View Full Version : How many Tigers do you know of?

Joel Simmons
06-11-2003, 07:04 PM

I've always had an interest in Sunbeam Tigers ever since I discovered them at the PIR Historic Races in high school. However, I always noticed that the Sunbeam guys were so widely dispersed that they never had their own club or even knew of each other half the time. More often than not, they belonged to a local Ford club or something.

So, how many other Tigers do you know of? I always thought these were the COOLEST LBC's, but I was always hesitant to try and get into one because of their relative rarity. I even registered on the Tigers United Forum, a forum specifically for Tigers, and you could hear a pin drop in that place...even over the internet. It just seems that there aren't a whole lot of Tigers out there.


06-12-2003, 06:57 AM
A guy named Norm Miller maintains a register of surviving Tigers worldwide. I don't know if he has a figure on his website, but it's at https://www.rootes1.com/index.asp if you want to take a look.

06-13-2003, 02:38 PM
I don't know about HI, but there is a sizable Tiger/Alpine association here stateside. Try a quick Google or Yahoo search and you will find them no problem. However, they are more regional or national in scope. I am not aware of any "local" organizations.

Still, that rarity keeps them so intriguing. I saw a lovely black Tiger here in Flag the other day and nearly rearended the car in front as I took a good hard look.

06-14-2003, 01:34 AM
I dont think it will be of much use...But there were 4 or 5 here in Salt Lake City, At British Field day last week.
Nice cars too! Quick, Looked like fun out on the open road.
Have fun
graemlins/cheers.gif graemlins/thirsty.gif

06-14-2003, 03:06 AM
The number of Tigers still extant that I keep hearing tossed about is +/- 1000. Looking at the Tiger East and C.A.T rosters (there's overlap), plus "lone wolves" and overseas owners... yeah, that's believeable.

06-15-2003, 09:29 AM
I have 2 Tigers and personally know 4 more owners .There is supposed to be a couple more around Winnipeg but that so far is not verified.
The 65 is completly stock except there is a 289 instead of the 260.
The 64 is the Lister replica I built powered with the 351 windsor.Both are a blast. graemlins/canpatriot.gif

06-15-2003, 11:57 AM
Hey guys,
I currently am a TR6 owner but have always been interested in the Tiger. I know of an Alpine parked under cover somewhere in New Orleans that looks to be in fantastic, unrestored condition. And for sale. Is it possible to convert an Alpine into a faux Tiger
(I know the concours people would not approve) and have it pass as such, with all the fun. Is the frame gusseted differently, etc.

06-16-2003, 09:53 AM
Dr. Bill
Yes they can be done.Most people call them Algers.Basically you need to change the firewall.modify the transmission tunnel and bell housing area metal.Make motor mount brackets to bolt on where the alpine steering boxes were mounted.Change to rack and pinion steering,possibly the rear end as the Alpine rear end will not stand up to long..A few have put Chevy V8s in but they involve more work.The ford has the distributor up front and it is one reason it works so well.
A well set up V6 will do wonders and save a ton of work.There is a fellow who sells a great kit.You do not have to change steering or suspension and really no metal work[very small bit] at all. Rekey the Alpine rear end and it also will be fine.
Hope this gives you some ideas.
On the other hand why not keep it stock.
See [www.sunbeamalpine.org]

06-16-2003, 01:46 PM
I know of about a dozen in the southern Ohio area and another 4 or 5 in central Ohio. Most are runners, couple are not. And 4 are mark IIs.

Bob Claffie
06-16-2003, 09:55 PM
I have never seen a Chevy powered Tiger. I guess anything is possible is you throw enough money at it. The reason Chrysler killed the Tiger is that Ford refused to sell them any more engines after Chrysler bought Sunbeam from Rootes and Chrysler did not produce an engine narrow enough to fit in the Tiger engine bay. A couple years ago I had an Alpine (good)and a Tiger (whipped) sitting next to each other in my side yard contemplating the switch but even with 100% of the correct parts decided it was too much work and above my skill level. Bob

06-17-2003, 11:20 AM
Dr. Bill: As the owner of a '63 Alpine Series 3 converted to Ford 289 power, I have some responses to your thoughts on Tiger replicas.

First, is it feasible? Yes, it is feasible IF you or your builder are skilled at metal fabrication and basic engineering. The average street rod builder is used to installing V8's into medium to large cars from the '30's,'40's,&'50's with large engine compartments. Putting a V8 into a small engine compartment requires skills not normally found in the corner mechanic or shade tree mechanic.

Second, how authentic do you want to make it? Tiger parts are relatively rare and expensive (especially the 4-speed "toploader" tranny). I decided early on in the project that if a parts house piece or good salvage piece would do the job, that was the piece I would use, rather than scouring the world for expensive, authentic Tiger pieces. For example, I elected to go with an electric fuel pump, GM single-wire alternator (with its internal voltage regulator), and dual master cylinder braking system.

Third, how fun is it to trick people? Most people don't enjoy feeling foolish. In my case, it wasn't really an issue, since my Series III body is clearly different from the 4&5 that formed the basis for the Tiger. I chose to keep my "Alpine" side emblems, but went with "260" shields underneath. As for being able to pass off a Tiger as an Alpine when it's time to sell, this is unlikely to work in the long run, since Tiger VIN's are different than Alpine VIN's. A buyer who discovered the deception after the fact would have a cause of action against the seller. I realize that your post didn't indicate that you intended to do this, but I thought I'd throw it out there for general information.

Fourth, are there alternatives? Before diving into a V8 conversion, consider keeping the Rootes engine (perhaps with performance tuning and modification), or going with a V6. There is a vendor on www.sunbeamalpine.org (https://www.sunbeamalpine.org) that goes by V6Joe that provides a kit for doing the V6 conversions. This can be installed much more simply than a V8 conversion, and provides a good power improvement without the overheating issues that plague both Tigers and V8 conversions.

06-19-2003, 11:44 PM
Dear Pnemhusen,
Thanks for the much thought-out info on the Alpine-to-Tiger(esque) conversion. My only reason for considering a "conversion" was I know of a really sweet Alpine that I might could get my hands on, but would want much more power, albeit something that would truly be a bastardized car. As an owner of a restored TR6 that has been "souped up", I still want more power. (we used to drag for pink slips in the 60's, for real) Have owned 4 LBC's, love the attitude of them (all Truimphs) but prefer horsepower to Viagra, at my age. Think I will just try and follow through with the idea of a 302 Ford with a 5-speed conversion. Some firewall work, rewiring and cooling issues, other than that, not rocket science.

Dr. Bill

06-21-2003, 03:47 AM
The chevy powered cars were converted Alpines and not Tigers.
Ihave done 2 conversions.One was the 62 with the V6.Second was the Lister clone with thw 351.The V6 is an easy conversion with the least amount of work. This turns the Alpine into a well balanced car with good handling as well as extra performance.The 2,8s can be turned into a quite a potential performer.You can achieve 180HP. easily.The stock tigers with the 260 only had 160 HP. Do the math and you will see what we are talking about.
As mentioned Joe R has a kit that makes this a virtually bolt in job. graemlins/canpatriot.gif images/icons/cool.gif It's still sunny