1967 was the last year of the Tiger and was sold almost exclusively in the United States as the Tiger II. This example is superbly restored by Rootes Group Depot of Santa Clara, California. The 1967 model is the rarest of Tigers with its fresh egg-box grille, 4-wheel disc brakes and 289ci, Ford small-block V8 in a modified Series V Alpine monocoque. 'Powered by Ford' badging was carefully replaced by shields complete with 'Sunbeam V-8.' The 289 added two miles-per-hour to the top speed, now 122mph, and lost 1.1 seconds for its 0-60 mph time for only a small increase in price, up to $3,842. By comparison a 1967 Ford Mustang V8 was $2,898.
This is one of 536 Mark II Sunbeam Tigers produced in 1967. These Tigers were produced with the Cobra-style 'egg crate' grille and the stainless steel chrome-type wheel arch moldings and rocker trim. The Tigers were in production from 1964-67.
Power was supplied by a Ford 289 cubic-inch (4.7 litre) V-8 that produced 200 horsepower. The coachwork was supplied by Rootes Manufacturing of England and Humber Motors Ltd.
The current owner purchased this Sunbeam Tiger in 2001 in Washington State. A complete, frame-off restoration was undertaken by the owner.
Sir William Rootes declared after opening his new showroom on Park Avenue in New York, in April 1950, that the way to sell cars here was to mimic American cars but in a British-size. It took until 1955 to send over the Sunbeam Rapier sedan (mimicking the 1953 Studebaker) and then the Alpine 2-seater in 1958. The Tiger arrived in 1965 regrettably deemed 'nearly enough, but clearly too late; too slow and too expensive.'
The MKII means 4.7-liter Ford V8 and 4-wheel disc brakes. This MKII is an original and unrestored example.
Sold for $231,000 at 2014 RM Auctions. Sunbeam produced just 536 examples of the Tiger MK II model. The small European sports car was given a powerful American V-8 engine which provided plenty of performance in a small package. The Rootes Group, which owned Sunbeam, as well as Hillman, Humber, and Singer took advantage of the massive demand for these types of cars in North America. A prototype based on the Sunbeam Alpine was developed in conjunction with Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. The design quickly gained approval from upper management at Rootes, who soon produced the car at Jensen Motors in England. The Tiger was first available in the United States in 1964. The following year, it was made available as a right-hand-drive model in its native market.
Sunbeam produced over 6,000 examples of the Mark I Tigers, and just 536 MK II examples were produced in 1967. The Mark II had several important improvements over their predecessors, perhaps the biggest being the Ford 289 V-8 engine that had proven itself in the Shelby Cobra. The 289 engine gave the car a top speed of 122 mph and 0-60 mph took just 7.5 seconds. Styling changes included the addition of an egg-crate grille, lower body stripes, a stainless steel rocker panel and wheel-well moldings, Sunbeam script on the hood and trunk, rectangular reverse lights mounted underneath the rear bumper, an updated oil cooler, slightly revised headlight trim, and an upgraded interior that featured a burled walnut dashboard.
The Mark II would be the last of the Tigers, as the Rootes Group was bought out by Chrysler, and they wouldn't allow the Ford V-8 into the engine bay, nor did they have a V-8 in their repertoire that would fit in the Tiger's chassis.
The current owner purchased this MKII around 2010 and it has recently been given a two-year ground-up restoration. It has all its original trim and its original oil cooler, and it is a matching-number example. It also has a Certificate of Authenticity from the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association.
The car is finished in Forest Green. It has its original tool kit and a trio of desirable LAT options, such as aluminum valve covers, aluminum wheels, and an aluminum intake, as well as a four-barrel Holley carburetor. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Sold for $210,000 at 2014 Mecum. 1967 was the final year of Sunbeam Tiger MKII production and just 536 examples were produced. This example is known as 'Number 10' for being the 10th Tiger produced that year. It was sold new by J. Sargent Ltd. in Raleigh, North Carolina, in March of 1967 to Chuck Crouse, who purchased it off the showroom floor. It was equipped with a black hardtop. In 1947, the car was traded to Leith Lincoln Mercury in Raleigh before being purchased by John Felicione, who would later own the car a second time, during which he added alloy wheels and a Black hood scoop. John then sold it to Dan Boult of Ohio.
In 1990, Boult treated the car to an uncompromising frame-off restoration by Tiger expert Scott Woerrth of Christiana, Pennsylvania. It was then essentially placed into storage to preserve the restoration, until Boult sold it to Lee Padilla of Laughlin, Nevada in 1997. Padilla then placed the car in a sealed 'air-bubble' storage container for another 13 years before becoming part of the Craig Brody Collection in Weston, Florida. It has since been recommissioned and mechanically prepared. It retains the original sheet metal and the original drivetrain comprising a matching-numbers Ford 289/225 HP V-8 and 4-speed transmission. It remains as original, with all-original or factory-replacement parts where needed. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
Sold for $137,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. Sunbeam's new car was initially named 'Thunderbolt' but was quickly renamed the Tiger after a famous 1920s Sunbeam racer. The car went into production in time for the 1964 New York Auto Show. Between 1965 and 1966, Rootes built 6,498 Tigers in both left- and right-hand drive, with many featuring the Alpine's hardtop. After Lord Rootes died, Chrysler bought into the Rootes Group, and were against building a car powered by Ford. Chrysler ceased the program in 1967, after just 536 Mark IIs (including two prototypes) were built, of which, none were sold in England.
This example was originally sold new by Larry Reed Sports Cars in Los Angeles, but the buyer opted for European delivery. The original owner picked the car up in London. The only options ordered at the time were a factory hardtop and a cigarette lighter. Although the car was slated for the U.S., the Tiger was delivered with a speedometer reading in kilometers. It also had European three-point safety belts and a Rootes of London key fob.
The current owner (the vehicle's second owner) purchased the car in 2008. Since then, it was given a comprehensive six-year restoration. During that time, the car was completely rebuilt and refinished in its original Carnival Red (Code 39) over a black interior and fitted with its original black factory hardtop. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2015
Sold for $137,500 at 2015 RM Auctions. Sold for $148,500 at 2016 Gooding & Company. Production of the Mark I Tigers, between 1964 and 1967, reached 6,450, with about half of them unofficially designated Mark IA, based on the Series V Alpine. In 1967, a Mark II version was introduced with the 289 cubic-inch Ford engine. Just 633 of those were built before production was halted.
This MK IA Tiger was manufactured on May 13, 1966, and built to North American specifications. Upon completion, it was sent to Rootes Motors Overseas Ltd. in London for export. The U.S. dealer and its original owner are not known. Recently, the car was treated to a restoration where it was given all-new suspension components, the brightwork was redone where needed, the top bows were restored, a new soft-top was added, and the instruments were gone through. New rubber was installed, as was a new stainless steel exhaust system. The car received new carpets and all-new upholstered panels were installed in the trunk. The varnished wood dashboard has full instrumentation, as well as a period-correct Motorola solid state AM radio. The car rides on Michelin radial tires that are on steel wheels and have correct hubcaps and beauty rings. The engine is an overhead valve Ford V8 unit that displaces 260 cubic inches and produces 164 horsepower. In the front are disc brakes with drums at the rear. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2015
Sold for $100,000 at 2016 Mecum. The Sunbeam Alpine, with its 4-cylinder engine, was an ideal candidate for a small-block Ford V-8 power. Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles created V-8 powered prototypes which were sent to England as the blueprint for production. The unit bodies were reinforced and a 289 cubic-inch Ford V8 engine installed, backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. The engine was rated for 200 horsepower at 4,000 RPM and 282-lb-ft of torque at 2,400 RPM in stock trim.
This Sunbeam Tiger MKII is one of 533 produced. It has 33,000 original miles, original MKII trim, a factory hardtop, soft top and tonneau, and a 289 cubic-inch Ford small block engine. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
Lord William Rootes of Ramsbury created the British based Sunbeam/Rootes Coventry Company after extensive experience gained from the Singer Company. He had been actively involved in automobile racing and development for a number of years. In 1926 a Sunbeam powered by a 12-cylinder engine and driven by Sir Henry Seagrave had set the land speed record at 152.3 mph.
The Sunbeam Tiger is probably most famous for its staring roll in the TV series 'Get Smart', created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. The main character, Maxwell Smart, drove the vehicle to Control each week where he was given his assignment. Agent 86, er Maxwell Smart, received attention where ever he went, thanks in part to the stylish vehicle that accompanied him.
The Sunbeam Tiger continued the long tradition of putting a large American engine in a small European car. Others, such as the Nash-Healey and Facel Vega had done this before. The most celebrated success of this unique combination would have to be the Shelby Cobra where, under the direction of Carroll Shelby, a Ford V8 was planted in a AC Ace.
In 1959 the two-seater Sunbeam Alpine was introduced by the Rootes Group. Under the hood was a 1494 cc four-cylinder engine mated to a transmission featuring overdrive. The small engine was barely enough to compliment the stylish and sporty body. Ian Garrad, an individual involved in the US Sunbeam/Rootes Group, realized that the power of the AC Ace could be transplanted into the Sunbeam Alpine. Most of the engines he tried to install were too larger for the Alpines engine bay. He struggled to find an appropriate engine that was also backed by manufacturer support. He found it in the Ford Falcon 260 cubic-inch 8-cylinder engine.
Garrad approached the road racing legend Ken Miles and infamous Caroll Shelby for help with this project. Both agreed and began work separately in their own shops. Shortly there-after in May of 1963, the two prototypes were ready.
The prototype developed by Ken Miles retained the recirculation-ball steering and many of the Alpine's mechanical components. Shelby's approach was different, moving the engine father back in the engine back to capitalize on better weight distribution. The firewall and transmission tunnel were modified to accommodate the large engine. A rack-and-pinion steering unit replace the recirculation-ball unit and the prior transmission was removed in favor of a four-speed manual gearbox.
After vigorous testing and multiple road-trips the vehicle was sent to Lord Rootes for his approval. After further testing the project was code-named 'Thunderbolt' and further testing and development was performed on the vehicle. The chassis and suspension was straightened to compensate for the large V8 engine. This strengthening added to the overall weight of the vehicle, but with a total curb weight of just 2560 pounds, the horsepower-to-weight ratio was still phenomenal. With 164 horsepower under the hood, the vehicle was able to go from zero-to-sixty in just 7.8 seconds. If that was not enough, Shelby and Rootes offered aftermarket products that improved the engines performance resulting in 245 horsepower. The four-speed manual was standard but an optional automatic was available for an extra $500.
In honor of the land speed record accomplishment by Seagrave, the vehicle was named Sunbeam Tiger. It was debuted at the New York Auto Show where it was offered for less than $2300.
The vehicle was a success but troubles in Europe led Rootes to the Chrysler group for financial support. The Rootes Companies employees were striking, production was slow, and so was the cash flow. Chrysler stepped-in, acquiring over 83% of the company. The production of the Tiger continued through 1967 but Chrysler was not enthusiastic about offering a Ford-powered vehicle. The Mark II version appeared which offered a larger engine, the result of enlarging the bore and stroke resulting in a 289 cubic-inch capacity. Shortly after the Mark II introduction, the production of the Tiger ceased.
During its production lifespan 7067 examples of the Sunbeam Tiger were created. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006
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