if timidly styled four-cylinder roadster, Rootes contracted with Shelby for a prototype with Ford small-block power. Dubbed the Tiger — after Sunbeam’s 1928 land-speed-record car — it debuted at the 1964 New York Auto Show and soon went into production in England.
Visually similar to the concurrent Sunbeam Alpine, the Sunbeam Tiger shared the Cobra’s 260-cid Ford V-8, but in milder tune than that 260-hp bomb. Still, the Tiger offered twice the horsepower of the Alpine and very spirited performance. The live-rear-axle and four-speed gear box were Ford’s, but the chassis was Sunbeam Alpine’s modified by Shelby with a stiffer suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. Brakes remained front discs and rear drums. Handling, road-holding, and ride comfort earned high marks and the torquey V-8 made the car exciting to drive, especially with the narrow tires “of the day.”
The Sunbeam Tiger boasted a Ford V-8, which gave it plenty of muscle, but ultimately spelled its doom when Sunbeam was acquired by Chrysler, who did not want a Ford-engined car in its lineup.
At $3499, the Sunbeam Tiger found 6495 buyers before the MKII Tiger went on sale in 1967 (the MK IA was introduced in 1966 but was largely the same car as the ’65). It had Ford’s 289-cid V-8 with increased horsepower badging that read “Sunbeam V-8” instead of “Powered by Ford 260.” Zero-60 times fell two seconds and top speed rose five mph. Most Cobra speed equipment could be fitted, including dual four-barrel carbs for up to 300-hp.
Sunbeam Tigers were production-class road-racing threats in America and rally winners in Europe. On the street, they were significantly quicker than the last of the big Healey’s or the first of Triumph’s six-cylinder TRs. But it didn’t matter. Chrysler had bought into the Rootes group in 1964 and couldn’t countenance a Ford-powered car. The Sunbeam Tiger II was unceremoniously dumped during 1967.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE 1966SUNBEAM TIGER
- Body type: Convertible
- Country of origin: England
- Original price: $3425
- 0-60 time: 7.4 seconds
- Displacement: 4737cc
- Engine configuration: V-8
- Transmission: 4-speed manual
- Drivetrain configuration: Rear-wheel drive
- Brakes: Disc/drum
- Bolt pattern: 4 x 110mm
- Body width: 60.5 in.
- Curb weight: 2560 lbs.
- Wheelbase: 86.0 in.