Stored 45 Years: 1966 Sunbeam Tiger

There’s just one photo of this desirable 1966 Sunbeam Tiger in the craigslist listing from Middleburg, Virginia, but the seller seems to promise it will be worth your time if you give him a call to learn more. The Tiger is obviously a desirable specimen no matter the condition, but particularly so if it looks as nice as this one does in the solitary garage shot. With a body that doesn’t appear to be crusty and period-correct aftermarket wheels, there’s a chance it’s been loved despite being in storage for 45 years. The listing claims there is no rust, and you can reach the seller via the listing here on craigslist.

Image courtesy of eBay.com

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jay L. for the find. While it’s always disappointing to see a listing for a car with such limited info, there’s a chance the owner is older, or a widower, and isn’t aware of what usually passes for a standard for-sale listing. Regardless, if you want a Tiger badly enough, it shouldn’t stop you from inquiring further. After all, Tigers were built in fairly limited numbers, and while the four-cylinder Alpine can be found without too much sleuthing, it’s far less desirable. The Tiger would have originally come with the conservative wheels and hubcaps seen here, along with white-line tires.

Image courtesy of Ferraris And Other Things Blog

Of course, many owners quickly swapped those pieces out with aftermarket Wolfrace alloy wheels or American Racing Libres. Then, they went racing, as the impressive power-to-weight ratio and ease of enhancing both horsepower and handling capabilities made the Tiger an ideal track day weapon. Even today, they are regular visitors to paddocks across the country (and the world) where vintage racing events are being held. The Tiger in the listing may present a lot of questions, but there are also just as many possibilities. If you were to get in touch and find that the seller does indeed have a nicely preserved Tiger in their garage, would you restore it or race it?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    It’s been posted for 8 days and must still be for sale. I know I steer clear of the “Best offer” or “I’m taking offers” listings. I’m sure I have probably missed some deals over the years too.

    Like 10
    • sourpwr Member

      I know what you mean. Why not hold him to his title- “sunbeam tiger- $1 (middleburg, va)

      Like 6
      • angliagt angliagt Member

        I hate it when they do that,& when a vehicle is posted
        with $20,although they want $20,000.
        When I see that,I want to call them & ask if they’d
        take $10 for it.

        Like 11
    • JMB#7

      The $1 thing is the dumbest marketing strategy ever. Likewise, I just do not want to deal with anyone who posts a vehicle for $1 then ask for offers. This looks like a very clean Tiger. I hope it finds a good home.

      Like 5
      • Phlathead Phil

        $1.00 offerings are usually scams.

        Like 1
      • JMB#7

        In the area I live, it is common for people (looking to trade) to list a vehicle for $1. Furthermore, they usually want to trade their busted piece of junk, for your nicer running piece of junk. So referring to it as a scam would be appropriate. Mostly “Boy-Racer” riced out stuff where the basic maintenance was neglected. Needless to say, I do not respond to these listings. All of which seem “out of character for a Sunbeam Tiger”.

        Like 1
      • Little_Cars

        There’s a lot of good, bad and ugly on Craigslist. I’ve found the sellers’ excuses for $1 listings, or $123456, or FREE in the subject line is them being too lazy to offer the car for a fair market value. Oh boy, are there certainly a lot of ragged out half-finished projects awaiting us who surf on a regular basis. The jewels don’t last long and also get pulled off by the seller like they are supposed to. My favorite postings are the ones that show how the car could look if restored–usually the lead photo. When you get to looking at the actual subject vehicle, it is stripped down and the drivetrain is offered for a separate price. Gotta love the cost of progress and modern technology.

        Like 1
  2. alphasud Member

    One picture listing and bring offers. I’m out! Very little effort put into listing the car will hurt his search for interest. Puts one in the position to have to come out and look it over and then walk away empty handed with no closure or negotiation.

    Like 5
  3. Widd

    Beware, if it seems too good to be true, it is.
    My grandson chased a jeep with a similar listing, seller just needed a “ hold “ deposit and couldn’t lock down a physical look see.
    There are scammers everywhere.

    Like 10
  4. wifewontlikeit

    Often known as a “wannabe Cobra”, this Ken Miles and Caroll Shelby collaboration has a lot of stories. They were racers and even secret agents drove them. The mystic of this little car is thick with intrigue, just like the listing. If I were in DC, I’d have a go. But I’m not. AND “My Wife Won’t Like It”! Decoding the Craigslist listing:

    • “1966 sunbeam tiger no rust stored 45 plus years” = Why was it stored when it was less than 9 years old? What’s broken?

    • “interesting history” = No title

    • “has 289/271 hp not in-car” = Somethings wrong with the engine. Original engine?

    • “I am accepting offers viewing is by appointment only” = Opportunity I think.
    Could be a scam or they don’t know how to search the Internet for value…in
    2020?

    • “7zero3 three2seven2seven8one” = Oh, they do know how to use the
    Internet!
    • “emails and texts will not be answered” = Probably a guy, over 60 years old.

    More on the car’s history: https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/before-le-mans-ken-miles-and-carroll-shelby-built-first-sunbeam-tigers/

    Like 12
    • wifewontlikeit

      Sorry. “Mystic” is in Connecticut. *Mystique* was the word I meant.

      Like 2
    • Euromoto Member

      The posted article is remiss for not mentioning George Boskoff (RIP) who was the true fabricator of the Tiger.

      Like 1
    • Terry J

      Secret Agents drove them? Yup, none other than Agent 86, Maxwell Smart of the “Get Smart” TV series. These were great cars but competed in price with the Corvette at the time. :-) Terry J

      Like 6
    • JMB#7

      Pretty much everyone who owns a Tiger is over 60 years old. But most people over 60 who own a Tiger are curious enough to figure out how to use the internet. Now Corvette owners.. well that is a different story.

      Like 7
    • terry Brundage

      don’t have any regrets, there were racing drivers who tested it & passed on driving it due to it’s handling

      Like 1
  5. Haig L Haleblian

    I owned a very nice no excuses Tiger for 10+ years. Ill handling, hot as hell in the summer, but it made the right sounds. Been there, don’t need to go back.

    Like 9
  6. Steve Clinton

    “viewing is by appointment only” since the seller only posted that one photo.

    Like 3
  7. Stangalang

    Maybe if you make the trip to actually see the car he’ll let you get a quick glance at it then hold his hand out

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      Or so he hopes.

      Like 2
  8. Gord

    Looks like it was taken off the road to be modified. Side trim on the fender and quarter have been removed to flair the wheel wells and a hole cut in the hood for a scoop. Maybe the project stalled at that point.

    Like 6
  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    I had a friend who bought a black Tiger about 1980
    in the Los Angeles area (for $600! – even a good deal back then).
    He gave me a ride in it.It when I went to fasten the seat belt that
    I noticed it wasn’t attached to the car.
    We went up Kneeland Mountain.I’ve never been in a car
    that went up & sideways (at the same time) while going around a
    sharp corner.

    Like 2
    • Jon

      Similar … I had a ’61 Vette 283/ 2-4 bbl/ 4-sp … took my wife’s grandfather out for a ride … after I “nailed” it he yelled a few profanities … he couldn’t lean forward to grab the passenger-side assist bar and was afraid of sliding backwards out the car … one of my fondest memories of him – and the car … brings a smile and a chuckle every time I think about it …

      Like 7
      • SamM

        My wife had a father like that too

        Like 1
  10. junkman Member

    This is apparently listed by someone who likes to talk on the phone. Most likely an older person who thinks they have a rare gem, mayhaps they do. Or they’ve got a not a clue and are testing the waters. With covid travel restrictions and a non running car maybe with or without a title could be sittin awhile. A few more pics would greatly increase the chances money might fall from the sky for this, after all it is a Tiger. I think I will call my cousin that lives VA and get the low down on this one.

    Like 6
  11. rex m

    Anyone within an hour or two drive should at least make a call…

    Like 3
  12. JMB#7

    Maybe the person’s spouse told them that they had to sell it, and they are trying really hard to make sure no one comes to buy it.

    Like 5
    • Little_Cars

      Going strictly by the photo I know that Goodrich T/A Radials stopped having the raised white letters in that diminutive size many decades ago. Those wheels may also be mounted for the photo as a way to fill the wheel wells but something the thing is sprung high enough to accommodate them. Being from the Old Dominion of Virginia I’d be bold and set up a time to look at it, but I haven’t lived in VA in thirty-five years. And I have no time for $1 listings. Fishing expedition.

      Like 2
  13. Scoupe@1964

    I never rode in a Tiger but did ride in a Alpine, pretty cool ride! I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Tiger but life and family kept me from those possibilities! I still wouldn’t change the route I went but I can still dream! I did have the great experience riding in a Pantera which was amazing! If you live near this guy try to stop by and see what he has, you never know!

    Like 1
  14. Michael Dutka

    One of the fastest cars i ever drove and squirrely too! A work colleague asked me if i would drive him to the outskirts of town because the cops waited for him to leave work so they could nail him for all his outstanding tickets. Cops started to pull us over but then realized he wasn’t driving and left us alone because i was going the 25mph limit down the residential street (hard to do in that thing, believe me!) We got to the border of town and i asked him if i could squeeze it a bit and it damn near threw me out of the car!

    Like 1
  15. Ken Nesbit

    I actually live not too far from there, 30 – 45 minutes, Middleburg is old money, DuPont Mills type of old money and the attitude to go with it…but if anyone is interested I’ll be happy to take a drive over and provide feedback…but thinking they’re going to value it much higher than anyone would actually pay.

    Like 5
  16. junkman Member

    He says it comes with a 289 HiPo which is a 6 bolt bell housing, original Tigers have a 5 bolt, which is where the problems started.You’ll need a slave cylinder bracket for a 6 bolt to make that engine work. Lots of Tiger specific parts will need to be there to keep it from turning into a ridiculous money pit. If you got it for short money you still aren’t guaranteed a winner.

    Like 3
  17. Pat Gill

    only the last few had a 289, most were 260ci,

  18. John

    Unsafe at any speed. Try accelerating while changing lanes.

    Like 1
  19. Kenn

    Appears to me that the $1 advertised price works, since you folks immediately go to the listing to see A) what the real price is, and B) in what condition is the offered vehicle. But I agree: it’s a PITA.

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