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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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Replies (8)

Replies (8)

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

Pit Crew

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 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.


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. 


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


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!

Pit Crew

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.

Pit Crew

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".

Intermediate Driver