Update 3/19/2014 – Tom Cotter left a comment about this Tiger below and it seems this seller is trying to pull a fast one. Tom believes this was his car, which he sold this past summer, and as far as he knows it was never stored in a basement. Read in the comments section below for more information. Our thanks to Tom for letting us know.
The simple fact that this Sunbeam is a mighty V8 powered Tiger makes it worth a closer look, but what really makes this one interesting is the fact that it was stored in a basement for 31 years. We have come across a few basement finds, but it certainly isn’t a common occurrence and that just adds to this Tiger’s story. The seller claims it is an original survivor that is ready for carving up the back roads. Have a look at it here on eBay and is currently located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For those that don’t know the Tiger’s story, it is an interesting one involving none other than Carroll Shelby. After the success of the AC Cobra, the Rootes group saw the potential of a high performance lightweight sports car. At first, the company looked to Ferrari to redesign their inline four, but it quickly became apparent that no such deal was going to materialize. The idea then came to go the same route AC had and install a Ford V8 into one of their existing sports cars. This was when Shelby entered the story. With his help and guidance, the Tiger was born. Given the size of the Alpine it was based on, the Ford 260 was the optimal motor choice, although it was capable of housing the 289. The 260 was rated at 164 hp and 250 lbs. of torque, which was a big jump from the Alpine’s straight four.
While the engine might have been completely different than the one found in the Alpine, everything else was about the same. The interior was nearly identical, but with higher standards of finish. This one looks to be in great shape and features red piping on the vinyl seats and a wood grain dash. As an added plus, this one came with a hardtop, which is still with the car and in great shape.
This Tiger looks to be in great shape, but the current bid makes it unattainable to most. We wish the seller had photos of it in the basement, as there are few things as fascinating as a basement Tiger. Whether it was found in a basement or not, this one should be a blast on some curvy back roads. Special thanks to Jim S for this tip!