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Sunbeam Tiger (1964 - 1968)

Last updated 29 August 2013

 
4
Brilliant performance
Undercooked chassis

Introduction

After the success of the AC Cobra, it seemed as though the rest of the British sports car industry wanted to get in on the act. Rootes’ pretty Alpine Series IV roadster seemed like an unlikely choice to go supercar chasing, but that’s what happened when the company installed a 4261cc Ford V8 in its engine bay to create the Tiger. The structure of the car was barely altered, although rack-and-pinion steering was fitted and the rear suspension was modified with the addition of a Panhard rod.

Launched in 1964, and more successful in the USA, the Tiger didn’t inspire British buyers because of its poor braking and undersized wheels and tyres. US buyers were also much happier with its soft ride – but trouble already lay ahead. In late 1964 Chrysler took a financial stake in the Rootes Group, and that meant using a Ford engine was no longer a politically expedient move. An Mk II version was marketed for a short period in 1967 (including just 12 right-hand drive cars), with a 4727cc Ford engine producing 220bhp, but the Tiger was doomed – Rootes experimented with a new Tiger, but couldn’t get the Chrysler V8 to fit.

 

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