For $17,500, This 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Wants To Leave A Streak

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Tiger claims to be Sunbeam rich and cash poor. Let's see if you think his asking price on this classic cat is worth reversing that situation.

There's a TV show called Hoarders that explores - in the way that only lurid reality TV truly can - the compulsion to amass crap due to some sort of onerous mental illness, or as Shel Silverstein noted, a stubborn refusal to take out the garbage.


Do you have to be batshit crazy to collect Sunbeams? Well, you do if the object of your compulsion is actual beams of light emanating from the sun. However, should your fixation be on the products of one of the best known members of the Rootes Group, well then I think that your sanity may still be intact. We'll see, and I'm keeping an eye on you.

Today's offering comes from just such a Sunbeam collector, someone who has cornered the market on Alpines and Tigers and from the looks of it in one of his pics, one seriously good looking ass. He has a number of cars for sale - getting his Craigslist free ad's money's worth - but we're going to focus on the most expensive of the lot, and the one that seems to be the most interesting.


Before we get there, here's a little history about the Tiger, in case you need to get up to speed. I should note that this is re-purposed from an older NPOCP because it's pretty damn good and I am totes lazy.

A little background; the Sunbeam Alpine of the '60s (that name goes waaaay back) was seen – with its 1,592 to 1,725-cc 80 or so-hp OHV four – as a bit of an effete touring car, sort of the New Beetle convertible of its day. Ian Garrand, the West Coast distributor for Rootes, determined that what's good for the asp is good for the Alpine, and gave Carroll Shelby ten grand to wedge Ford's Windsor V8 into yet another British sportscar. Shelby's prototype was good enough to be shipped to England for a bunch of tweedy types to paw over it and give the okay for production, and a hearty "ehh, good show, old chap. Production was farmed out to car-whore, Jensen Motors - who had produced the Volvo P1800, and at the time were building Austin Healey 3000s - and the first Tigers began rolling out of Bromwich in 1964.

Those early Tigers (another name that the company pulled out of their past's ass) came with Ford's 260 V8 and 164-hp. That initial series spanned the MKIV to MKV Alpine body changes, but all the while keeping the 260 and four-speed Ford gearbox. A short run - 536 cars - in 1967 represented the Tiger's second series, and those cars carried the updated 289-cid Ford mill, as well as other minor changes. Chrysler's purchase of the Rootes Group that year put an end to Tiger production as the Mopar boys couldn't find a V8 of their own that would fit in the little car, and there was no way in hell they were going to sell something with a FoMoCo motor in it.


Okay, now back to this 1965 Tiger. The seller says that it has a clear title from its original owner, which leads me to believe that the present seller has never changed the title over to his name. That's okay however, because the car has apparently sat in storage for 25 years. It doesn't seem to have been simply dragged out of its hibernation and thrown on Craigslist, as the ad does note the addition of a new dash, refreshed hydraulics, and new exhaust that dumps ahead of the rear axle that look to have been added post rip van winkledom.


The 260 and 4-speed are claimed to be original to the car - a good thing if you want a proper restoration, and the seller says that he continues to tinker with it as we speak. It rolls on a set of pie cutters and new tires, and the seller says that his tinkering to date has managed to get it to the point where it runs and drives like new.

What's not to like? Well, the paint's pretty eff'd up and the interior needs some love. It's also a fair-weather friend at the moment as it lacks a working hood. Underneath it has been undercoated and it does look like you won't go broke on windshield washer fluid as the screen is presently not in place. I happen to know a guy you might just be able to set you up with one if this car's has been lost.


The asking price is $17,500 and if you track Tiger prices you know that, while not in Cobra territory, they're pretty stinkin' expensive. What's your take on this collector's cast-off and its $17,500 price? Is that the cat's pajamas? Or, is this a Tiger that still needs to be milked for winning?


You decide!


Tulsa OK Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to BigBlockBear for the hookup!

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