1965 Sunbeam Tiger Roadster
Exterior Color: Carnival Red
Interior Color: Black
Body Style: Roadster
Engine: 260 CID
Transmission: 4-Speed manual
Drive Type: RWD
Fuel Type: Gasoline
The Sunbeam Tiger is a high-performance V8 version of the British Rootes Group’s Sunbeam Alpine roadster, designed in part by American car designer and racing driver Carroll Shelby and produced from 1964 until 1967. Shelby had carried out a similar V8 conversion on the AC Cobra, and hoped to be offered the contract to produce the Tiger at his facility in America. Rootes decided instead to contract the assembly work to Jensen at West Bromwich in England, and pay Shelby a royalty on every car produced.
Two major versions of the Tiger were built: The Mark I (1964–67) was fitted with the 260 cu in (4.3 L) Ford V8; the Mark II, of which only 633 were built in the final year of Tiger production, was fitted with the larger Ford 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine. Two prototype and extensively modified versions of the Mark I competed in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, but neither completed the race. Rootes also entered the Tiger in European rallies with some success, and for two years it was the American Hot Rod Association’s national record holder over a quarter-mile drag strip.
Production ended in 1967 soon after the Rootes Group was taken over by Chrysler, which did not have a suitable engine to replace the Ford V8. Owing to the ease and affordability of modifying the Tiger, there are few surviving cars in standard form.
This car was ordered by Charles D. Parsons of Bartlesville, OK through Auto Europe of Chicago, IL to be picked up in Antwerp, Belgium on April 15, 1965. The car was ordered in Carnival Red with Wedgewood blue seats and with the following options: Ammeter – $9.00, Locking gas cap – $5.00, Trunk mounted luggage rack – $36.00, Cover & straps for luggage rack – $11.00, 2 U.S. spec seat belts – $24.00 & Undercoating – $32.00. Overdrive transmission and Wire wheels were checked on the order sheet but were not available on the Tiger model.
Mr. Parsons drove the car around Europe covering approximately 3175 miles before sending the car to Oklahoma via Houston, TX where it remained until Mr. Parsons passing in 2014.
At some point the car was repainted and the seats were changed to black but the car remains very original. After Mr. Parsons passing several sympathetic mechanical repairs were undertaken including all new brake and clutch hydraulics, fuel and water pumps, belts and hoses. Full documentation with photos, notes and receipts accompany the car.
The current owner acquired 9472881 in June, 2016 and has continued to perform sympathetic repairs including: new carpet, new top, and all new body gaskets and seals, Pertronix electronic ignition, custom aluminum radiator, carburetor rebuild and Pannasport wheels with radial tires. All original parts have been retained.
Thanks to proper stewardship, this Tiger is in remarkable condition, fully earning a survivor classification. The Carnival Red exterior is deep and lush, showing very little wear. Panel gaps are correct, as original, and the doors shut crisply. The as-original, factory black interior is in excellent condition. The wood dash shows a little cracking, the gauges are fully functional and shine like new.
This car truly is a show piece. Additionally, original purchase documents are included in the sale and make this package a true collectors dream! Low original miles, documentation, and incredible original condition will insure that this Tiger is a worthy addition to any automotive portfolio.
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