Lot 299 - 1965 Sunbeam Tiger
|Odometer reading||2,440 miles|
|Estimate||£33,000 - £38,000|
The West Coast Sales Manager of Rootes American Motors Inc, Ian Garrad, realised that the Alpine's image was that of a touring car rather than a sports car, so he set about changing its image using the recent success of the Shelby Cobra as a guide. Sunbeam asked Carroll Shelby to produce one functional prototype on a budget of $10,000. Shelby's prototype was fabricated by Shelby employee George Boskoff and the result was judged to be good enough to send to England for production evaluation. Seeking reassurance everything would fit, a second Series II Alpine was handed to Ken Miles. A talented racer and fabricator in his own right, Miles had just been employed by Shelby American. After doing extensive engineering studies, Rootes Group subcontracted development and pre-production testing to Jensen, located in West Bromwich. Jensen went on to assemble the Sunbeam Tiger with production reaching 7,085 cars over three distinct series (the factory only ever designated two, the Mk. I and Mk. II; however, since the official Mk. I production spanned the changeover in body style from the Series IV Alpine panels to the Series V panels, the later cars are generally designated Mk. IA by current Sunbeam Tiger enthusiasts). Mk. II production totalled just 536 cars and these Tigers, with the 200bhp and a 4.7 litre engine, are rare today. Both the Miles and the Shelby prototypes have survived, along with a number of other historically significant Tigers.
This modified 1965 Sunbeam Tiger was first owned by the Humber Works Association. Restored to a very high specification over a two year period and costing over £25,000 on parts alone, work included a new 340bhp, Ford GT40 302 engine and a new five speed Tremec gearbox with overdrive on top gear to enable cruising at 80mph at 2000rpm. It also features disc brakes all round, vented at the front with Wilwood four pot callipers and handbrake callipers on rear. The car has new specification Panhard Rods, set at the correct level and welded anti tramp bars to the suspension, all new electronic rev. Counter and a speedometer with all the other instruments in matching colour. The car has been converted to lefthand drive and is finished in midnight blue with a matching hard top, sun roof and new black soft top. The interior is fitted with all new black leather and the external chrome has been restored. The bonnet is a steel LAT-type with matching front quarter bumpers and front air dam. Supplied with a V5C registration document, and an MoT test certificate which expires in May 2013, this Sunbeam Tiger has been known to the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Club since 1989 and has been completely restored, ready for rallying or high speed touring.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.