1967 Sunbeam Tiger
This is a rare car to say the least. This 1967 Sunbeam Tiger is owned by a Vietnam Veteran from Unicoi, Tennessee and this is East TN area. The car was purchased after his tour of duty and he has owned this car since 1970. This Classic British car is in for a total restoration. The car was designed and inspired by the Late Famous Carroll Shelby from the vintage Ford Cobra days of the 60’s. The history of Sunbeam Tigers can be Google’d but the production ceased in 1967 when Chrysler purchased the mother company and found out their V-8 small block would not fit. Chrysler would not sell one of their cars with the famous 260 or 289 Hi-Po Ford motors. Much research will be done but the owner will be involved with his knowledge for he has maintained it and drove up until the mid 90’s where it was parked in his lower garage of his home. Fast forward 20 years and now he is ready to preserve it and pass it down in his family.
After a good hot steam cleaning the Tiger was disassembled. The motor and drive train was brought out the bottom after front suspension was removed. Rocker panel covers were cut off and the car was sent out for sandblasting. Once returning the body was seal primed and put on a rotisserie so the common rust spots and panels could be cut and re-welded in. The customer supplied all the hard to find body panels and after an extensive stay on the jig the body was complete and the body work on exterior began.
The owner of the car wanted up grades and the stock 260 Cubic Inch mill was sidelined and a 302 from our stock supplied the foundation for a 325 HP small block. With all the go fast parts in place this little car should be a blast to drive with it’s newly rebuilt Ford Toploader 4 speed. An aluminum bell housing was located and modified to fit the old narrow case transmission. The original shifter was taken apart and chrome plated and rebuilt.
Once the front suspension was out is was disassembled and cleaned and checked for integrity and a few fatigue cracks were found and re-welded. The parts were then cleaned, painted and re-assembled with the addition of larger modern new disk brakes all the four corners.
After 8 months the body is painted its new British Racing Green color and the car was made a roller again. The wiring and brake work is all complete and motor is ready to be re-installed.
Once the new 325 HP 302 Ford Windsor motor and Ford top loader 4 speed transmission were installed from underneath, the complete front suspension and steering was bolted into place. Custom stainless steel exhaust was fabricated here at the shop and bolted to the customer supplied headers. The customer was very instrumental in researching parts for quality and fitment. Next came the rebuilt gauge clusters to wire in.. Then off to the upholstery shop. The came together and the customer came twice to the shop to test drive and tell us what he wanted. This was one of the more difficult cars to restore but made much smoother with customer involvement. The Sunbeam Tiger is now complete and is impressive to drive and has more comfort room than first thought. The speedometer says 140 mph and after driving I believe it would do it .