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Hagerty Employee

Blasting through Bend in a Sunbeam Tiger is the perfect escape

The woman shouted something at me. She was up on the highway, a good hundred feet away, and there was a car burning to the ground between us, so the distance and the thick black smoke obscuring her face made it hard to hear. Again, she shouted, and this time it registered: “Is that a Tiger?!”


I had seen that someone was having a roadside emergency, so I stopped and fruitlessly emptied my fire extinguisher through the molten grille of a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. As the car continued to burn, the woman—Hagerty Drivers Club member Terri Norton—had also stopped, not because of the blaze but because she’d grown up with Sunbeam Tigers. She had seen my ’66 Mk 1A parked down the dirt road and simply wanted to shoot the breeze. I love car people.


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New Driver

This is such inspiration to get my '65 MK1 back on the road!  

Hagerty Employee

Do it, do it, do it...


Ah Classic British Sports Cars. Love them. I gave my wife her first ride in my ERA Cobra Replica recently. We were stopped at a traffic light and she asked me if I like the smell of the exhaust. I told her I absolutely love it! Then she asked me about the fire extinguisher that I had stuck between the seats. I said "Oh ya, gotta have that". She laughed. 

Hagerty Employee

All cars need fire extinguishers. See: 2002 Passat


Oh Geez, don't tell anybody else about Bend, a very-close-to-Paradise-on-earth.  You should've seen it 30 years ago, before it was "discovered".

Pit Crew

yeah, we showed up in Bend 30 years ago too.  at that time, 125 miles to the nearest stoplight.  No Costco, Home Depot, or Cracker Barrel.  Many folks from CA, but most left after two or three winters, if they could.  Chartered luxury buses for shopping trips and culture in Eugene.  A real 'Leave it to Beaver' vibe.  Perfect for raising kids.  Today, not so much.  We still are a town of the haves and have-nots, but the gap today is dramatically larger.  I'll let your imagination fill in what that looks like.

Intermediate Driver

I always did like the look of the Sunbeam cars of that era.  And that Datsun 510 wagon looks gorgeous!  Oh, did I lust for a 510 when I was in college.

Hagerty Employee

That whole rig was pretty great, but yes, the Datsun was gorgeous.

Intermediate Driver

Da' proverbial "cat's outta the bag..."  The only problem with Bend is there are just too many Californians living there now.


Hopefully no one mentions Sun River just 15 miles south!

Hagerty Employee

Sun River is the worst. Don't ever go to that place. Seriously, don't.


I owned a much used and abused '67 Tiger in the mid '70's that frustrating me to the point of it languishing in my driveway with a screwdriver stabbed in the door for almost a year......   An absolute joy to drive but a royal pain to live with. Of the many cars I've owned I still miss it. That's the reason they're expensive today.


I can't afford a Tiger these days, but I would give myself three years tops before there is an Alpine in my garage. This particular Tiger has just stood up a narrative of how much fun a little British car can be with the top down that refuses to leave my brain. 


I had a friend in the early '80s

took his 'Alpine' and fitted a "Toyota Celica" engine.

Lighter than the 'Tiger 289v8', & more power.

There's a unique swap for the '80s

Hagerty Employee

Ooh, that is pretty cool. I bet that thing was fun.