1967 Sunbeam Tiger Mark II

289 cubic inch Ford V8, 200 horsepower
Four-speed manual
The Rootes Group, a respected player in the foreign car arena in the ’60s, was looking to get into the performance market. Although the four-cylinder Alpine was attractive and appealed to a younger market, its performance wasmodest, slotting in below the MGA and B and the Triumph TR3 and TR4. To compete for the American performance market, Rootes needed something more. Enter the Sunbeam Tiger— a small, light British sports car with American V-8 power. The 1962 Shelby Cobra was the inspiration for the Sunbeam Tiger, and Carroll Shelby, was even involved in the Tiger’s development. So, not surprisingly, the Tiger (like the Cobra) featured a Ford small-block V8 engine.

The vast majority of Tigers were either Mark I’s or Mark IA’s, which both used the 260 cubic inch version of the Ford V8. However, the Mark II, offered at a base price of $3,634 new, included the 289 cubic inch Ford V8, a more powerful version of the American engine.

Between 1964 and 1967, just over 7,000 Tigers were built; only 532 were ’67 Mark IIs—making them the rarest and most valuable.

The previous owner of this Mark II purchased the car in 1980.Prior to his ownership, it had been in a front-end collision and was improperly repaired.He drove the Tiger for a few more years but the car eventually began to break down, as a result of the shoddy repair. Needing extensive frame work, the car instead spent 28 years on cinder blocks under a tarp in his driveway. Hagerty purchased it in 2014 for an employee restoration project.

As always, the first step in the restoration was to completely dismantle the car. Once stripped down, the prior damage, poor repairs, and extensive rust were much more apparent. Less ambitious restoration teams may have passed on the project, but between plentiful employee labor and the combined skills of Tony Pietrangelo and his team at the Hagerty garage, the Tiger was attacked with energy. All major components were rebuilt to originalspecifications, although a slightly hotter cam was installed should the want toadd a four-barrel carburetor at some point. The four-speed transmission and rear end were carefully restored, as was the suspension and steering gear.

Once the body was fully repaired it was resprayed in its original Carnival Red.For show, it is fitted with the stock 13-inch steel road wheels with period bias ply tires e. And, for a better driving experience, the car wears a set of wider 13-inch Panasports with beefier radials.

The gleaming Carnival red tiger attracts huge attention wherever it is shown and is a big hit with kids of all ages, especially when it was displayed in a cage at Amelia Island.