Pick of the Day: 1965 Sunbeam Tiger, V8-powered British sports car

With a Ford small block under its hood, the little roadster was transformed into a jungle beast

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tiger
Carroll Shelby applied Ford V8 muscle to the diminutive two-seater

With a Ford small block under its hood, the little roadster was transformed into a jungle beast

One of the benefits of having more than 35,000 cars for sale on ClassicCars.com is that there are always a few deals out there to be found if you take the time to really search the site.

The Pick of the Day is one of those deals, for a 1965 Series 1 Sunbeam Tiger.

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The Sunbeam Tiger was a joint effort from the UK’s Rootes group, which owned Sunbeam and Carroll Shelby. A bit like the Cobra idea, Shelby took the Sunbeam Alpine, shoehorned in a Ford small-block V8, beefed up the suspension and driveline, and created a car that was a serious performer for its time.

 Having driven a few of these cars, I know they are the epitome of fun to drive, and feel even faster than they really are.

This Tiger is offered on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Alsip, Illinois, and it looks to be a nice driver-level example. The seller describes the Tiger as having a super nice-running Ford 260 V8 engine with a stock Ford/Holley 2-barrel carburetor, Girling power disc brakes and a 4-speed manual transmission.

The Tiger has had the same owner since 1987, the ad says, and it is well-documented with complete service records and records from a late-1980s restoration. The Tiger includes its correct tonneau cover and stock Motorola AM radio, and it is running on Western Superlite aluminum wheels.

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The older repaint looks decent but is starting to show it’s age, while the black seats look to be in great condition as does the wood dash, with all of the Jaeger gauges functioning. Even the fabric top looks to be in decent condition.

There was a run up on prices for Tigers a few years ago with cars changing hands for more than $150,000, but over the past 18 months, values have dropped a bit, making it a good time to consider one of these cars.

tiger

This Tiger with an asking price of $39,000 looks to be a very strong deal, and offers a lot of real 1960s-era Shelby-performance sports car for the money.

Sure, if you were to completely restore this car, you probably would be upside down quickly. But as a car to buy, drive and enjoy, this Tiger offers quite a lot for the money.

With all the clone Tiger examples out there, this car would require a thorough pre-purchase inspection to make sure it is authentic and not an Alpine conversion.  In my research, the chassis number shown in the ad does correspond with Tiger chassis numbers, so this car seems to be authentic and simply an excellent deal.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, I think you’re correct, JimP, and Sean Connery drove one in “Dr. No”.
    Best thing about these is you can stuff a stroker 347ci and Tremec 6spd, with a narrowed aftermarket 9inch axle into a car that looks like a lame Brit built 4banger.
    And then out Beach Boys by getting rubber in all six (don’t ask how I know this).
    I fully agree with Adam: deal of the century.
    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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