Sunbeam Ambush: A Tiger & Three Alpines

As the resident Barn Finds British car nut, I often find myself looking over submitted Anglo-oriented finds and trying to figure out what I’d do if they were mine. That happened right away once I saw this Sunbeam collection listed for sale here on eBay and located in Omaha, Nebraska. The starting bid for all four cars is $29,950 with no reserve but no takers as I write this. Let’s apply our brains to what we know from the auction listing and see what is actually there. The car above is the 1965 Tiger, obviously the most desirable car of the four. And, by the way, did you know that a group of tigers is called an ambush? I sure didn’t until I looked it up here.

Unfortunately, we get the worst pictures of the Tiger. The seller says that they have owned the car in their family for 10 years and that they believe it is a Mark IA model. Additional issues include the need for some extensive body work due to holes in the floors and trunk and that the car was hit in the front end at some point and repaired “quite poorly with an earlier Alpine front clip.”

The engine is said to be original with about 70,000 miles. If you are not familiar with the Tiger, in a nutshell it’s an Alpine with a Ford small block V8. Okay, that’s an oversimplification, but not that far from the truth.

This is one of the included Alpines. If I read the ad correctly this is either a 1964 or 1966 and has a solid body but a seized engine.

This one looks like it was stored outside at some point.

At least this one has an interior, unlike the Tiger, which apart from a few dash parts has nothing. There’s a red Alpine included as well — it’s a 1967 and needs some work, and has been converted to wire wheels. It also has a hardtop and an engine that is free.

Presumably this is the seized engine from the white car. That’s OK, there are two other Alpine engines included, right? Looking at this engine compartment it’s hard to believe “hey, let’s put a Ford V8 in there” ever occurred to anyone!

This Alpine is only good for parts, as the seller (who has written an impressive ad) says it is folding up like a taco. I’d like to know what you’d do with this group of Sunbeams? Me, I’d end up with one Alpine and one Tiger. Depending on how much time I had, I’d either start on the Tiger to make sure I finished it, or practice on the solid Alpine with the hardtop first. Maybe add the wire wheels from the red car to the Alpine. What would you do if these cars appeared magically in your driveway?


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  1. Paul

    Hi Jamie,- as one British car nut to another, you typed, in part; ‘body work due to holes in the floors and trunk’ Where trunk equals boot… Thought while we were in the educational mode, refering ambush, we might as well school the uneducated in British jargon. As for these cars, not sure they will get any bids. The Tiger is not true and what will the Alpines bring??? Good find though

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Point taken, Paul ;-) BTW, my understanding from the ad was that it is a Tiger, but that part of or the whole front clip has been replaced.

      • Paul

        Either way, I wish the seller well to get the money he is is looking for

  2. sir mike

    Nice find for Alpine lovers…and how do we know the Tiger is ”not true”??

    • Paul

      Jamie, mentioned that the Tiger had an earlier Alpine front clip, if I was reading it right.

    • Barney Wilkins

      I don’t know much about these cars but the motor in the Tiger appears to be a two barrel. Would that be correct forca Tiger?

  3. Classic Steel

    Over priced as non tigers are low price online !
    Buy a running one instead (this one is nice but one can keep spending if wanted on high end ones you feel guilty to drive etc.)

  4. george

    the seller also has a sunbeam tiger but called an alpine 260v-8 beacuse it was sold in germany when new and sunbean could not use the tiger name. looks like a fair price at 32,500 ask.

  5. Dolphin Member

    I’m not a Tiger fan but I could understand a Sunbeam / Tiger fan being interested…..unless they think these 4 cars are too far gone for the $30K asking, which is what I think about this lot.

    It’s hard enough getting one non-running rusty car home let alone 4, and then you have to do something with 4 cars instead of just one. And the Alpines are worth only around $10K each when offered at major auctions in very good or excellent condition. These cars have a long way to go to reach that condition, unfortunately.

    Anyway….It surprised me to see that the seller didn’t show a photo of the VIN plate for the Tiger. That’s a mistake since most of the value in this lot is in the Tiger….but you have to convince bidders that it’s the real thing, and there’s nothing like a photo of the real, still-attached VIN plate for that. Then the seller says “It is obviously worth the effort if it is a genuine Mark IA.”, which isn’t exactly reassuring.

    Bottom line, go there and look at the car—and bring the big Tiger book with you. You might be able to do a deal for just 1 or 2 of the cars since there have been no bids after days of being listed on Ebay.

  6. John Cole

    You can have the Tiger – let me just have the first white Alpine and the red one and I’ll be just fine!!


  7. Maestro1 Member

    Pricewise the seller is dreaming. But Jamie has the right concept; make two out of four (if possible). Frankly i can live without the Tiger. I never understood all the attention about the car; too much weight in the front and all straight line no nuance. The four cylinders are much slower but friendlier and the parts are in the US.

  8. Classic Steel

    saw a sunbeam alphine non tiger with hardtop bring under 3000 running two weeks back (cheap) meaning if you want a tiger buy it or non tiger buy another one

    1964 Sunbeam Alpine


    Personally I guess the Sunbeam Tiger 2 must be extremely rare. Don’t see any of them. Anyone ever seen one for sale. Just curious.

  10. Steve A.

    pass! lol

  11. wes

    “THIS Alpine only good for parts” LOL

  12. chad

    somebody told me the ford motor only added 50 #
    (but did they realize it’s a 260 not 289?)

  13. Barney wilkins

    The V8 in the Tiger puzzles me in so much as it has a two barrel shoe box carb and intake on it. Is that correct for a Tiger?

  14. Gage

    Its beautiful! I wonder if you can take the interior out of the alpine interior that is pictured and work with that.

  15. Gage

    Its beautiful! I wonder if you can take the interior out of the alpine that is pictured and work with that because the tiger was based completely off of the alpine and designed by Shelby. So techinically you are owning a british shelby!

  16. Jack Fields

    It looks like the Alpine is a GT model, they’re the source of the Tiger’s interior so the dash, steering wheel, seats and door panels.

  17. John Simon

    I am looking for a RH Rear wing / 1/4 panel for a series 5 , any help out there ?

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