Sunbeam Cars

gesshotsgesshots Member Posts: 14,268 ✭✭✭

In addition To Grace Kelly's Sunbeam Alpine Mark I

They Made the Sunbeam Tiger


It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger. I won't. ~ J.B. Books


  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 28,028 ✭✭✭✭

    Remember the show Get Smart

  • BobJudyBobJudy Member Posts: 2,333 ✭✭✭✭

    I know someone that had/has two Alpines. One to restore and the other as a parts donor car. He acquired them 30 years ago and the last I saw them they were still sitting outside where the car hauler dropped them. Trees and shrubs were growing through the bodies that had all but rusted away. Such a waste especially because he had turned down good offers for them before they rotted away.😣 Bob

  • iceracerxiceracerx Member Posts: 8,808 ✭✭✭

    The Tiger is one of my dream cars and I hatched an evil plan to drive one and park it in the employee parking structure while working @ Chrysler. Polishing the 'Powered by FORD' badges was part of the plan. A British car powered by an American engine build by a direct competitor parked among all the 'other' Chrysler products? You bet, because, Sunbeam was part of the Rootes group which was purchased by Chrysler in 1967.

    Finding a FORD flathead w/ ARDUN ohv conversion head powered Simca is/was also part of the plan. Simcas are/were French, yet also owned by Chryco.

  • Ricci.WrightRicci.Wright Member Posts: 1,759 ✭✭✭✭

    It's funny how we store useless info. I remember being outside in our front yard in Bohemia, N.Y. in 1966 or 1967 with my Dad and Uncle Bill when a green Tiger went roaring down our suburban street (836 Locust Ave.) I was into cars and motorcycles and asked what was that?? My uncle told me and explained a few things about the little muscle car. I don't recall ever having seen another and have no idea why I remember this event.

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 28,028 ✭✭✭✭

    Because it was a great experience being that close to a sunbeam tiger

  • gesshotsgesshots Member Posts: 14,268 ✭✭✭
    It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger. I won't. ~ J.B. Books
  • select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 62,977 ✭✭✭✭

    Poor mans Cobra

  • Merlinnv12Merlinnv12 Member Posts: 179 ✭✭

    Back in ‘66, I worked in a body shop and we did work for a dealership that sold the Sunbeams. Well, I just had to take one out for a “test drive”. That Tiger was a hoot! No, the boss never knew and I never told...

    β€œWhat we’ve got here, is, failure to communicate.”
  • varianvarian Member Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭

    as i remember they used a 260cu in ford v8. a predecessor to the 289 that the first cobras had.

  • buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 3,857 ✭✭✭

    Fun little hot rods that would rust away before you knew they had a problem.

  • Nanuq907Nanuq907 Member Posts: 534 ✭✭✭
    edited November 22

    My roommate in college had a Tiger, he had it set up for autocross racing and won the Northwest Motorsports racing series for years with it. He had a HiPo engine from an early GT Mustang, and at the time had spent $4,000 just on the engine internals. That meant 3/4 cam, solid lifters, big pistons and high compression, Offenhauser intake, ginormous 4-barrel, Sanderson headers and cherry bombs, and a C4 top loader tranny with a stick about 5" long. You'd stand behind that car at idle and with the cam and cherry bombs it sounded like a nuclear popcorn popper. It was lethal.

    I took it from college to Spokane one night cruising, it overheated so we sat and watched cars go past. When it was time to go home I fired it up and whooOOOOPP-AAAaaaaaa and all heads turned respectfully toward the sound. People paused to let us out, and soon we were on I-90 heading home. 1AM and the speedo didn't work. My brother-in-law shouted something and I couldn't hear over the wind roar (we had the top off) so he pushed down on my right knee. "Ahhhhhhh" I said, and I floored it. Good Gawd Almighty ... I have NO idea how fast we were going, but it had 2.77:1 gearing and we touched nearly 7,000 rpms with that small block HiPo. I know what they mean when they say the telephone poles look like a picket fence. 170? 180mph? God only knows.

    We slowed for the exit and tried to maintain a semblance of dignity along the last 5 miles going to EWU. We got to Cheney and sure enough there was a cop with someone pulled over under a street light. We went past, top gear and low rpms, and the cop gave us stink-eye as we went past. We got another 1/4 mile past him in the dark, and I couldn't stand it... I downshifted to 2nd, popped the clutch and floored it, lit up the tires and ROARED off down the road. Watching the mirrors I saw him sprinting for his car, so I killed the lights and grabbed the e-brake to slow and turn into my brother-in-law's apartment complex. I killed it and we sat there in the dark, pipes crackling and cooling beneath us, as the cop car went flying past, siren calling WEEewww WEEewww WEEeeewww Weeeewww weeewww weeewwww as he raced off into the distance looking for us. What a glorious night.

    My roommate promised to sell me that car for $3,500 so I slaved like a dirty dog at a gold mine all summer, a photo of that Tiger on the wall above my bunk. In the Fall I went back to Cheney with a fist full of gold looking for him. Nowhere to be seen. I finally heard thru the grapevine he'd taken it for one last drive and hit a pothole at speed and torn the RF wheel off the car. He figured I wouldn't want it, so he sold it for a song to some guy in Spokane who restored it, and that car drives to this day up and down Riverside and Division boulevards. Echoing off the buildings like a nuclear popcorn popper.

    Gawd, I miss that Tiger.

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