Solid original Sunbeam DHC to restore. [62] Compounding the problem, the company's small-block V8 engines had the distributor positioned at the rear, unlike the front-mounted distributor of the Ford V8. [47] The Mark I was unavailable in the UK until March 1965, when it was priced at £1446. This is an exceptionally well presented early Series 1 car (registered Jan 61). [4], In 1962 racing driver and Formula 1 champion Jack Brabham proposed to Rootes competition manager Norman Garrad the idea of fitting the Alpine with a Ford V8 engine,[a] which Garrad relayed to his son Ian, then the West Coast Sales Manager of Rootes American Motors Inc. Ian Garrad lived near Carroll Shelby's Shelby American operation, which had done a similar V8 conversion for the British AC Cobra. The company approached Ferrari to redesign the standard inline-four engine, recognising the cachet that "powered by Ferrari" would likely bring. The Lister-bodied Tigers were timed during the race at 157.7 mph (253.8 km/h). Stunning original example of the Ford Tiger powered V8 classic 1966 Sunbeam Police pursuit vehicle. The Sunbeam Tiger was developed by the Rootes Group and Carroll Shelby as a budget alternative for the AC Cobra 289. Runs and drives very well. But it seems to take an age for the police car to catch up, and when it gets close enough to be identified, you understand why —it's a Morris Minor. [22], Shortly before its public unveiling at the New York Motor Show in April 1964 the car was renamed from Thunderbolt to Tiger, inspired by Sunbeam's 1925 land-speed-record holder. Owing to the ease and affordability of modifying the Tiger, there are few remaining cars in standard form. The Sunbeam Alpine was by no means revolutionary in terms of design. Sunbeam Tiger: the car of Agent 86. [46] The kerb weight of the car increased from the 2,220 lb (1,010 kg) of the standard Alpine to 2,653 lb (1,203 kg). In 1980, it was bought by a William Thatcher on behalf of his 20-year-old son, Howard — who must have been the envy of any car-loving friends — and it was during his ownership that the by-then 150,000-mile car was subjected to a six-year rebuild (complete with another respray, this time taking it back to red). The Sunbeam Tiger, the car driven by agent Maxwell Smart (TV and latest movie), came out of the Rootes Group, which was later purchased by Chrysler Corporation. And, on the wishes of the owner, the car was transformed into a rally car in the same go. [32][40] By the time the Mark II car went into production Chrysler was firmly in charge of Rootes, and the "Powered by Ford" shields were replaced by "Sunbeam V-8" badges. The suspension was independent at the front, using coil springs, and at the rear had a live axle and semi-elliptic springs. Most interestingly, however, were the six that were made specifically for supply to the Metropolitan Police, combining factory-fitted right-hand drive with the same, mighty 289-cubic-inch V8 found in the Mustang and, of course, the small block Cobra. [unreliable source? It was a situation that gave forces throughout the country all the justification they needed to pepper their fleets with high(er) performance machinery, from saloons, such as the lumbering Zephyr 6 and Jaguar MKII (that was also popular with many villains also), to what must have been absurdly impractical, two-seat roadsters, such as the MGA and the Daimler Dart. The Tiger had 5 inches (130 mm) of ground clearance, a lot for a sports car but not for a rally car. [39][40][41] All Tigers were fitted with the same 4.5 in (110 mm) wide steel disc bolt-on wheels as the Alpine IV,[42] and Dunlop RS5 4.90 in × 13 in (124 mm × 330 mm) cross-ply tyres. Although this Sunbeam Tiger police car is no longer for sale with Albion Motorcars, its entire inventory is listed in the Classic Driver Market, including another white Sunbeam Tiger. [26], Jensen was able to assume production of the Tiger because its assembly contract for the Volvo P1800 had recently been cancelled. [79], For the 1920s racing and speed record car, see. [12] Any disappointment Shelby may have felt was tempered by an offer from Rootes to pay him an undisclosed royalty on every Tiger built. The standard Series II Alpine had a top speed of 98.6 mph (158.7 km/h) and accelerated from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.6 seconds. [37], All Tigers were fitted with a single Ford two barrel carburetor. Instinctively, you throttle back in the hope of scrubbing off as much speed as possible without hitting the anchors, aware that a burst of brake lights will reinforce your pursuer's belief that you really were going absurdly fast. But for God's sake keep it quiet from Dad [Lord Rootes] until you hear from me. [73] Two Tigers took part in the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally, one finishing fourth overall, the highest placing by a front-engined rear-wheel drive car, and the other eleventh. Other sources give estimates of the total number of Tiger IIs assembled as 536. POLICE FAST PURSUIT CAR. [23], Once Rootes had made the decision to put the Tiger into production an Alpine IV minus engine and transmission was shipped to Shelby, who was asked to transform the car into a racing Tiger. EX MET. Get Smart crashes in - The big picture", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sunbeam_Tiger&oldid=972060335, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 August 2020, at 23:31. [6], According to journalist William Carroll, after measuring the Alpine's engine bay with "a 'precision' instrument of questionable antecedents" – a wooden yardstick – Ian Garrad despatched his service manager Walter McKenzie to visit the local new car dealerships, looking for a V8 engine that might fit. [32] The first few Tigers assembled had to be fitted with a Borg-Warner 4-speed all-synchromesh manual gearbox, until Ford resolved its supply problems and was able to provide an equivalent unit as used in the Ford Mustang. The car stands..... My name is Franco and our Company name is Italian Classic Cars Tel: 00 39 the details below. It was subsequently acquired from Howard Thatcher in December 1999 by another UK owner, who kept it until recently. [49], Priced at $3842, the Mark II Tiger was little more than a re-engined Mark IA; by comparison, a contemporary V8 Ford Mustang sold for $2898. "[11], Provisionally known as the Thunderbolt,[12] the Shelby prototype was more polished than the Miles version, and used a Ford 4-speed manual transmission. Biggest choice in REAL classics, with more than..... LHD, 1st reg: 02/1962, 75.000 M, 60 kW (82 PS), A Tiger Mark 1 is driven by one of the lead characters in the 1965 film Bunny Lake Is Missing. [2], The Sunbeam Tiger was a development of the Sunbeam Alpine series I, introduced by the British manufacturer Rootes in 1959. The 1925 Sunbeam Tiger was the last car to be competitive as a land speed record holder and a circuit-racing car. [48] It was also sold in South Africa for R3350, badged as the Sunbeam Alpine 260. In the usual fashion, it was disposed of at auction (for a paltry sum no doubt, since most British cars with close to 70,000 miles on the clock would have been deemed ready for a rebuild in those days) only to crop up again precisely four years later in the first issue of Thoroughbred and Classic Car magazine, which pitched it against an MGB GT V8 in a 'shoot-out' feature. Two major versions of the Tiger were built: the Mark I (1964–1967) 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 displacement Ford 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine. Shelby's competition Tiger made an early appearance in the B Production Class of Pacific Coast Division SCCA races, which resulted in some "highly successful" publicity for the new car. An additional factor in the decision was that Jensen's chief engineer Kevin Beattie and his assistant Mike Jones had previously worked for Rootes, and understood how the company operated. Nevertheless, the Tiger's front-to-back weight ratio is very similar to the Alpine's, at 51.7/48.3 front/rear. [69] The standard Ford four-speed manual transmission was replaced with a BorgWarner T10 close-ratio racing transmission, which allowed for a top speed of 160 miles per hour (260 km/h). The Ford V8 was only 3.5 inches longer than the Alpine's 4-cylinder engine it replaced, so the primary concern was the engine's width. [82] A replica Tiger had to be constructed using a stock Sunbeam Alpine and re-created Tiger badging as no available Tiger could be found in Canada, where the film was produced. engine. [72] All three of the Le Mans Tigers have survived. [35] The Mark II Tiger, fitted with the larger Ford 289 cu in (4.7 L), was intended exclusively for export to America and was never marketed in the UK,[36] although six right-hand drive models were sold to the Metropolitan Police for use in traffic patrols and high-speed pursuits; four more went to the owners of important Rootes dealerships. While the front elements were rounded out to meet the round headlamps above the grille, the rear fenders were more pointed in order to match the oval taillights. ][12] The larger 289 cu in (4.7 L) Ford engine improved the Tiger's 0–60 mph (97 km/h) time to 7.5 seconds, and increased the top speed to 122 mph (196 km/h). 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. Rear fins were still a thing in Europe in the early 1960s and the … Negotiations initially went well, but ultimately failed. A Tiger driven by Peter Boulton and Jim Latta finished twelfth overall and first in the small GT class at the 1965 Dayton Continental. In 1967 Minister of Technology Anthony Wedgewood Benn approached BMH and Leyland to see if they would buy out Chrysler and Rootes and keep the company British, but neither had the resources to do so. [80] Some of the scenes featured unusual modifications such as a retractable James Bond-style machine gun that could not have fitted under the Tiger's bonnet, so rebadged Alpine models were used instead. This very rare car is one of three surviving with the sports variation on the basic Sunbeam 20/60 3 ¼ litre engine. [g] The engines had been prepared by Shelby but had not been properly developed, and as a result overheated; Shelby eventually refunded the development cost to Rootes. The Tiger also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of the Get Smart TV series. The production team recorded the sound of an authentic Tiger owned by a collector in Los Angeles[83] and edited it into the film. He agreed to have the Shelby prototype shipped from America in July 1963 for him and his team to assess. The first car suffered a piston failure after three hours and the second a broken crankshaft. [28], Several performance modifications were available from dealers. We use cookies to enhance your experience. [22] In an effort to increase its marketability to American buyers the car was fitted with "Powered by Ford 260" badges on each front wing beneath the Tiger logo. These modifications were particularly noticeable to the driver above 60 mph (97 km/h), although they proved problematic for the standard suspension and tyres, which were perfectly tuned for the stock engine. It is a little customized with a rear seat in the trunk and a non Original 6 cil. [57][58] As part of the agreement Chrysler committed not to acquire a majority of Rootes voting shares without the approval of the UK government, which was keen not to see any further American ownership of the UK motor industry. [5] McKenzie returned with the news that the Ford 260 V8 engine appeared to be suitable,[5] which apart from its size advantage was relatively light at 440 lb (200 kg).

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