Sunbeam Tiger



Tiger Mk I
Tiger Mk I

The Tiger, launched in 1964, was the result of fitting a Ford 4.2 litre V8 into the Sunbeam Alpine bodyshell. Initiated by Ian Garrad, it was developed from two Alpine V8 prototypes built by Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles respectively. The 4.2 litre engine produced 164bhp @ 4400rpm.

Tigers were built by Jensen Motors at West Bromwich. A small number were also assembled in South Africa from CKD kits. 6,546 examples of the Mark I were built.

The Mark II Tiger of 1967 received a 4.7 litre V8, developing 200bhp @ 4400rpm. Mark II production totalled 536 examples.

The takeover of Rootes by Chrysler led to the untimely demise of the Tiger. Chrysler did not want to be seen to be building Ford-powered cars, and did not have a suitable engine of their own.

The Tiger was sold in some countries as the Alpine V8. It is perhaps most famous for its role in the television series Get Smart.

illustration: Rootes Motors