Spotless And Original: 1966 Sunbeam Tiger

One characteristic of British sports cars from the 1950s and 1960s that is often criticized is the lack of engine power. Thanks to some inter-continental cooperation, the Sunbeam Tiger managed to address that issue in no uncertain terms. This particular 1966 Tiger should have a healthy amount of horsepower on tap, and it appears to be in extremely nice condition. If you would like to become the proud owner of a true classic, you will find the Tiger located in Green Valley, Arizona, and listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding having reached $29,000, the reserve hasn’t been met. However, the owner has let the cat out of the bag by revealing in the listing text that the reserve has been set at $60,000.

Finished in British Racing Green, the best word to describe the Tiger is stunning. The owner does point out one small blemish in the paint, but it is only about the size of a nickel. The rest of the paint looks very impressive and has survived well for a bare-metal repaint in its original color that was performed in 1993. There have been some previous rust repairs to part of the floor, but these have been completed to a very high quality. The owner supplies photos of the Tiger’s underside, and it looks close to perfect. The alloy wheels fitted to the car aren’t original, but they do suit the car. The original wheels are included in the sale.

For a car of such tiny dimensions, the Tiger offers an amazing amount of interior space. Two decent-sized adults can sit in the car without rubbing shoulders, which in many cases, is no bad thing. The interior itself presents extremely nicely, with no obvious major problems. The timber dash looks faultless, as do the door trims, wood-rimmed wheel, and the carpets. The upholstery on the seats is slightly stretched, but not really enough to be an issue. The Tiger is fitted with a black soft-top, and this appears to be in as-new condition. Thankfully, there have been no aftermarket additions to this little classic.

The secret to the success of the Tiger lies in what you find under the hood. Based on the Sunbeam Alpine, that model made do with a fairly reasonable 93hp. The Rootes Group entered into a development partnership with Carroll Shelby. The result was the Alpine undergoing some sheet-metal and structural modifications, and then the Ford 260ci V8, and Ford 4-speed manual transmission were fitted, creating the Tiger. This pushed power outputs up to 164hp, although later upgrades showed that up to 220hp could be had with little effort. The engine in this Tiger is completely original and has received no mechanical upgrades. It has never been rebuilt and seems to be in very good health. The car has had some work done in the past, including a brake booster rebuild, and a comprehensive list of work performed on the suspension. The owner holds a solid collection of documentation for the car, including letters confirming its authenticity, a letter from the original owner, plus other pieces of paperwork that are too numerous to mention.

Owning a Tiger will give someone the best of both worlds. They find themselves driving a classic British sports car, but it is one that also provides impressive levels of performance. This one is an extremely nice example that appears to have been the recipient of careful ownership. Values have taken a dive on these in the past 3-years, but they are on the improve. It is possible to locate examples for $20,000, but prices upwards of $40,000 or more are about the norm, depending on condition and originality. Really pristine one will command $80,000, and up to $100,000 is not out of the question. This one is an extremely nice original example, and I think that the reserve price is probably pretty close to the mark.


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  1. Nate

    Wow. Just wow. Should go for much higher than the reserve based on the prices for which I’ve seen lesser examples sell. Absolutely amazing.

    Like 2
  2. CCFisher

    A car that received a bare-metal repaint is not original. This car is a fantastic example of a very desirable car, but it is not original.

    Like 3
  3. BW

    Owned one of these back in my Navy Vietnam days. Hella fun to drive although they absolutely sucked when it came to handling and braking. Definitely surprised the crap out of many a Detroit muscle car!

    Like 1
  4. The one

    Ours is a ’65. We love it! 260 crapped out, 302 power now. If you buy it you will never regret it! Had ours since ’99.

    Like 2
  5. stillrunners stillrunners

    Love these but just can’t see the demand justifying the price but what do I know.

    Think this one’s been on the market before………

  6. rob

    Beautiful car, ugly wheels!

  7. Del

    Hagerty says car worth 89 grand in #3 , good condition.

    This appears to be better than Good.

    At 60 grand its a steal.

    If you have to have one this is it

  8. Gaspumpchas Hulsizer

    Guess you guys answered my question. Looks like the price is right in line with the condition. Another thing that helps is that it appears to have been in the dry climate of Arizona all its life. Story that I got was that Caroll Shelby and Bill Stroppe had the engine in the prototype and were driving it around the track in 8 hours. As Bogey said- Its the stuff that dreams are made of.

  9. gearjammer63

    These cars are getting more popular because Shelby Cobras have gotten out of reach for everyone except well-heeled collectors.

    The ’67s are more desirable, and thus, pricier, because they are the end of the line, and they got 289s dropped into them.

    The most pristine of these cars are going for prices approaching $200K.

    When my lottery numbers come up….

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