This beautiful 1965 Sunbeam Tiger came to life thanks to Jack Brabham of Formula 1 fame who tasked Carroll Shelby with building the prototype. You can see the how the Tiger and the Shelby Cobra are related as roadsters with great handling and power-to-weight ratios that quickly made them favorites.
The first prototype of the Sunbeam Tiger was delivered by Shelby in 1963 and Sunbeam decided to give them V8 engines ordered from Ford to be built by British automaker Jensen. This move didn’t please Shelby and a settlement was reached to see that he would be paid a royalty for each car.
This meant there was no Shelby badge on a car that was being marketed in America to an audience that would have reacted very positively to one. In hindsight, not the best move on the part of the folks at Sunbeam. That lack of a Shelby badge is part of the reason that these cars can be purchased for under $30,000 today.
Sunbeam Tigers were equipped with a 164-horsepower V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission. This particular example is different from the rest not for its engine, but because it was the only tintop ever produced. They built this one at a time when the future of convertibles was in question due to safety issues in the US.
You will get your chance to own this one-of-a-kind car when it goes up for auction on January 15 through RM Auctions.