Oct 7, 2008 update to the Sunbeam Tiger project car

10 Hours in a Tiger

Not really knowing what to expect, we’ve headed off to start the Bluegrass 1000 tour in our newly finished 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. With little more than 100 miles of real testing and sorting, we have rolled the dice and headed out for four days and 1000 miles of driving on all kinds of roads.

We are currently one day into our journey, and after nearly 10 hours in the seat, we are ecstatic. The car is running like a top and giving us virtually no trouble. The only real problem we’ve had is a speedometer that went on the fritz.

Perhaps even more important than the fact that the Tiger survived the day is that Margie and I really like the car. While powerful, it has proved to be docile and very well mannered—even when we got lost in downtown Louisville during rush hour. We are averaging about 15 mpg with our 410 horsepower stroker motor, and we don’t feel at all beat up after a day of hard driving. The 3.07:1 final drive works great, even on the interstate. The exhaust is loud in town, but quiet on the highway and on back roads. The heat worked when we needed it and air vents worked well when it got warm outside. On top of all that, the seats are comfortable. We have no backaches or complaints and are both thoroughly in love with our Tiger.

We have three more days left in our trip, but so far so good. Today we got to run at the Kentucky Speedway; we also made it from Louisville all the way to the Natural Bridge State Park in eastern Kentucky.

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