• Hi Guest! Being a Paid Subscriber is NOT required to participate at BCF. However, if you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...
    Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)

Sunbeam Tiger Engine


Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Is the Tiger V8 engine a Rover? PJ

Mickey Richaud

Staff member
Country flag


I was chatting with Carrol Shelby at one of the Shelby American Collection (in Boulder) holiday parties and we were talking about British cars. He told me the reason he was able to negotiate a commission on the Tigers was because his shop (Shelby American) did the development for the Rootes Group on the Tiger. Specifically, one of his engineers/race drivers did the development. None other than Ken Miles. Who was later killed testing a new Shelby American project called the "King Cobra". A project that ended with Ken's death.


Jedi Warrior
Actually at the time Ken Miles dd not work for Shelby at first.Shelby turned down Ian Garrard at first when Ian went to him about doing a V8 in the Alpine. He and Miles then did a backyard job and went to Shelby and then Shelby agreed to do a proto for 10K.The rest is history as they say.


Carrol said he didn't have time to do it, which was why he said he passed it along to Ken. At least thats how it was from the horses mouth. He has been known to embellish a bit though. /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif


Ken was killed at Riverside Raceway on August 17, 1966, while testing one of the Ford J-car prototypes. The testing program that was being carried out was to determine whether the J-car was suited for participation in that fall's Canadian-American Championship series. A series of trouble-free laps had been made before the accident and on the final lap there was nothing to indicate anything wrong as the car came down the backstretch at about 175 mph. Then, toward the end of the straight when the car had slowed to approximately 100, it went out of control, spun to the inside of the course and went over a tall embankment. The car bounded end over end and Ken, thrown out of the car, was dead of head injuries before emergency crews reached the scene.


glemon said:
I believe Miles was killed testing the Ford J car, which was going to be their next racer after the GT40 Mk II.

/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wall.gif That's right, The "King Cobra" was a Cooper Monaco that had a strengthened chassis for a V8.


Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Very interesting story. DNA could prove or disprove it all.
Sounds like the story that Billy the kid was roaming the California deserts a few years back.

Oh, hold on, my wife said, holy mackerel, Elvis is at the door.
Gotta run. Can't keep our guest waiting.


Jedi Warrior
Rover engines(UK)were Buick inspired.First Tiger's had FORD mfg'd 260 cubic in engines.Later model Tiger's had your choice 260 OR a 289 cube engine Edelbrock.Holly carbs,T5 BorgWarner Transmission(short throw)(reverse lockout)Panard Rod.Salisbury rear end.Options were TractionMasters/Koni Shocks.Commonly developed 150HP.The reason they stopped making Tigers WAS Ford stopped supplying engines when Chrysler purchased Rootes.WHAT A SHAME & Chrysler STILL ownes the Tiger name.
Ken&Whitelightning(former Tiger owner 3 years)...Of course most everyone here already knows that if your a true Tiger fan.Algers(Alpine/Tiger)are unsafe at any speed.


Jedi Warrior
[Of course most everyone here already knows that if your a true Tiger fan.Algers(Alpine/Tiger)are unsafe at any speed. [/quote]

I must disagree on this.What you are relating to is an Alpine with just the V8 installed with no engineering related to the other aspects of safety.This then can be dangerous as you quote.
I also owned a Stock 66 Tiger for 10 years and was very happy with it.So I do have the experience to relate to this.As well ihave been involved with sunbeams for 44 years.
The front end of my 64 "Spirit of Lister" Lister Tiger clone with a mild 351W.Motorsport T5 and 8 inch Mustang rear end is safe.It has a new front end built by Macgyvers.All steering joints are Borgenson.The car was 4 wheel aligned by Capitol Auto Works.They actually specialize in highway tractors and the owner knows more than anyone I have ever met regarding truing any vehicle.
As to speed we did the 125 MPH once and for an old [censored] like me that was enough.It is very comfortable cruising at 70 with the engine at 1750RPM.This is plenty fast for me.However just to know what the car can do is satisfying.
Oh Yes My 62 is roller cam 302 and it should be a blast as well
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D 1965 Sunbeam Tiger featured on my YouTube channel Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
S For Sale Sunbeam Tiger Factory Workshop Manuals – 260 and 289 Models - 1964 - 1967 Other British Classifieds 0
D For Sale 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Other British Classifieds 2
T Wanted Early Tiger or Sunbeam hardtop Other British Classifieds 0
Steve Sunbeam Tiger... Which one? Sunbeam (Rootes) 12
S Sunbeam Tiger Prices Sunbeam (Rootes) 2
beaulieu cost of new windshield for for Sunbeam Tiger ? Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
petervisor 1925 Sunbeam Tiger LSR Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
beaulieu Sunbeam V8 Tiger - any info ? Sunbeam (Rootes) 13
S Sunbeam tiger bushing sleeves Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
Sherlock Sunbeam Tiger Harrington coupe on E-Bay Sunbeam (Rootes) 21
S For Sale Sunbeam Alpine Factory Workshop Manual - All Models 1959 - 1968 Other British Classifieds 0
P Wanted Sunbeam Alpine SV5 Other British Classifieds 1
A For Sale Sunbeam Owners Handbook for Sale Other British Classifieds 0
Mickey Richaud For Sale Sunbeam Alpine Other British Classifieds 2
T Sunbeam/Hillman engine question Sunbeam (Rootes) 6
C Wanted Sunbeam Alpine 1, II Water Temp Electrical sending unit.[Or one that will work] Other British Classifieds 1
F Sunbeam/Hillman Key Blank Sunbeam (Rootes) 4
F 67 Sunbeam Minx Sunbeam (Rootes) 9
aeronca65t 1934 Sunbeam...I think British Motorbikes 3
glemon Sunbeam Alpine GT Spotted 6
dougie Sunning Sunbeam Spotted 1
P Thanks Basil!! Spridgets before Sunbeam! Spridgets 1
EricG 2 back to back Sunbeam events Sunbeam (Rootes) 6
EricG Sunbeam race article in Hemmings Sports+Exotic car Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
aeronca65t Sunbeam Tools Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
RickB Sunbeam Alpine on Seattle area CL Spridgets 1
jfslenes Sunbeam 1927 Land Speed Record Falls Sunbeam (Rootes) 5
aeronca65t Sunbeam at AACA Museum Sunbeam (Rootes) 4
aeronca65t SUnbeam Minx build Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
EricG Sunbeam Gathering- Oct. 2nd, Columbia,SC Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
zedvictor1 Sunbeam Harrington LeMans Spotted 14
Bob Claffie Old Sunbeam Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
P Sunbeam before Spridget??? Spridgets 7
glemon Sunbeam Alpine Compression Ratio Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
aeronca65t Great Sunbeam Video Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
EricG Sunbeam Invasion April 29-May 2, Hendersonville NC Sunbeam (Rootes) 5
dougie SOVREN Maryshill Hill Climb - Staring Sunbeam Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
aeronca65t Sunbeam pics-PVGP Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
EricG Sunbeam SOS-Columbia, South Carolina Sept 12th Sunbeam (Rootes) 3
T Just listed my Sunbeam for sale Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
T OT - lot of potential Sunbeam [cheap] Triumph 7
RickB NMC but what a nice Sunbeam Alpine... Spridgets 4
Sherlock A Sunbeam, but yet other British cars... Other British Cars 14
jackq 68 Sunbeam Sunbeam (Rootes) 1
Tullamore Sunbeam S9??? British Motorbikes 3
jackq Sunbeam going to crusher Sunbeam (Rootes) 7
aeronca65t Sunbeam Racer Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
S Vintage Sunbeam Race photos Sunbeam (Rootes) 0
Tullamore 1913 Sunbeam Sunbeam (Rootes) 3

Similar threads