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1964 Sunbeam Tiger – widescreen gallery

Submitted by on March 23, 2015

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The late Carroll Shelby was partly responsible for the design of the Sunbeam Tiger. Between 1964 and 1967 over 7000 cars were built. The Tiger was a high-performance V8 version of the British Rootes Group´s Sunbeam Alpine roadster.

As the Sunbeam Alpine needed much more power to compete successfully Rootes approached Ferrari to redesign the standard powerplant, an inline 4-cylinder engine. In the end it never came to a partnership with the Italians.

Formula 1 champion Jack Brabham proposed the idea of fitting the Alpine with a Ford V8 engine. The engine bay of the Alpine proved to be too tight for the big V8 engine.

Finally Carroll Shelby was approached to design a prototype in which he succeeded. The Tiger was twice as powerful as the earlier Alpine, being only 20% heavier. Carroll Shelby hoped to produce the car in the US, but Rootes decided that the car was build in England by Jensen.

Especially for the 1964 Le Mans 24 Hours, Brian Lister was asked to build a competition version of the car. Only two cars were entered and due to engine problems, none of them saw the finish line. The car pictured here has chassis number B9499997 and was actually one of the two cars prepared by Lister.

The engine used was a Ford XHP-260 V8 of 4.261 liter / 260 cu in, creating 275 bhp / 205 Kw, giving the Tiger a top speed of 240 km/h / 149 mph. The weight of the Tiger depended on the version (Tiger I 1.163 kg / 2.565 lb, Tiger II 1.168 kg / 2.574 lb. The Tiger was fitted with a Borg Warner 4-speed manual gear box.

© Marcel Hundscheid / Speed-O-Graphica.com

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