Sunbeam Tiger 1964-67

The Sunbeam Tiger was Carroll Shelby's next project following the success of the AC Cobra. i.e. take a well-designed British sports car and transform the performance by fitting one of Ford of America's new generation thin-wall casting V8 engines (new for 1963 that is). Lord Rootes the boss of Rootes Motors is alleged to have demanded a test drive of Shelby's "V8 powered Alpine" prototype when it arrived at the Coventry works for evaluation. After a short solo excursion he returned smiling with corporate approval.

 The Tiger was immediately handed to development engineers to work their magic and subsequently pressed into production by Jensen Motors alongside the line for the Austin Healey 3000. Regrettably the Tiger was a victim of its own success in the States, Chrysler’s buy-out of Rootes in 1967 meant an engine from its competitor (Ford) would not be allowed. So production ceased until they could source a replacement from within the new conglomerate. Regrettably none could be found.



7,067 were built between the spring of 1964 and July 1967

5,109 went to the USA

812 were registered in Britain

Today there are 324 cars recorded as taxed at Swansea and membership of the UK Sunbeam Tiger Owners Club stands at 350.


Engine: Ford Small Block V8, 4.2 Litre, 16 hydraulic valves.

Performance: 164 bhp, 258 lbs-ft Torque, 0 - 60mph 8.6s.

Gearbox: 4 speed all-synchro 23.92 mph / 1000 rpm in top gear.

Suspension: Front: parallel wishbones, coil springs over telescopic dampers. Rear: semi-elliptic springs, panhard rod location, tele-dampers.

Brakes: Discs 9.85” dia. Rear Drums 9” dia. Vacuum Servo assisted.

                         Picture and words by the owner

Sheridan Williams