The Resilience of the 1965 Sunbeam Tiger

The Resilience of the 1965 Sunbeam Tiger

As a car enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by classic cars and their stories. One car that has always stood out to me is the 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. It’s a car that has been through a lot, yet it still remains a classic and highly sought-after vehicle. In this article, I’ll take you on a journey through the history of the Sunbeam Tiger and explain why it’s still a car worth admiring today.

The Birth of the Sunbeam Tiger

The Sunbeam Tiger was born in the early 1960s when the British car manufacturer, Rootes Group, decided to create a sports car that would rival the popular British roadsters of the time. They turned to Carroll Shelby, the legendary American racing driver and car designer, to help them create a car that would appeal to the American market.

Shelby took the Sunbeam Alpine, a popular British sports car, and fitted it with a Ford V8 engine. The result was the Sunbeam Tiger, a car that could go from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 120 mph. It was a car that was both stylish and powerful, and it quickly gained a following in the US.

The Sunbeam Tiger Goes Racing

One of the reasons the Sunbeam Tiger was so popular was its success on the racetrack. In 1964, a Sunbeam Tiger driven by Ken Miles won its class at the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida. This victory helped to cement the Sunbeam Tiger’s reputation as a serious sports car.

The Sunbeam Tiger also had success in rally racing. In 1965, a Sunbeam Tiger driven by Peter Harper won the European Rally Championship, beating out more established rally cars like the Porsche 911 and the Ford Cortina.

The Sunbeam Tiger’s Legacy

Despite its success on the racetrack, the Sunbeam Tiger was only produced for a few years. Production ended in 1967, and only 7,083 cars were ever made. However, the Sunbeam Tiger’s legacy lives on.

Today, the Sunbeam Tiger is considered a classic car, and it’s highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. Its combination of British style and American power is still admired, and its racing pedigree is still respected.


The 1965 Sunbeam Tiger is a car that has stood the test of time. It’s a car that was born out of a desire to create a sports car that could compete with the best, and it succeeded. Its success on the racetrack helped to cement its reputation as a serious sports car, and its legacy lives on today. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or not, the Sunbeam Tiger is a car that’s worth admiring.

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