1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA

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Lot 55
1965 SUNBEAM TIGER Mk I

Sold for US$ 66,000 inc. premium
1965 SUNBEAM TIGER Mk I

Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE
Engine no. 4624F21KA (see text)

289ci OHV V8-Engine
Single Carburetor
256bhp at 5,200rpm
4-Speed Toploader Manual Transmission with Hurst Linkage
Independent Front Suspension – Live Rear Axle
Front Discs - Rear Drum Brakes

*Extensively documented from new
*Built 289ci engine and numbers matching 260ci engine included
*Desirable original LAT parts included but not installed
*Certified by the Tiger Authentication Committee



THE SUNBEAM TIGER

Inspired by Carroll Shelby's success in shoehorning a Ford V8 into the AC Ace to create the Cobra, Rootes asked Shelby to perform the same trick with its Sunbeam Alpine sports car. The project was instigated by the company's West Coast, USA distributor, Rootes American Motors Inc, which was located not far from Shelby American. Ford's 260ci (4.2-liter) 'Windsor' V8 was chosen, and even though this had 'only' 164bhp on tap it was approaching double the output of the contemporary Alpine's 1.6-liter four. The transplant radically transformed the character of the car.

Assembled by Jensen Motors and introduced in 1964, the Tiger kept the Alpine's basic layout but featured a stronger gearbox and rear axle plus rack-and-pinion steering. Vastly superior to its Alpine progenitor in performance terms, the Tiger stormed to 60mph in under ten seconds and peaked at around 120mph. Tigers would go on to enjoy success in both racing and rallying over the years.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

While everyone else was out buying Mustangs, 27-year-old Navy officer Terry Gustavson had other ideas. One of eight officers serving among 201 enlisted men aboard the destroyer USS Brister, he took advantage of his overseas position to order something a bit hotter than a V8 Mustang right before the end of his Naval career—a Sunbeam Tiger. Purchased by Lieutenant Gustavson in Paris through Navy Auto Sale-Pacific on May 31, 1965, the Tiger was ordered in red over black with a black top and with the optional white wall tires—five of them for $18—and an amp meter for an addition $9. The total came to $3,042 and delivery was slated for mid-July—conveniently one month after Lt. Gustvason's honorable discharge from active duty.

Arriving new to Gustavson's Chicago home, the car would remain in the Midwest and eventually find its way to a meticulous Wisconsin owner in the late 1970s/early 1980s. During his more than two decades of ownership and continuing after it, a thick file of receipts was accumulated documenting, among other things, a cosmetic and mechanical restoration. Also included is a receipt for the 289ci engine currently fitted in the car—although the original 260ci engine is included. During the restoration that replaced the engine, the car was also fitted with a louvered hood—but again the original was retained and still accompanies the car.

Finding its way West, the car has spent the last several years in California and Arizona. Among the three and a half decades of service history are receipts for a September 2015 service at Rootes Group Depot in Santa Clara, California. During this nearly $9,000 service, the hydraulic and fuel system were extensively restored with new fuel and brake lines, fuel pump, brake booster, master and slave cylinders, and more. Continuous labor is not just evidenced in the history binder, but in the lovely condition of the car as it sits today.

Beyond the original 260ci V8 and un-louvered hood, also included with the car are numerous uninstalled, hard to find original LAT parts such as Tiger headers, an Edelbrock Tiger manifold, a 4-barrel carburetor, and LAT traction bars. Both the well restored vinyl soft top and black hardtop with a new headliner are also included.

Still finished in its original red over black color scheme and sitting on Panasport spoked aluminum wheels, this Tiger is certain to provide many happy miles of motoring. Between the original bits, the uninstalled LAT spares, the hefty bind of service history, both tops, the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association Certificate of Authenticity, and the original purchase contract, tools, and owner's handbook—the only thing to worry about is where to keep all the extra bits. A rare luxury indeed, especially when they all go to such a stunning machine!

Footnotes

  • Please note car is titled as a Root with chassis no. B9473614
Contacts
<b>1965 SUNBEAM TIGER Mk I</b><br />Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE<br />Engine no. 4624F21KA (see text)
<b>1965 SUNBEAM TIGER Mk I</b><br />Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE<br />Engine no. 4624F21KA (see text)
<b>1965 SUNBEAM TIGER Mk I</b><br />Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE<br />Engine no. 4624F21KA (see text)
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
1965 Sunbeam Tiger MKI  Chassis no. B9473614LRXFE Engine no. 4624 F21KA
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