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flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: May 18, 2011 02:07PM

I found a very rusty, but totally complete Sunbeam Tiger that I can buy for about $5K. If I buy a nice Alpine for $6-7K, can I make a good Tiger clone (Alper)? My intension is not to fake a Tiger, but it seems like a good way to build a Tiger for very little money. What do you think?


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4465 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: Moderator
Date: May 18, 2011 07:00PM

So you'd be in for $11-12K before you get the two cars home and turn the first wrench. That seems like a high starting cost to me... but what do I know about Sunbeams?

Keep an eye on this auction and see what the hammer price is: [cgi.ebay.com] (Right now it looks like you might possibly be able to buy a nice Alper for about $10K... but then you wouldn't have the fun of doing a conversion.)


djw090
David Witham
Warwick UK
(115 posts)

Registered:
06/12/2008 11:20AM

Main British Car:
MGB 1974 and MG ZT 160 turbo 2005

Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: djw090
Date: May 19, 2011 06:10AM

I would restore the Tiger as a Tiger. Many of the panels are identical to the Alpine. So using Alpine panels in those cases does not stop it being a Tiger. However, to preserve value you need to maintain the unique Tiger features.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(3035 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger? Sunbeam ?
Posted by: roverman
Date: May 19, 2011 12:31PM

FWIW Phil, Craigslist, Inland Empire, Ca. 66' Alpine, with pic's, asking $1,500. NO Affilliation,! Good Luck, roverman.


mgbreis
Ryan Reis
Beatrice, NE
(203 posts)

Registered:
07/16/2008 11:07AM

Main British Car:


Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: mgbreis
Date: May 19, 2011 04:07PM

If you're going to buy a rusty Tiger you might as well restore it instead of turning your investment into something else entirely. Tiger values are climbing all the time. Just buy the nice Alpine and spend the $5,000 on upgrades, you'll end up with a faster, better car anyway. There is a nice coilover front suspension available (pricey) as well as a v6 kit that is established and WAY easier than cutting apart a Tiger and trying to graft the parts onto a Alpine. Which, as I understand it, would involve MAJOR cutting and grafting of the Tiger firewall into the Alpine. And the Tiger was a scary handling beast anyway.


flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: May 20, 2011 03:47PM

Found another real Tiger today. The car has been apart for 20 years and the guy never got around to putting it back together. It's a '66 car with it's original 260 motor. I'm going to look at it on Tuesday. If it's decent, I'm going to drag it home. The serial number is G94722xx. Always wanted one of these. We'll see....



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2011 07:08PM by flawebmaster.


mylocker
federico de leon

(5 posts)

Registered:
05/21/2011 05:57PM

Main British Car:


Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: mylocker
Date: May 21, 2011 06:02PM

was this the one in carnation washington or in salem oregon they are both super rusty but since they are tigers i am sure worth the money just in parts..



flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: May 22, 2011 06:34AM

No. The car is in South Carolina. From the information provided on the SAOCA website and after contacting Norm Miller, we believe the Tiger is real. It was taken off the road in 1982 and dissassembled. It's a painted roller with all the parts labeled in boxes. I'm set to pick it up on Tuesday. If all goes well I should have the car in my garage on Wednesday. This is the last car on my bucket list. Can't wait!


flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: June 12, 2011 06:57PM

Bought the Tiger in boxes. It's the real thing and came with the original 260 and toploader. Looks to be in decent condition. Has had a few badly made rust repairs sometime in the past, but all-in-all it's a pretty solid car. I've added it to my website at [www.lakefrontflorida.com] if you want to follow the restoration.


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2675 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: June 12, 2011 11:46PM

Phil, really, that's the "very rusty" tiger you asked about? That car looks to be in great condition. Sounds like a fun project. What are you gonna do to get the 400hp to hook up?


flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: June 14, 2011 06:44PM

I've been rethinking the 400 HP thing. I rode in two Tigers a week ago. One was stock and the other had a warmed over 289 with a HiPo cam and a 4V holley. One thing that helped the 289 car was that the guy had swapped in a wide ratio toploader for the stock trans. The rear was stock, but the first gear launch was much better. I had planned to use a 302 roller motor with a B303 cam and aftermarket aluminum heads. I'm now wondering if the stock 260 with a good cam, heads and carb would be a better choice. I would be giving up 40+ cubes, but the stock motor would be kind of neat also. Can I get a reliable 300 HP out of a street 260? Probably not, but a 302 can do that with no trouble. Just thinking about my options...


rficalora
Rob Ficalora
Willis, TX
(2675 posts)

Registered:
10/24/2007 02:46PM

Main British Car:
'76 MGB w/CB front, Sebring rear, early metal dash Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: rficalora
Date: June 14, 2011 11:56PM

I don't think you'd get 400hp out of a 302 with B303 cam. Probably more like about 350 @ the flywheel, maybe even a little less. Using typical estimate of about 17% loss through the drivetrain & that'd put you at about 290-295 at the rear wheels. May not sound like what you're after, but it'll be plenty for a fun street car IMO. With a T5 tranny from a 5.0L mustang & the right rear axle gear ratios you'd be able to break the tires loose in 1st thru 3rd gears if you wanted to -- in fact you'd probably want wider tires than stock to help control the power.

Which leads to a point that might affect your decision. I don't know anything about what rear axle a Tiger has -- what HP (torque really) it will hold up to or or what gear ratios are available. Depending on the answers to those, the higher HP/torque 302 may cause you to want to swap axles too. That's something that's done on a lot of engine swaps, but it's an expense & effort you want to be aware of. If the 260 is a stock motor, the rear axle should be up to the task of handling it.


danmas
Dan Masters
Alcoa, Tennessee
(577 posts)

Registered:
10/28/2007 12:11AM

Main British Car:
1974 MGBGT Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: danmas
Date: June 15, 2011 04:00AM

Quote:
I don't think you'd get 400hp out of a 302 with B303 cam. Probably more like about 350 @ the flywheel, maybe even a little less.

Car craft got 375 with EFI, 360 with a dual-quad carbs, on a otherwise stock crate motor with GT40 aluminum heads and a good set of headers. Should be easy enough to wrangle another 25HP from it. If not, 375 is close enough to 400 that you could be forgiven for lying about it (it would fall into the margin-of-error). If that's not enough, stroke it to 347ci - Should be able to get 500 out of that.

For street use, 375 is ample. Very ample. Ample enough to make a claim of 400hp believable.


flawebmaster
Phil Kelley
Florida
(6 posts)

Registered:
05/18/2011 01:03PM

Main British Car:
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Ford V8

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: flawebmaster
Date: June 15, 2011 07:04AM

I think the limiting factor in these cars is traction. Without cutting the body (something I definately don't want to do) the biggest tires you can put on the car are probably 205s. My Cobra Jet 57 Ford can break the tires loose in the first 3 gears, but I don't drive it that way. Tigers are a very small car and could be a real handful if you don't use your head. This project keeps evolving. We'll see what happens...


Twin Turbo Tiger
Jerry Porsch
Las Cruces NM
(21 posts)

Registered:
05/26/2011 10:24PM

Main British Car:
1966 Sunbeam 380ci twin turbo's

Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: Twin Turbo Tiger
Date: June 17, 2011 09:02PM

I'm really impressed how some of the Tigers hook up if you have a little patience with the gas pedal.
I run a 245-60-15 BFG on my car but its had a bunch of little thing done to get that tire on it without cutting the wheel wells out,
like moving the leaf spring in and moving the rear end back and rolling the fenders out, but still looks pretty stock :)
Good luck on your project looks like you've been around this stuff for a while



302GT
Larry Shimp

(213 posts)

Registered:
11/17/2007 01:13PM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GT Ford 302 crate engine

authors avatar
Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: 302GT
Date: June 21, 2011 08:17AM

One big advantage of a Tiger over an MGB is that the Tiger has room for proper long-tube headers. With a Ford V8, this is probably worth up to 40 or so HP over the best MGB through the fender headers and maybe 60 HP over block hugger headers.


jellison
Jon Ellison

(52 posts)

Registered:
04/27/2010 08:09AM

Main British Car:


Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: jellison
Date: July 26, 2011 06:35AM

You can get about 500bhp from a 302 if going full race and using all the latest trick stuff you can get for a sbf.

331/347/50 with same bits could be 550-even 600.

You can have enough power! I have over 500 in my Griff with a stupidly short wheelbase (even shorter than a Tiger!).


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(2049 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: mgb260
Date: August 02, 2011 12:39PM

The stock 260 is just a 289 with 3.8 bore. I use SBC 305 stainless 1.74 intake and 1.5 exhaust valves with Z28 springs and retainers. Port,3 angle valve job and gasket match heads. Modern cam (Crower,Crane or Lunati) and intake(Weiand Stealth or Edelbrock Performer RPM or clone). Easy 300 HP. 8.8 compression stock so a slight mill to 9. It is slightly smaller than the later motors especially the bellhousing. Motor mount spacing is different by 1" also. Here is a picture of my Fairlane 260:
Picture 002.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2011 12:45PM by mgb260.


tundratiger67
Randy Zimmermann
River Falls, WI
(2 posts)

Registered:
07/24/2009 11:06PM

Main British Car:
1967 Sunbeam Tiger Ford 260 V8

Re: Should I buy a rusty Tiger?
Posted by: tundratiger67
Date: August 07, 2011 10:31AM

As you can see, opinions on engine size and horsepower are all over the board. Let me offer a word of caution. When I restored my "project" Tiger back in the late '90's I chose to eschew the crank it up advice and stay with the stock 260. Not having owned or driven a Tiger prior I was interested in knowing first how it performed in more or less stock condition. I've never regretted that decision.

I have the Edelbrock 4FB hi-rise running with a Holley 465 cfm 4bbl so I'm getting approx. 200 hp. Stock toploader and original rear end. Frankly, the car runs great. Plenty of torque, cruises effortlessly at 70 mph and I can zip it up north of 80 mph without much effort. It's well balanced and easy to handle. The best part of the deal--most likely--is that in more or less stock condition, it's value continues to appreciate. I think what is often forgotten is that these cars-- in spite of a rather short design and development period-- were pretty well engineered using available technology of the day thanks to George Boskoff, et. al. at Shelby American.

Has technology improved since then? Of course. There are several upgrades available within the Tiger community to improve safety and handling. But these are unobtrusive upgrades and don't fundamentally change the character of the Tiger. Boosting hp to 350 + does. And when a change like that is made, it requires a slew of attendant changes to handle the extra power and then your burdened with re-establishing the engineering equilibrium. Not always easy to do.

Good luck and I hope you have the pleasure of driving your Tiger sooner rather than later. You'll love it!
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