As one early sample of Sunbeam Tiger Owners Club literature states: ‘The Tiger and the Cobra have a great deal in common. Both began life as modestly-powered sports cars built by independent British makers….both were ultimately endowed with American Ford V8s; the inspiration for the transplant came in both instances from that lead-foot Texan Carroll Shelby’
This is a lovely, original example of the Mk1 260 Sunbeam Tiger. So many Tigers, with their Cobra like performance, ended up either wrecked or raced. If it was the latter, then many parts not essential for racing – the air filter housing, the radiator cowling, the big wood steering wheel – were discarded. But not FFY 41D. Built by Jenson on 10th May 1965, This is a 3 owner from new Tiger, still in its factory road-going trim, with 132,000 miles supported by an extensive history file.
On 2nd April 1973 David Woolf, the 2nd owner, was invoiced by Performance Cars Ltd for £795 (including the guarantee!). From when it was set up in 1975, Woolf was an enthusiastic, active member of the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Club. He used his Tiger regularly, with both he & FFY becoming well known within Club circles. He was also a careful keeper of service history, with invoices throughout his 25 year ownership. It was during is custodianship, in 1989 and a little over 30,000 miles ago, that the engine was completely rebuilt.
The 3rd owner acquired the Tiger on 24th January 1998 having read about it in the ‘Case Histories’ section of Classic & Sports Car. He too was a regular user, with invoices detailing the upkeep. When he moved to America for a while, the Sunbeam went with him, returning with period correct LAT wheels & rocker covers.
Recently serviced by Classic Performance Engineering, it drives very well indeed. Along with the paperwork comes an original owners hand book & workshop manual. Whilst it is not a freshly restored car with show level paintwork, it is one of the most original and unmolested examples remaining. With values of good Tiger’s in the USA now reaching the $100,000 level, it cannot be long before these often underappreciated cars are given the recognition they deserve.