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Sunbeam Tiger... Which one?


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A friend of my father, based in Australia, is considering the purchase of a Tiger. He's narrowed it down to the Mk2 but is wondering what to look out for, comments on possible problems, common non original changes, etc would be appreciated.

And is the Mk2 the best value?

Thanks in advance.
For a bunch of cars 45+ years old each one should stand on it's own merits. There is no longer good, better, best model. The MK2's are the most desirable based on the 289" engine and their scarcity- only 700 +/- made. They are also selling for a premium for that reason.

As a person who just bought a basket case I shouldn't talk, but common sense dictates buying the best one you can afford. Some parts are extremely rare and more expensive than an MGB for instance

Common additions/ changes include all the "LAT" options, additional cooling aids , four barrel carb and manifold, fancy wheels, etc. As with any old crock, rust is not your friend. Adding to this is the possibility that any purported Tiger could be a clone or a recycled Alpine. Best to find a Tiger owner to walk him through the process. Bob
+1, Bob!
Anyone that knows Tigers well will be able to spot a clone a mile away.
These motors are prone to rust and over heating issues. Test drive it!
Grantura_MKI said:
+1, Bob!
Anyone that knows Tigers well will be able to spot a clone a mile away.
These motors are prone to rust and over heating issues. Test drive it!

Able to spot a clone a mile away is not true.There have been some really remarkable good fakes ou there.Yes Tigers and alpines are prone to rust especially in the rocker panels and bottom rear quarters.
As to 260/289 motors rusting I cannot buy that unless owners run pure water.In a Tiger they are prone to overheating due to poor airflow and tight fitting engines.
I have a 351 W in the Lister which can get oretty hot in slow traffic but get it movingand the temperature comes down.I have a ford racing 302 in the 62 and it really keeps the cool pretty good.Mind you I have done all the good stuff regarding keeping it cool.Even my stock tiger i ahd with some good stuff done for cooling kept cool.
I speak with 45 years plus of ownership so I may just know a couple of things regarding tigers
Grantura_MKI said:
Really? Did not know that Tigers came fitted with the 302 lump?

Tigers came with the 260 and about the last 700 Mark 2's came with a 289 A 302 was not a stock item.Both of my cars are so far from stock that being correct is something I will never be
I figured that yours where not stock. The few that I have done where put back to standard delivery. I have seen many cobbled together clones, but if you know these cars it is easy to spot.
If you buy a MKII, make sure all the trim is there. The wheel well mouldings and the rocker strip are hard to find and expensive. The grill is different from the earlier MK1 and 1A but can be found. The grill eyebrow is another thing altogether as the MKII profile is different from the earlier Tigers and the Alpines.
I *highly* recommend that your friend spend some time at Norman Miller's excellent website, https://www.rootes1.com/. This will give him an idea of some of the things to look for, and some of the ways to validate real Tigers from fakes. I must admit that I'm not an expert on the Mk II, but I became very familiar with the items to look for to validate an early Mk I, and I made sure to physically verify all of the tell-tale signs before I bought mine. Some things are easy to fake, others not so much.

They are absolutely great machines, and our Tiger remains the only old car in the garage that doesn't leak oil! And it goes without saying that they are blisteringly fast, especially when compared with other British cars of comparable dimensions.
Curious, was there ever a happy ending to this story ? Many like to hear feedback regarding suggestions made and alternative actions chosen. Bob
I agree with the statement that fake Tigers are easy to spot.

I've owned 3 and have seen probably 200+ of them in my life and have easily spotted fake ones. Yes you can change out the front xmember and suspension, and the rear end, and add the trim, etc., but the firewall, trans hump, and truck area are not easily faked.
I would qualify that by saying that if you know what it should look like, most are relatively easy to spot. But there are those out there who are expert metal fabricators who can duplicate factory style modifications. That combined with the fact that many Tigers can be found with updated mechanicals can make it difficult. There's a guy selling custom front crossmembers for example to eliminate the ackerman problems of the original.
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