- Powered by the legendary Ford 289 V-8
- Originally sold new to a California enthusiast
- Finished in attractive Jaguar Racing Green over black
- Accompanied by a letter from the International Registry of Sunbeam Tigers
After the success of the Shelby Cobra, British manufacturers looked for other sports cars that could handle a V-8 transplant. The Sunbeam Alpine seemed like a good candidate. It had been launched by the Rootes Group in 1959 to compete with the MGA, Austin-Healey, and Triumph TR3. Norman Garrad, who headed the Rootes Competition Department, had been urged by Formula 1 World Champion Jack Brabham to develop a Sunbeam Cobra. His son, Ian, an executive with the company in California, tasked Carroll Shelby with converting an Alpine.
Rootes built 6,498 Tigers in both left- and right-hand drive from 1965 to 1966, with many of them featuring the Alpine’s excellent hardtop. After Lord Rootes died, Chrysler bought into the Rootes Group, and not surprisingly, they did not want to sell a car with a Ford engine. As a result, the Mark II was created. It was fast, with 210 horsepower from the 289-cubic-inch Ford engine, but it proved short-lived, as Chrysler ceased the program in 1967 after only 536 Mark IIs (including two prototypes) were ultimately built.
According to a letter provided by the International Registry of Sunbeam Tigers, this example was assembled on 24 January 1967. Further, the IRST correspondent mentioned the car was most likely finished in the popular color of Forest Green. It was sold new to a Norwegian enthusiast in California. After a pleasurable stint in the Sunshine State, the car was exported to Norway, where it was to be further enjoyed. Having exchanged hands later in its life, the car made its way to its current owner in 2002. Shortly afterwards, the car underwent restoration, involving a thorough repaint in the current shade of Jaguar Racing Green.
Of the 536 produced, the Sunbeam offered certainly shines true today, making it a wonderful car for those who appreciate the Tiger’s significance.