1964 Sunbeam Tiger Mark I Official Model for Tigers United XXXIV // Press Car
Unit of Measure: 1
Factory Press Cars // 1 of 19 Available This model is factory sold-out and was retired by Automodello in 2012. Original run was 134 cars.
Years: 1964 Exterior Color: British Racing Green Interior Color: Black Scale: 1:43 Manufacturer: Automodello Limited Edition: 1 of 19 Hand-Numbered Units
When enthusiasts speak of a British-designed sportscar re-engineered by Carroll Shelby, powered by a Ford V-8, and boasting an enviable racing record throughout the 1960’s, most have visions of a certain serpent-themed roadster. But there’s a feline-monikered machine that also fits that descriptor—the Sunbeam Tiger. The 4-cylinder Sunbeam Alpine, launched in 1959, quickly earned a solid performance reputation on and off the track for its handling and braking, but within just a few years it fell behind class competitors in the horsepower department. Shelby’s Cobra was tearing up racecourses and grabbing headlines, and so Sunbeam parent company Rootes reached out to Shelby to work similar magic on the Alpine. Shelby did the engineering and built the official prototype.
The main components in the conversion consisted of the Ford 260ci engine and Toploader 4-speed transmission, a Salisbury rear axle, a switch to rack-and-pinion steering, and an upgraded cooling system. Mk I cars (1964-65) had removable metal hardtops and round body panel corners with lead-filled seams. Mk IA cars (late’65-66) were mechanically identical, but switched to square-edged panels without lead, and added a folding vinyl convertible top in place of the hardtop. For the final year of 1967, Mk II Tigers upgraded to a 289ci V-8 and can be visually distinguished by an egg crate grille design.
The Tiger was just as ferocious in competition. Shelby campaigned it in SCCA Class B in 1964, and for 1965 factory support was thrown behind the Hollywood Sportscar team with driver Jim Adams. Adams won its class in its very first outing, and continued winning throughout 1965. Had it not been wrecked out of the season-ending race in Daytona, the Tiger likely would have won the Class B championship in 1965. Fans of the TV spy-comedy series “Get Smart” will fondly recognize a red Tiger as Maxwell Smart’s ride of choice in the opening credits.
In the spirit of small-volume British-American hybrid sportscars, Automodello™ brings the Sunbeam Tiger to collectors in precision 1:43 with a removable hardtop for maximum display versatility.
Diecasm Payment Plan: This model is eligible for Diecasm's exclusive Automodello 3 payment plan. Please see details here.