1965 Sunbeam Tiger 260 MK 1 RHD
The 60s were a memorable decade; mini skirts, The Beatles & flower power, all sort to add spice to an era that heralded free expression the likes of which has not been seen again.
This era was awash with fabulous sports cars to buy for £1500 or less.
The E type was £1934! But MGB at £847, TR4a at £968, Healey 3000 at £1107 and even an Élan with fibreglass body at £1436, but for just £10 more, a newly launched Tiger with American V8 power was available!
The Tiger & Daimler Dart were arguably too early for the British public who only embraced the V8 in the 70s by which time production of the Tiger had finished.
The legendary Carol Shelby agreed the transplant of the V8 and the cost was swallowed up in the Rootes advertising budget. Step one was the building of a prototype for presentation to the Rootes board at Coventry. By January 1964 the first British built Alpine V8 prototype had been completed. The first British Customers waited until Feb 1965 before being able to buy the Tiger.
This first series Tiger offered for sale has been the subject of a ground up restoration finished in original white with red interior, the car is an iconic and stunning colour combination and this car unusually does have a hard top present; still to be restored.
To find such a car as this today, fully restored is indeed rare and as such this car must represent one of the very best on the market.
The tiger has often been compared to the big Healey and in that both types of car deliver outstanding performance at a level rarely experienced at this time, the cars are notably different. Many would argue a Healey proffers fabulous looks and seamless torque however the Sunbeam is a real drivers car with precise steering, a slick gearbox and instant grunt!
To drive a good Tiger is a joy and it is a surprise why values have languished in recent years. Clearly now the market has realized and the indications are that further significant price rises for this marque are imminent. The rack and pinion steering is superlight with excellent feel while the T10 gearbox has one of the sweetest changes. However, you do not need to change gear as this engine has huge reserves of torque. When you do agitate the V8 the surge of power is smooth and relentless. Long black lines can be left with little encouragement. Scuttle shake is minimal compared to modern roadsters. On the move, the Tigers sturdy character is, I feel the better car when compared with the 3 litre Healey. Simply stronger, therefore safer and more responsive and of course quicker it can eat up miles in a relaxed fashion. On a road trip that might include somewhere like Stelvio with endless hairpins and scenery to match, the soundtrack of the V8 is pure Nirvana.
Suffice to say this particular example presents extremely well and will be set up on a rolling road prior to being delivered to a new fortunate owner.
The Tiger emerges as a car with considerable appeal, with clearly defined characteristics. This is all bound up with the thrill one gets with larger capacity engines in a light chassis and nimble car such as this.
Sales were limited and slow in the 60s, as the market was not ready to embrace V8 – US engines & certainly UK insurance premiums were stronger than with 4 cylinder sports cars.
Enthusiasm today is strong for V8 engined cars; the classic car world is enlightened. The Tiger has found much interest for many, when considering a stable of classic cars, impressive acceleration and ageless styling, with Carol Shelby DNA being far from overlooked by Investment minded collectors.
Under rated Tiger? Not any more.
The History File has a lot of information in it which includes an MOT from 1973 at which point the car had done just 64,000 miles and are prolific with period invoices and bills; all cataloging various service and remedial work since 1965.
The car will be supplied to the new owner with current UK V5 and fresh 12 x months MOT.
We welcome viewings at our premises here in Suffolk at anytime, via an appointment, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Overseas visitors are most welcome and can be collected from all London airports with accommodation arranged.
Should a classic or competition car be available for part exchange, we would also have no hesitation in considering your car.
Shipping and Delivery
Worldwide delivery of the car can be facilitated with ease. If in mainland Europe, Phil as always will be delighted to deliver the car personally via covered trailer. Beyond Europe international shipping is easily arranged too.