A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £65,250
The West Coast Sales Manager of Rootes American Motors Inc., Ian Garrad, realised that the Sunbeam Alpine's image was that of a touring car rather than a sports car and he set about changing its image using the Shelby Cobra as a guide. Sunbeam asked Carroll Shelby to produce one functional prototype and this was fabricated by Shelby employee George Boskoff and sent to England for evaluation. The Tiger was born. After carrying out doing extensive engineering studies, the Rootes Group sub-contracted development and production to Jensen, located in West Bromwich and eventually, production of the Tiger totalled 7,085 cars. The Shelby prototype has survived, along with a number of other historically significant Tigers including Lister Le Mans racers.
First registered on 13/10/1965, this UK-supplied Mk1 Tiger was originally registered in Dorset to MD Marchants Ltd. Our vendor purchased the car towards the end of 2017 and, after a thorough inspection, the decision was taken to commence a full restoration. Their reputation for high-quality workmanship suggested that Sherwood Restorations would be the best people for the job and consequently they were commissioned to carry out an extensive schedule of work to return this deserving Tiger to its best. This work included taking the body back to bare metal, making any necessary repairs, painstakingly preparing the car for paint and after spraying, rebuilding the Tiger from the ground up. It's now finished in a fabulous shade of Gunmetal, with a new interior finished in Mulberry leather, matching factory hard-top, new dashboard, new fabricated Air Scoop bonnet (original restored and included), new windscreen, all chrome components refinished and a thorough engine overhaul including a new aluminium radiator. The final result is simply magnificent, the colours chosen really suit the profile of the car and we understand that the Tiger performs as well as it looks.
Accompanying the Sunbeam is an extensive history folder dating back to the 1970's with a complete photographic account of the restoration process including supporting invoices totalling over £50,000. The file also contains the original logbooks, old MOTs, a current V5c and other period documents.
Tigers are becoming increasingly popular and are notoriously tricky to find in good order, making this a great opportunity to own a fully restored example of a fabulous sixties classic that took the British sports car market by storm when it first arrived. With all the hard work and big bills addressed, just turn the key, enjoy the soundtrack and, if values follow the trend of other Anglo-American sports cars this could turn out to be a rather smart investment.