In 1959 the Rootes group cataloged the Sunbeam Alpine. Created to compete with other British models such as MG A and B, Austin-Healey 3000, Triumph TR3 and TR4, this friendly convertible used many components from other Rootes Group models.

The platform of the Hillman Husky station wagon and the mechanical assembly, 1491 cm3, of the Hillman Minx. This model evolved regularly and the latest version the MK V was powered by a 1752 cm3 engine.

It was the Australian F1 world champion Jack Brabham who was one of the first to suggest to the rootes group to mount a big engine under the hood of the Sunbeam Alpine. Rootes’ representatives in the United States entrusted this project to “Texan wizard” Caroll Shelby. This one carried out a prototype equipped with the engine Ford V8 4261cm3 which already equipped the Ac-Cobra. This car was presented to Rootes executives in 1963: the Sunbeam Tiger was born. The start of the program was quickly triggered and the car was presented at the New York Motor Show in 1964.

he engine compartment was not designed to receive a V8, it was necessary to make some modifications, in particular the direction, a rack and pinion system replaced that with recirculation of balls. To avoid disturbing the balance of the masses, the V8 was pushed back as far as possible and the battery moved into the trunk. The suspension was hardly modified, except for a different calibration in order to support a 20% increase in weight. The tires, wheels, and brakes of the Alpine were retained.

Externally, the Tiger is a carbon copy of the Alpine MK IV. This car was designed by the Rootes group design office; Its main designer is Ken Howes. We recognize the Tiger thanks to the thin side chrome bar and the various specific badges.