mr2peak Reader
3/9/11 11:29 p.m.

So my girlfriend thinks that they are cute, and I want a new project now that I've decided to keep my M50 E30 as a DD and not mess with it too much...

So I want a Sunbeam Tiger. What do they cost? What are they worth? What, apart from rust, should make me walk away? What are the best upgrades? Why is this a horrible, horrible idea. Why is it great?

What parts are unavailable or near impossible to find?

Who owns one and what has your experience been like?

WilberM3 HalfDork
3/9/11 11:36 p.m.

Tim has or had one with a stroker IIRC. looked awesome at the challenge a few years ago. sorry i cant help more than salivate over them with you.

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
3/10/11 5:52 a.m.

We've got a Sunbeam Tiger as a project car for our sister pub, Classic Motorsports. You should check out (and post this thread) on that forum at



92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
3/10/11 6:30 a.m.

I've seen a couple in the midwest that are ungodly fast.

Oh, and they look awesome.

My knowledge on them is now exhausted.

How much can these things be found for, anyways?

TR8owner Reader
3/10/11 9:00 a.m.

I owned a Sunbeam Tiger twenty-five years ago and would never ever want another one. Its a pain to work on, handles terrible, often over heated and needed fairly constant attention. If you want a British V8 I'd recommend a Triumph TR8. I own one now and its night and day compared t the Tiger. The TR8 is almost like a modern car despite being 30 yrs old. The TR8 was designed with a V8 engine in mind while with the Tiger it was an after thought.

Back in those days it was quite customary to hot rod them or even take a Sunbeam Alpine and convert it to Tiger specs and nobody really cared. . Back then Tiger owners were a an electic fun group of hot roddin' beer drinkin' good old boys but nowadays some Tiger owners are quite anal retentive about originality. These types want to believe they've got some sort of a near AC Cobra, but that's just not the case.

Prices for Tigers have gone up quite a bit so be careful that you are really purchasing an original Tiger and not a converted Alpine if it is being advertised as a Tiger. You'd expect to pay more for a Tiger than a conversion. so you'll take a beating on resale if it turns out your "Tiger" is a converted Alpine. There is a website that lists original serial numbers and subtle differences to look for, so I'd check it out. For fun factor its not an issue, but a good Tiger is around 35+ K or so nowadays and you wouldn't want to unwillingly pay that for a conversion.

Once again my advice is go for a TR8, but if you're set on a Tiger then educate yourself about them before purchase.

oldeskewltoy Reader
3/10/11 11:24 a.m.

In reply to TR8owner:

everything he said.......

now... what about buying an Alpine(same body, w 4 cyl) rip out the anemic 75hp 4, and swap in a nice tidy little twin cam and get nearly the same power the 260 delivered.

Make it a hotrod... rip out the crappy 40 year old electrics...swap in a EZ or painless kit.

maybe look to swap in a better suspension.

just a brainfart

mr2peak Reader
3/10/11 1:15 p.m.

oldeskewltoy: Sounds like your suggestion is to hide a monster miata under a sunbeam...

35K is way out of my price range for a toy for the next few years. How much do Alpines go for? I love the removable hardtop..

oldeskewltoy Reader
3/10/11 4:12 p.m.
mr2peak wrote: . How much do Alpines go for? I love the removable hardtop..

this week... $250.00 to $25,000.00

TR8owner Reader
3/10/11 7:50 p.m.

In reply to oldeskewltoy:

25 K for an Alpine? WTF. They're not great cars.

If I remember right my purchase price on my Tiger in the 80's was $5500. and it included an Alpine parts car that was in fairly good shape.

There is a Tiger Mk.II on Hemmings for 90 K. I guess you can always ask.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth HalfDork
3/10/11 8:36 p.m.

I keep kicking myself for not having the $4k to buy a decent already hot rodded Tiger with a hardtop in 2000.

digdug18 HalfDork
3/10/11 9:03 p.m.

I'd love to buy one. Though the shop near me has an alpine that they dropped a Cadillac motor into that is quite potent, and scary.

DaveEstey HalfDork
3/10/11 9:35 p.m.

I love them. A lot.

TR8owner Reader
3/10/11 10:52 p.m.

In reply to DaveEstey:

"I love them."

So did I except for having to unbolt a bulkhead to change the rear spark plugs, the over heating problems and about a half dozen other quirks. Its probably the only car ever owned that I was afraid to drive any further from walk home distance.

mr2peak Reader
3/11/11 2:15 a.m.

That's quite a spread in the prices! I'll keep an eye out, let me know if you guys know anyone in the lower end of the price range.

emodspitfire Reader
3/14/11 12:49 p.m.

+1 to the motor swap idea.

There was a guy at a Denver AutoX several years ago with an Alpine with a 13B in it.

It looked like it came from the factory. Very clean and pretty quick considering the skinny crappy tires it had...


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