What's It Worth?? 1966 Sunbeam Tiger ..Bargain Cobra For The Common Man
What do you do if your strapped for mega bucks but want a vintage Cobra Roadster? You can pull a Bonnie and Clyde and rob the local bank..or you can look across the Big Pond to Merry Ole England.
Back in 1963 Rootes Group of America sales manager Ian Garrad wanted to change the image of the Sunbeam Alpine from a grand tourer to a true road burning sports car.
With only a $10,000 budget he contacted future legend Carroll Shelby to build a V8 powered Alpine. With aid of Shelby employees Richard Hovis and George Boskoff the team stuffed a 260 Ford V8 with a two speed auto trans into the Alpine.
The result was good enough that the pre-production mule was sent to England for evaluation. Being built for a mere $600.00. Wanting to be sure the Ford V8 would work a series 2 Alpine was handed over to talented racer and fabricator Ken Miles for final evaluation. That prototype would be kept by the Rootes Group for many years till it was sold to a private buyer
After final testing production was handed off to Jensen. Compared to other British cars of the era the Sunbeam Tiger was a quality built vehicle. That was the good news and the bad news. Jensen was a stickler for details but could only produce 7085 cars in the Tigers short production run.