Part of Britain's Rootes Group since 1935, Sunbeam persisted as a separate marque frequently building particularly attractive, but sometimes idiosyncratic, cars well into the 1960's. Its original Alpine, built under the Sunbeam-Talbot shield, was a sedan-derived two seater with production discontinued in 1955. It was succeeded in 1959 by a new Sunbeam Alpine with modern streamlined coachwork that employed modestly finned rear fenders. Power came from 91 and later 97 cubic inch pushrod overhead valve fours of 83 and 86 horsepower. With a mid-$2,000 price point, it was an attractive alternative to MGs and TRs. That changed in 1964 when Sunbeam followed its nose to Venice, California and persuaded Carroll Shelby to drop a Ford V-8 (Rootes' parent Chrysler's 273 V-8 wasn't small enough for the Alpine's engine compartment) into the front to create the Sunbeam Tiger. Developed by Shelby's ace tea-bagger Ken Miles first with the 164 hp 260 Ford and later with the much more potent 200 hp 289, the short wheelbase Tiger (86 inches) proved to be a mighty performer even against the longer (90 inches) wheelbase Cobra and has built a loyal following. This 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk IA is powered by the 289 cubic inch Ford with a 4-barrel carburetor and Ford 4-speed 'Top Loader' transmission. Finished in Cardinal Red with black interior and vinyl top it has a beautiful wood dashboard and instrument panel, the correct-style air cleaner on its 4-barrel carburetor and is fitted with a set of 13 inch LAT-style alloy wheels as available from the importer when it was new. It is accompanied by a Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association Certificate of Authenticity and has been treated to an excellent repaint, beautiful chrome trim and appropriate interior. The engine bay is carefully detailed to like new condition. With small block Cobras commanding prices in mid- to upper-six figures, Sunbeam Tigers offer the thrill of American V-8 performance in a Shelby American developed chassis.
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