Sunbeam Tiger’s first appearance was in 1925 and it was originally built as a race car. It was powered by a supercharged V12 engine that can produce 300hp. In 1926, this car made its top speed record of 152mph and after 65 years of staying in lime light, it breaks its own record in 1992 with a new 160mph top speed.
1925 Sunbeam Tiger
This record-breaking vehicle is still in piece and it was displayed in a Utah-based car museum.
The 1960’s Sunbeam Tiger
In 1964, Carroll Shelby had a huge part in remaking the Sunbeam. In contrary to common belief, the ‘60s version of the Sunbeam Tiger was assembled by custom automaker Jensen and not by Rootes. The Sunbeam Tiger was a Sunbeam Alpine but it was powered by an American V8 engine.
The new Sunbeam Tiger was either powered by a Ford 260 cu in or a 289 V-8. Its body was slightly modified to accommodate the larger engines and custom transmissions such as the Ford T-170 Top Loader 4-speed manual transmission.
The Success Of Mark I And Mark IA
1966 Sunbeam Tiger
The Sunbeam Tigers from 1964 to 1967 were called Mark I and over 6000 of them were sold in 1964 to 1967. This car is powered by a 260 cu in Ford V8 that can produce 164bhp. This engine is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in just 8.6 seconds and its top speed is 120mph. Coil springs were used on its independent suspension up front while a live axle was used on its rear. Stiffer springs were used on its front end to support its large engine and a Panhard Rod was used on its rear to better locate the rear axle. Aside from those additions, the Sunbeam Tiger’s suspension and braking systems are almost the same with Sunbeam Alpine.
Mark II And Discontinuation
Only half of Sunbeam Tigers are considered Mark I and the other half of its release is called Mark IA. It has minor differences on its exterior and interior designs. The notable differences are its convertible top covers and redesigned grille. Also, the chrome trim on its side were removed.
In 1967, a re-imagined Mark IA was released and it was called the Mark II. It was packed with bigger Ford 289 cu in V8. This bigger engine increased the car’s power. Its acceleration from 0 to 60 mph took only 7 seconds and its top speed was improved to 122 mph. This Mark II was only available in US and it was called Tiger II. During its release, Chrysler has already taken over the Rootes and its “Powered by Ford” shields were replaced with “Sunbeam V-8” badges.
The Avenger Tiger
Only 633 Mark II was made on 1967 and this model was discontinued because of the changes that happened on its company. In 1972, Chrysler revived the Tiger name and they introduced the Avenger Tiger. This car was a modified Hillman Avenger and it was intentionally made for rallying.
The 1965 Sunbeam Tiger I was used in 1965 TV series Get Smart.
The Sunbeam Tiger’s charm is now discovered and its value at auctions is starting to escalate.