Monterey

Monterey Conference Center
18 - 20 August 2022
Lot 305

1965 Sunbeam Tiger Works Rally

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$89,600 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

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Chassis No.
B9473705 LRO FE
Documents
US Title
  • Prepared by the Rootes Competition Department; one of seven Works Rally Tigers built
  • Competed in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally
  • Driven by rally legend Andrew Cowan, future mastermind of Ralliart and Tommi Mäkinen’s four WRC championships
  • A great potential entry for historic rally events
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Carroll Shelby’s genius in fitting a Ford small-block V8 into an AC Ace chassis to create the Shelby Cobra was a seminal moment in the development of the high-performance sports car. Following this success, both Shelby and Ken Miles were separately commissioned to squeeze V-8s into Sunbeam Alpines, which were then shipped to Rootes Group in England. With prototypes and an engine deal with Ford secured, the Tiger was born.

Rootes forged ahead with a rally program, and success followed with class wins at the Monte Carlo, Geneva, Tulip and Acropolis Rallies, with the Tiger constantly challenging for overall victories. The Works Tigers were truly some of the most charismatic rally cars ever built, with their roaring V-8 engines fighting the rear of the car thanks to its short wheelbase. These Tigers heralded the end of the era of big-capacity rally cars.

This car, registered new as FRW 667C, was delivered in left-hand drive form and finished in Midnight Blue with a White roof. Registered by the Works in December 1965, it was ready in time for the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally. There were high hopes for Andrew Cowan and Brian Coyle as they started from London on 14 January, but Cowan was caught out by the weather conditions shortly after Boulogne; FRW 667C somersaulted after hitting a kilometer marker, causing heavy damage and retirement.

FRW 667C was noted in Works records as being sold to factory driver, Ian Lewis. The car reappeared in 1976 when M. Scott-Smith of Alloa, Scotland, offered the Tiger for sale. By this time many Works features had disappeared; it was running a 289-cubic-inch engine, and it had been converted to right-hand drive. It is believed that David Jeffrey owned FRW 667C from 1980 to 1989 when it was purchased by Michael Harrison, whose ownership ended in 2001 when it was acquired by the current owner.

From the 1980s up to today, it is believed that FRW 667C has been restored twice, with one of these restorations likely including a re-shell of the car, but it has benefitted from a return to its factory configuration of left-hand drive with a 260-cubic-inch engine. Notably, the car has maintained its continuous identity as FRW 667C, with its registration still active from when it was registered by the Works in 1965.

Stored for many years, this wonderfully charismatic Tiger would make the perfect basis for a return to the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique and other historic rally events.