Plenty of Spares: 1965 Sunbeam Tiger

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Classic Motorsports magazine recently did an excellent write-up on Tiger ownership, and the gist of the article is that these cars are great drivers that will likely never decrease in price. A bummer if you don’t own one yet, but it at least gives us some nice daydreams to break up the monotony of the day. Here on eBay is a project Tiger that is said be a part of a larger group of Tigers the seller bought; now, he’s cutting this one loose. 

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The seller doesn’t tell us much about the state of the engine, whether it’s original or if it will crank. He does say it’s been off the road for an extended period of time, so perhaps that’s a way of saying that he hasn’t even tried to get it to turn. Regardless, at least it comes with a motor. The Tiger will also come with a host of other parts, including an entire front clip.

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Now, don’t get too excited – the interior isn’t actually this nice. I suspect these are some of the other pieces included in the sale that are loosely installed for display purposes only. Still, it doesn’t take too much effort to imagine just how satisfying it would be to slide into a leather bucket and wrap your driving gloves around that three-spoke Prototipo-like steering wheel.

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The floors look good and the factory hard top is a plus. It does appear to have rust in the sills, some of which has already been cut out. While not perfect, it does look unmolested, and a numbers-matching drivetrain would push this into the “buy” category with ease for my money. Even with the restoration costs, I’d venture this is a solid investment vehicle (if that’s your thing), but bidding so far remains pretty light.

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Comments

  1. Josh Staff

    It looks like the seller pulled this listing, so I’m going to guess they worked a deal offline. Sorry guys.

  2. sunbeamdon

    Bummer – just when I was going to strike! Would be nice if the seller gave us all a chance!

  3. JOE DUNLAP

    I had a good white ’65 Tiger in 1968, ’69. Paid about $1,300 for it off a New Orleans used car lot. Sold it in late ’69 for $1,175. :-) All it was worth – then. It was a blast to drive. All I ever did was add Konis. It was a sauna in the summer and would fill the floorboards in a hard rain, but I had some very memorable drives back from out-of- town band gigs – back to Biloxi and Mobile – late at night. That was when there was very little late night traffic and VERY few cops. Kept that thing on the boil for many a mile. Cruising around 120 by myself. I miss that one. The Pantera??? Not so much…….

  4. Dolphin Member

    I think Tigers are great cars to own, especially the rare Mk11s, and I agree that they will probably never be worth less than they are worth now. But……

    I wasn’t too impressed with the only one I’ve driven, a Mk1 with the 260 V8 with 2 barrel carb. That was a real lazy engine, and the 240Z that I had at that time would run rings around it with less displacement, even though the HP ratings and car weights were about the same. That was a real low-tuned engine. I think the Mk11 cars, with a 289 and 4-barrel, were a lot better.

  5. erikj

    I wil make a offer of 8000 if that makes anyone move. Tigers are so unique and rare I have three so far and need more

  6. JOE DUNLAP

    (Dolphin) My ;65 Tiger was dead stock.
    The guitar player in a band I played in had a virtually new Austin Healy 3000. He and I only had one late night short run together. We came down a circular Interstate off ramp and he was able to pull me about a half car length. But then I eased on by and pulled away. I also had a couple of rolling drag races with a Roadrunner and Corvette. Both were able to gradually pull away from me, but you would expect that with the bigger cubes. The fun of the car was it’s small size and quickness. One of my current cars is a Triumph TR8 and I can tell you that it just doesn’t have the balls that the Tiger had. Still any small sports car with a V8 is a fun ride.

  7. Rex Rice

    How about handling? Nose heavy and no posi-traction made this a white knuckle ride. The early 260 with a tall rear end ratio and close ratio trans made steep hill starts a clutch or tire burning event. The seats were hard and uncomfortable. My 356 Porsche far out performed my Tiger except on a straight road. 60 in 1st, 80 in 2nd, 100+ in 3rd; it was fun in a straight line.

    • JOE DUNLAP

      “white knuckle ride”??? It didn’t have THAT much power. I can’t remember any understeer. Actually, when I put the KONI’s on it (installed as factory set – on the softest (street) setting) it really improved the feel of the car. Also, there are no hills in the South. (Lower Alabama & Missisippi and all of Florida. :-) Never had to put a clutch in mine either and I drove it about as quickly as it could go for a long time. Just never abused the clutch. Yeah, some of the rubber straps under the driver’s seat broke, but I made my own from strips of inner tube. I just didn’t have any failures with the car except that I didn’t know the lube had leaked out of the rack & pinion and some gear teeth had worn down. It got to where when I made a 90 degree right turn, the steering would only go so far and then I heard :click, click, click”. I even had to back up and do those turns in two stages for awhile. That didn’t stop me from running 100 -125 on the highway though. A good mechanic finally shimmed the rack & pinion to mesh tighter together and stopped the leak problem. I believe the cars top speed was 135. I also remember that I could drive top down in light rain on a highway and never get wet – as long as I was over about 65 – 70 mph. That was fun,- especially in good weather and at night. Never owned a 356, but I’d like to see a stock one that could stay with a Tiger.

      Joe
      (north of Orlando)

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