Lot 666-1966 Sunbeam Tiger MK IA


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This 1966 Sunbeam Tiger was a garage find after having been on jack stands for almost 20 years. After taking possession one of the first things that was done was have a tiger inspection team preform and official inspection. There was an official TAC certificate was issued on December 1st ,2011. The owner has been working on the car ever since.

The engine was rebuilt in the very early 90s. The cylinders were bored .030 in. oversize, the cylinder rods were reconditioned, the crankshaft was ground .010 undersize, and the cylinder heads were reconditioned with new valve seat inserts, new valves and springs, bronze valve guides were installed and roller tip rock arms installed. The engine was balanced and blue printed, Compression ratio was tested and found to be exactly factory standard 8.8:1 ratio. All new bearings and hyd lifter with a mild camshaft. New +.030 pistons and rings installed. The transmission was totally rebuilt when the engine was removed for rebuilding. The differential gear set 3.31:1 ratio was replaced with a 3.07:1 gear set. I looked at the spare gear set to determine the actual ratio since I thought it might have been a 3.34:1 gear set. There is also a factory standard 2.88:1 gear set. These two gear sets are included in the sale.  The factory distributor was rebuilt with new bushings and tuned to factory specifications. The radiator was recored, and the water pump rebuilt using the factory style impellor. Brake master cyl was new a few years ago, and the clutch master cyl was new the next year. Brake and clutch slave cylinder were all rebuilt and new stainless steel pistons installed in the front disc brake calipers. The clutch pressure plate and disc were installed new with the engine rebuild. The water pump pulley was recently replaced with a special undersized pulley to turn the fan and water pump faster. The fan shroud didn’t come from the factory with a lower section. The owner fabricated a lower fan shroud to help the cooling system be more efficient. The driver’s compartment heating system had a flaw in that the hot water selector valve kept leaking. After the third one, the valve was removed and installed inlet and outlet valves in the engine compartment that have to be manually operated to heat the passenger compartment. This cooling and heating system seems to work. All the hardware for the factory style valves are still attached in case somebody wants to install a new one.

The brake booster vacuum canister was rebuilt by noted Tiger guru, Randy Willit, and works as advertised. The generator is the original and was rebuilt locally, as was the original starter. The windshield washer system is fully functional, windshield wiper motors was fully rebuilt. New belts and hoses used everywhere. It should be noted that the original hose clamps have all been replaced and the originals have been saved to be included in the sale. The factory optional Holley 4 BBL carburetor and intake manifold are installed on this engine and work well with the cyl heads and camshaft. The cover has been patched on both sides, but the patching isn’t visible from the outside. The seal between the front of the soft top and the windshield is new. The seats and center armrest  have been reupholstered. The blue piping is custom.  The drivers seat frame was broken and had a Tiger guru repair them. The slider tracks were also reconditioned at that time.

The speedometer, which does not work at this time, the parts are available for fixing the speedometer cable. On either side of the oil pressure gauge  2 small blue and green warning lights. There is the speedometer again showing about 65000 miles. The real mileage is estimated to be less than 70000 miles.

All dashboard instrument lights work except the engine oil temperature gauge, which has no provision for lighting.  Leave the instrument light switch on so anytime you turn on the headlights, the instruments are all back-lighted. Working original cigarette lighter. All the parts of the heater controls are still there except for the hot water control valve currently not working. Modifications have been made  in the engine compartment should heat become necessary. Usually there is enough heat getting into the cockpit from the engine compartment and directed heat is not required.

The horn button in the center of the steering wheel is not meant to function as a steering wheel. There are 2 paddles sticking from the center and are usually connected by a full ring. That ring was noted for breaking, A previous owner may or may not have broken the ring off. But he took the time to saw the ends to make them look a little cleaner. Push forward on either paddle and the horns work. One horn is a high tone and one is a low tone. One of the horns wasn’t working so it was replaced from Sunbeam Specialties, and the horns get your attention the way they’re supposed to.

The trunk shows the interior with the original false floor in place. There are a pair of hook style hinges on the forward bulkhead so the false floor can be lifter or removed for accessing the spare tire and tools. On either side are upholstered side panels which were made from scratch. Hidden behind each side panel is a 5 gal fuel tank. There are no leaks in the fuel system and never any smell of gasoline. There is also a dust curtain at the forward bulk head that separates the soft top storage well from the trunk. The floor is solid and no rust anywhere, just a few small stains. There is a remnant spare tire well at the front, leftover from that Alpine series car and not used in the Tiger. There’s a reproduction battery tray, but the battery hold down is original as are the battery cables. That’s an aftermarket alarm in the left rear of the trunk. The jack, which is original, and the tire iron, which in not original but they both work. The clips are not there and are hard to find and expensive.

The kick panels were missing and fabricated new ones from scratch.

The wheels are a very expensive set of Panasport 14 in alloy wheels. The front wheels are 6 inches wide and the rear wheels are 7 inches wide. The original wheels and hubcaps they are included in the sale. The original wheels are 13 inch wheels and 4.5 inches wide. The tires on the front at Falken 195 R 14 performance tires. The rear tires are Falken 205 R 14 tires. Front and rear tires are essentially the same diameter and give a very good ride to the car. There were from another Tiger and are back-spaced properly allowing full turns of the steering without any scraping of the fender wells. The plastic center cap seen on the rear wheels came with the car. There were 4 but 1 got stolen someplace so I took the other off the remaining front wheel. I’m unable to find a replacement and this center cap is out of production. I keep the 3rd center cap in the trunk. The lugs holding the alloy wheels in place are 13/16 in nuts as compared to the original nuts at 3/4 inch. That’s why the cross bar lug wrench is so handy. It has both sizes.

The left hand mirror shows the chrome pitted. The right hand mirror is not quite as bad. The front bumper is in decent condition. The headlights are very rare, hard to find, and very expensive. There are screens on to prevent rocks from damaging them. The chrome headlight trim rings are MK II Tiger rings, not the original style for MK 1 or MK 1A Tigers.

There some damage to the rear edge of the left front wheel well. Not sure what caused this, but have been informed by more knowledgeable Tiger folks that this was caused by something breaking in the suspension/steering system and the tire hitting the edge of the wheel. Right at the seam where the right rear fender meets the rear body below the fender, as a dent caused by backing into something. There is also an hole right at the edge of the dent. This appears to have been where a back-up lamp was installed at one time. There is a matching hole at the left corner.

There are no leaks on the car anywhere. No fuel or coolant leaks, no oil leaks from the engine, transmission or differential, and no leaks anywhere in the brake system.

All keys for the vehicle. Has a soft top in fair shape. Alarm system that is very delicate.  Great condition original Sunbeam Tiger. This vehicle is in daily driver condition, but would make an excellent candidate for a full restoration.