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Hagerty Employee

Your handy 1964-67 Sunbeam Tiger buyer's guide

"Versatile! Drag it! Race it! Swing with it!" read a print advertisement for the 1964 Sunbeam Tiger. That single ad laid out everything attractive about the Tiger, showcasing Stan Peterson's Autocourse Tiger with slicks and Minilite wheels, Doane Spencer's #55 road racing Tiger, and a scantily clad model atop the decklid of a Sunbeam Tiger in street trim, with full wheel covers.

I have a past with Sunbeam. It was not the Tiger but the Alpine.

The thing to watch on the body is RUST.

These cars did like to rust in wet climates so be sure to inspect the body well. Be it V8 or 4 cylinder they did have corrosion issues.

Otherwise a fun little car. The only issue on the 4 was the lack of oil pressure but it never failed even driven hard. I recall using my friends for midnight parts run to the late night parts store. Warm summer nights and the top down were fun.
Pit Crew

I'm not a Tiger expert, just a longtime owner, but several items in this guide struck me as incorrect:

1. It's Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association (STOA), not Sunbeam Tiger Association.

2. An automatic transmission was not offered in the Tiger. Yes, the Miles prototype had a 2-speed automatic but it was never an option in the production cars. The Alpine did offer an optional automatic, thus the “BW” code referred to in this guide.

3. The LAT induction kit featured a Holley, not Edelbrock, 4-barrel carburetor and an Edelbrock intake manifold.

4. The Chrysler Pentastar and “Sunbeam V8” badges began with the later MkIa cars (built from February 1966), not the MkIIs.

5. My understanding is the sledgehammer story is a myth. The car has a lower and wider transmission tunnel than the Alpine, a Tiger-specific stamping that allows the engine and transmission to fit.

6. All Tigers did not have a wood dash. Early MkIs (about 400 of them) had a vinyl-covered dash like the Alpine. The early Tiger tested by Car and Driver in 1964 had the vinyl-covered dash.
Community Manager

Thanks for your input, we have made some changes and have follow up comments/questions: 


1. Change made, thanks for that!


2. Change made


3. Change made


4. Finding verification of that is difficult, but this link says: Mk I Tigers had “Powered by Ford 260” fender badges, while Mk II Tigers wore “Sunbeam V8” badges as well as tiny Chrysler Pentastars at the bottom of each front fender. Mk II cars were produced after Chrysler acquired Sunbeam’s parent company, Rootes Group, and the manufacturer wasn’t comfortable having “Ford” written on the side of its car."


5. In R.M. Clarke's book, Sunbeam Tiger Limited Edition Extra, 1964–1967, he said "the first order of business was to bash the firewall..."


6. Interesting, but we can't find verification of that. The sales brochure mentions they had a wood dash, but we admit brochures in general aren't necessarily 100% accurate.