1967 SUNBEAM Tiger V8

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1967 SUNBEAM Tiger V8

Background

The Sunbeam Tiger was a two-seater, high-performance version of the British Rootes group’s Alpine roadster. The American sports car legend Carroll Shelby had a hand in designing the ‘Cobra Killer’ and the plucky British sports was powered by America iron in the form of a 260cu in, 4.3L V8 for the mark 1, and a larger capacity 289cu in, 4.7L V8 for the mark 2.

Rootes had wanted to expand as a company and realised that they needed to be playing on the world markets with their products. Coming to the revelation that the cars needed more power to be in with a chance at beating the big boys, Rootes approached Ferrari to redesign their standard inline 4 hoping to play off the fact that ‘Powered by Ferrari’ would attract a significant amount of interest. Initial talks at Ferrari went well but ultimately failed, back to square one for Rootes then, until F1 star Jack Brabham proposed to competition manager Norman Garrad that they use a Ford V8 in the car following on from the success that British company AC had with the Cobra.

Rootes made two versions of the Tiger, the mark 1 and the mark 2, with little difference between the two save for some design updates and a bigger cubic capacity engine for the mark 2. The Sunbeam Tiger was quite popular with the public at the time of its production but unfortunately for Rootes, money troubles meant they were bought out by Chrysler and the notion of manufacturing a product powered by a competitor engine was too hard to swallow. Without an engine of suitable size and weight, the Tiger was consigned to the history books, however owing to the ease and affordability of owning and modifying a Tiger, they became a sought-after classic rarely being found in factory original form.

The Vehicle

This Sunbeam Tiger is in fantastic condition having been enthusiast owned for the purpose of competing in road rallies. As such the car has some fantastic additions to ensure its fully competitive in various events, namely the Pirelli Classic Marathon Rally, it has even starred on the cover of magazines as shown in the enormous pile of history that comes with the car.

The current owner has had the car for around 12 months as it was something they desired to own for a long time. It has only been used in the summer during that time doing very little miles. The Tiger was mainly driven to car shows to show it off and for the weekend B-road blast to shake off the week, the current owner has just taken time to enjoy the car as it is and has not made any further modifications to the car as it stood.

On the Outside

For a car that has clearly been used as its manufacturer intended, the condition of the exterior, as well as the car overall, is spectacular, it’s clear to see that the owner has cared for this car meticulously during their time. The light blue paintwork contrasting against the black highlights gives the car a perfect period road rally style, added to by the twin spotlights fixed to the front bumper. The wheels are in fantastic condition also, including the spare in the boot should anything unfortunate happen whilst mid road rally stage.

Something that might draw your attention is the aftermarket bonnet with its scoop and raised height at the rear to allow for sufficient air flow to cool the V8 lump powering the lightweight two-seater roadster. The shut lines around the car are superb too, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a newly built professional homage to road rallying style with the way the exterior greets your eyes and the way the paint work has such a deep lustre. The removable hardtop should also go some way to suggest this Tiger means business as does the storage rack at the rear of the car, giving the driver (and their co-driver) extra space to pack for any eventuality one might encounter during competition.

On the Inside

Inside the Tiger is all business, there are switches galore for all kinds of purposes, trips computers, timers, map lights and storage spaces, everything the driving team would need to put in a sterling effort over the road courses. The colour matched half cage hides the soft top whilst protecting driver and co from any injuries should, God forbid, the car manages to roll, it wears stickers from previous events with pride as badges of honour from past successes.

The driving position looks to be a nice, snug, ergonomic one with a sweet, short throw looking gear lever, a chunky small steering wheel allowing the driver to really chuck the Tiger into corners and a pair of supportive and secure Cobra bucket seats. In addition to the driving position, there are plenty of storage spaces for maps and timing sheets in the nettings in the doors, whilst the instruments and gauges constantly update the driver as to the health of the drivetrain. The Cobra seats do have some tears in them but fear not as the owner has seen fit to include a brand-new pair of reclining bucket seats trimmed in black leather. Inside the Tiger then is all business, but it’s does this in such a way that it doesn’t look unpleasant to be in, if anything it fills us with excitement.

Underneath

The underside of the Tiger you’d imagine would see a lot of abuse from the changing surfaces and conditions of the roads it competes on, however as the owner is clearly proud of this car, the underside is just as good a condition as the rest of the car. There is clear evidence of underseal and protection applied to the metal and other components underneath the car. The current owner is also concerned with safety under here too, with the backup chain in place to prevent the exhaust from any unintentional wandering off, along with the sump guard, protecting the underside of the engine from any large rocks or potholes the drivers might not spot or omit from the pace notes. The exhaust also has some heat wrapping to protect the underside from extreme temperatures that may occur for prolonged periods of running. Should the underside receive the same treatment as the rest of the car clearly has then we would feel confident in suggesting that all is in perfect working order underneath the Tiger. 

History Highlights

The history that is supplied with this car is some of the most comprehensive documentation of a car’s life we have seen, with nearly every single receipt, service invoice, notes on work done and garage service stamps since the car’s manufacture back in 1967. There is evidence from all of the aftermarket conversions fitted to the car, such as the uprated brake disc kit as well as various parts from all over the UK, America and the Netherlands. There is so much in the history files that that storage rack on the back of the Tiger will be needed to take it away.

There has been so much work and parts fitted that we would not be surprised if the total spent on upgrading and refining the car is double the sale price. Please take some time to peruse through the gallery below of all the history as if we went into detail about it here, we’d need a lot more space. In conclusion, it would be fairly easy to track the exact timeline of this car with the amount recorded.

What We Think

What an amazing car with a fantastic back story to boot, the Sunbeam Tiger was one of those ‘great ideas’ that came about by interested people all with a passion for the same thing. This 54-year-old certainly isn’t about to retire anytime soon and with a timeless recipe of ‘big power, lightweight body’ there absolutely no reason it should.

With its stack of spare parts and literal mountain of history and memorabilia supporting just how successful and loved this little car has been, we might suggest that this Sunbeam Tiger is one of the best available.

Considering the racing pedigree and historic significance of the Sunbeam Tiger, the fact that an equivalent AC Cobra, Jaguar E-Type, Ferrari etc would be enormously more expensive, this little British gem represents quite the bargain for just as many thrills and smiles.

Our estimate for this car is £36,000 - £45,000.

Viewing is always encouraged and as stated this car is located at our HQ near Abingdon; we are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm and to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing to make an appointment. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

cluggie

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 39560kms
  • Chassis Number: B9472157HR0FE
  • Engine: 4737
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: BLUE
  • Interior: Black/Race Seats
  • Estimated Price: £36,000 - £45,000

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