1966 Sunbeam Tiger

Everyone knows of my predilection for modifying to improve and when I found a car with all the mods I would have made if I had my druthers, I couldn’t resist. So now I’m the proud or should that be the rather apprehensive owner of a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger.

What attracted me was the fact that the previous owner had acquired the car almost forty years ago and seems to have treated her as a much-loved member of his family.

It’s commonly known that the original 260 (4.2 litre) Ford Fairlane engine was something of a lazy old slogger. For the Mustang, Ford wanted something with a bit more pep and the 289 (4.7) for its few more ccs, produces a harder punch. Frankly, I’m too old to bother about going faster and zero to sixty times but when you have the option of a Hi Po 289 that has been given Edelbrock alloy heads plus MSD electronic fuel injection and ignition, it’s hard not to be impressed.

The problem with so many cars with improved performance is that other crucial areas don’t receive the same level of attention but, I’m happy to say, not in this case, where all four corners have been shod with discs, Brembos up front. There’s also a Panhard rod and uprated springs, shocks and poly bushes. The gearbox is a T5 five-speeder and a recent edition is electric power steering.

It started off with a few problems as she seemed to idle at around 1200 rpm. However the very clever  small computer that comes with the MSD system soon helped sort things out. She now seems fine although a proper, long road test is still required.

Apart from some work lining up the driver’s door she seems in excellent shape with a lustrous paint job.

Roll over bar is a bit racy for my taste. Whether it can be removed without spoiling the trim, remains to be seen.

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A Final Acquisition

Now you’ll all think I’ve finally totally lost my marbles; the scariest thing is that I suspect you’re right. Having made the move to new quarters and bedded down the old girls in their new home, I found I had space for just one more. Some kind soul offered me a Tiger, Sunbeam that is, and after a cursory flirt I ended up with another of similar ilk.

Crowded engine bay; potential for overheating or what?

She looks a tidy enough car although the driver’s door could do with adjusting.