First off, it was the classic transplant of a tiny English roadster now powered by a big American V8. This ethos gave these lightweight and delicate sportscars huge power they were never designed to handle. The result was a playful and wild handling demeanor on the roads, and even more on the track.
Secondly, it was the second project of Carroll Shelby after the Cobra. Shelby wanted to build the car in the US, but Sunbeam decided to keep assembly in Blighty. Shelby was incensed, and the Sunbeam Tiger V8 ultimately only was made in a few thousand volume. The larger-engined 4.7-liter, 289-cubic-inch Ford V8 was from the final Series II cars from 1966-1967, of which only 670 were made.
Thirdly, the Sunbeam Tiger embodies a combination of the beauty and delicate style of the Ferrari 250GT California, combined with the flared fenders and huge rubber footprint that was a Shelby chassis trademark.
This 1966 Sunbeam Tiger V8 on Florida plates sold for $54,000 at Mecum Auctions Kissimmee Florida event over the last weekend. The car was restored to a playful rally racing specification, including some charming round lights, mag wheels and checkered-flag motif in the inner grilles.
– Aluminum head 289 CI Ford V-8 engine
– Competed in SCCS and SURA events throughout North America
– 4-speed manual gearbox
– Signed by Carroll Shelby
– Restored in vintage race trim
– Refinished in Carnival Red
– Black interior
– Black folding soft top
– Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes
1966 Sunbeam Tiger
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.