25-Year Slumber! 1966 Sunbeam Tiger

The Sunbeam Tiger deserved better. It wasn’t the design’s fault that Rootes (Sunbeam’s parent company) got taken over by Chrysler and the small Chrysler V-8 didn’t fit where the Ford 260/289 did. It also wasn’t the Tiger’s fault that due to budgetary constraints, very few cosmetic changes were made from the sweet but underwhelming Alpine it was based on. This largely original Tiger is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding has risen to over $32,000 but has not yet met the reserve. You’ll have to arrange shipping from Stillwell, Kansas or take the drive of a lifetime to bring this cat home.

From this shot, I’m wondering about the condition of the rockers — they look a little ripply to me. While some patch panels are available, replacing the rockers on a unibody like the Tiger is a little more difficult than on those British convertibles that are body-on-frame. An inspection of some sort is probably called for. On the positive side, all the trim appears to be in place, including the original hubcaps. The current seller purchased the car from the original owner — I hope there’s lots of documentation to go through!

The seller purchased the car recently and has undertaken the work necessary to return the car to the road. The work included:

· Draining and cleaning the fuel tank

· New SU fuel pump and rebuilding the carburetor

· Flushing the cooling system and replacing hoses and the water pump

· Tune-up including points, plugs, distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires

· Rebuilding or replacing all hydraulic system components

The interior looks pretty nice for a driver, although I’ve never personally taken to the Alpine/Tiger steering wheel — just not sporty enough for me, however, that’s a personal preference and easily changed if desired.

There’s not a lot of room around that 260, is there? The seller tells us that the car could use mufflers but oddly comes with a new, uninstalled convertible top. There aren’t a lot of original-ish Tigers left — would you like this one in your garage? I sure would!


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  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Basically the only motor that would fit would be a front distributor mounted one.

    Like 7
  2. Buster Leroy

    It isn’t a Ford 289 — it is a 260 as is described as such in the Ebay description. The Tiger II would have the 289 engine.

    Like 4
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      You are correct, Buster, my bad!

      Like 1
  3. Driveby

    The original “Smart” car.

    Like 10
    • Mike

      Right, Chief….

      Like 3
  4. ChingaTrailer

    The original Agent Smart car was a Ferrari 250 used in the pilot episode only. Don Adam’s must have been a car guy or his producers good at product placement – he also drove an Opel GT and finally a VW Karmen Ghia but the direction was definitely down market.

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      That Sunbeam was his favorite car during the series. He liked it so much he took it home every night. I never saw the blue Karman Ghia in any episodes, just in the opening credits.

      Like 3
  5. Matt Jadud

    Your comment on the rockers is very valuable, and the buyer better take heed of your comment !
    If the rust that caused someone to put body filler in the rocker was a part of structural denial, there could be some tears shed later on…

    Like 5
  6. junkman Member

    I have a 66 Alpine that was crashed in 1970 and put away, that car already had had rust repair on the rocker panels and dog legs’. Tigers are great little cars for what they are, a fairly plush British roadster with so so handling. Or as I say sometimes, “they’ll do anything except turn or stop”.

    Like 3
    • Joe

      I had a stock white/black ’65 from ’67 to late ’69. Mine turned and stopped just fine. And I drove the car the way a sports car should be driven. Always quickly. Have had 100+ cars – including Pantera, R5 Turbo II, TR8 – from Simca 1000 to Cadillacs, and the Tiger is the one I would most like to have back.

      Like 7
  7. Lawrence (Larry) smith

    Had one in the early 70s back in England , ex works Rally car ,should have never sold it (kids lol).Wish i could afford this one.

  8. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I’ve always taken a shine to these little critters. When a female high school teacher drove one in 63, I looked it over never having seen one before. Being intrigued by the Ford 260 V8 with manual transmission the little red car spoke to my youthful desire for a fast little car. I had no money in those days and my dad was very frugal not seeing the need to ever buy a new car, and especially for his offspring. So I continued to tinker with my 35 Chevrolet Standard 4 door sedan, bought for me by an older brother. And life goes on.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  9. Howie Mueler

    $38k now and reserve met. 3 hours to go.

    Like 2
  10. Wayne from oz

    Check out the bad masking for the respray on image 14 on ebay. It’s had a complete respray, so I would think a lot more filler than just the rockers, (sills).

    Like 1
  11. 67SunT

    The Ford Windsor block had a narrower V than the GM and Chrysler counterparts and made them the only American V option for the Sunbeam Tiger. As for the rocks they and nearly every other piece of metal that would need to be replace for this car is still manufactured by Radford panel, UK. If you have British cars check out the British Motor Heritage Limited. All expensive but those parts are still available.

    Like 1
  12. joe

    Probably why he’s letting it go so cheaply.

  13. Rodger

    Take the drive of a lifetime? It is only 2 hours away.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      But you have to admit it would be fun!

  14. DRV

    There are some important hiding places of rust on these, and the rocker rust indicates it will have those places. Get it thoroughly checked out.

    Like 1
  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $38,225.

  16. Bonephish

    I had a ’67 Tiger red/black with a removable top and canvas top. It was fun but not blazing quick and had drum brakes and bias tires. I drove it one summer and sold at a profit.

  17. dennis

    1965 tiger 260 ci, still original today except for wheels, oil pump, u-joints, starter, generator. with factory steel removeable top. best car to keep small light with american drive drain for parts (no english bs).
    bought it 1973, (poor mans cobra) when they said end of fast cars hahaha.
    took it to drag strip play-day wife folowed in family car if need to tow it home
    wife ask me to run family car also. tiger lost by 0.2 sec to family car
    (1970 charger 440 rt) but i use to race go-karts and the tiger was my favorite no question. lead free gas was problem.

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