1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk 1
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk I
- Southern California Car
- All Ownership History
- 3 Owners:
First Owner 1965-72
Second Owner 1972-2006
Third Owner 2006-present
- Original and Rebuilt 260ci V8 in 2008
- 4 Speed Toploader Gearbox
- Factory Hard Top
- Built Sheet
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk I on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of the car due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 150 photographs, as well as a short start-up and walk-around video, please go to our main website: Garage Kept Motors.)
“… the Sunbeam Tiger quickly acquired a reputation as a baby Cobra on the street.” – Automobile Magazine, December 2014
“As the 1960s began, the Rootes Group's Sunbeam marque was eager to give its refined but wimpy Alpine sports car some authority under the hood so it would be more like a Jaguar, less like an MG. As the Shelby Cobra became popular in 1962, Sunbeam's sales manager in Los Angeles measured the Alpine's engine bay (with a yardstick) and sent his service manager to find an American V-8 that would fit. The 260-cubic-inch Ford V-8 looked good, and Carroll Shelby was commissioned to create a Cobra-style prototype in eight weeks for $10,000. What was dubbed the "white car" appeared in April 1963, and once readied for production with the bodywork of the Alpine Mk IV, assembly was subcontracted to Jensen Motors in Britain. The Sunbeam Tiger caused a big stir when it appeared at the 1964 New York auto show for the 1965 model year, but it lasted only until 1967, when Chrysler bought the financially distressed Rootes Group. In all, nearly 7,100 Sunbeam Tigers were built. The Tiger Mk I accounts for the majority of the run, some 3,800 cars, and this model features the 260-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) version of the small-block Ford V-8 and can be distinguished by round-corner doors and lead-filled body seams. The Mk I represents the next 2,700-plus cars, and it also has the 260-cubic-inch V-8 but can be identified by square-corner doors and unfilled body seams.”
Offered here is a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk 1 in highly desirable orange over black. Delivered new in Southern California, just three owners (first '65-'72, second '72-'06, third '06-present; with documentation) have stewarded the car with meticulous attention to this point. Currently showing 60,461 miles, the car has traveled fewer than 1,100 miles per-year on average since new.
The Tiger's exterior non-metallic orange paint is in outstanding condition across the entire body, including the removable (original) hardtop. The color was an excellent choice to add flair to the car's simple body lines.The finish is free of damage and the shine is even and properly glossy. There is no damage to any sheet metal on the car. (To best assess the quality of the paint and trim finishes, be sure to view the close-up photographs of the car in the accompanying gallery.) All factory badging—including the Rootes Group grille and rear-fender emblems, Sunbeam lettering front and rear of the car, the “Tiger” script incorporated into the thin body-side chrome trim, and the “260” engine badge on the front fenders—is all in place and in beautifully preserved condition. Chrome bumpers, grille trim, windshield trim, racing style side mirror, and door handles all display excellent surface shine with virtually no appreciable patina. Cabin glass and lighting lenses are clear and uncracked. Factory-original 13-inch 4-lug, 8-opening, polished alloy wheels are mounted with GoodYear® racing tires with the blackwall side facing out.
Inside, the cockpit is a perfect sports-car environment. Damage-free black leather upholstery with perforated inserts covers the bucket seats, and black carpeting covers the cabin floors. A black, reinforced roll bar is mounted behind the seats, with stereo speakers and a fire extinguisher mounted on the rear-cabin wall. The original wood-rim, 3-spoke, brushed-metal-trimmed steering wheel frames a beautiful wood dashboard (with minor cracking from age) with large, 4,600-rpm-redline tachometer and 120-mph speedometer. Auxiliary gauges for fuel supply, oil pressure, coolant temperature, ambient temperature thermometer, fuel supply, and amperage output are arrayed horizontally. All are original Jaeger® instruments. A MetroSound® AM-FM-cassette unit on the passenger side completes the leather-trimmed dash. The shift lever for the top-loading 4-speed manual transmission is mounted on the floor and topped with a Sunbeam Tiger-Rootes Group emblem.
Under the front-hinged hood, the original 260-cubic-inch small-block Ford V8 fills the engine bay. The engine was rebuilt in 2006 and its clean and orderly condition is impressive. Finned, bare-metal valve covers with “Tiger Powered by Ford,” oval, open-sided, horizontally mounted air cleaner, and zinc-finish radiator expansion tank--all original--add interest. Viewed from below, the car's chassis is similarly clean and every bit as impressive and virtually rust-free. There is no damage anywhere, including on components of the original dual-exhaust system (with Flowmaster® mufflers).
The car's original build and identification tags remain riveted in place. A historical file (including the build sheet) and workshop manual accompany the car.
While the more than 150 high-definition photographs and the short walk-around-and-startup video available on the GarageKeptMotors website showcase this '65 Sunbeam Tiger
in detail from every angle, including from below, we expect and encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. Please call to arrange an appointment in advance as our showroom is not open to the public. And feel free to get in touch anytime by phone or email if you have questions.
This Sunbeam Tiger is certain to impress European-car enthusiasts of every stripe, and at every stop. On all levels—rarity of the marque, color, superb condition, and perfect sports-car driving experience—the compliments will never end. We envy the next owner.