Get Smart crashes in - The big picture", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sunbeam_Tiger&oldid=972060335, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 August 2020, at 23:31. [62] Compounding the problem, the company's small-block V8 engines had the distributor positioned at the rear, unlike the front-mounted distributor of the Ford V8. Although this Sunbeam Tiger police car is no longer for sale with Albion Motorcars, its entire inventory is listed in the Classic Driver Market, including another white Sunbeam Tiger. It was subsequently acquired from Howard Thatcher in December 1999 by another UK owner, who kept it until recently. Restored in 2006 to a very high standard, this car still has great appeal...... A VERY nice and complete 1953 Sunbeam Alpine roadster. The Tiger also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of the Get Smart TV series. We have No. The Tiger went into service at the Hampton police station in Middlesex and during its brief 2 year service was widely used as a pursuit vehicle on the new London … Rear fins were still a thing in Europe in the early 1960s and the … A Tiger driven by Peter Boulton and Jim Latta finished twelfth overall and first in the small GT class at the 1965 Dayton Continental.

The Sunbeam Tiger was developed by the Rootes Group and Carroll Shelby as a budget alternative for the AC Cobra 289. [27], The Tiger went into production in June 1964, less than a year after completion of the Shelby prototype. engine. The Ford V8 was only 3.5 inches longer than the Alpine's 4-cylinder engine it replaced, so the primary concern was the engine's width. [80] During its early years Rootes advertised the car extensively in Playboy magazine and lent a pink Tiger with matching interior to 1965 Playmate of the Year Jo Collins for a year.[81]. And it's no exaggeration to say the force got its money's worth out of the car, because, by the time it was de-commissioned two years and four months later, it had covered an impressive 64,688 miles as a high-speed pursuit vehicle, tasked mainly with hunting down too-fast drivers. By the time the Tiger MKII arrived in 1967, however, the car had firmly reverted to being an 'export only' model and, with just 536 MKIIs built, was rare even in the U.S. No regular production cars were built for the UK home market, but Bournemouth-based Rootes dealer Hartwell did rescue half a dozen Tigers from a consignment left stranded at Southampton docks and converted them to right-hand drive, while an additional nine RHDs were built for export to South Africa, four were given to the top Rootes retailers, and two others were set aside as press cars. [74], Rootes entered the Tiger in European rallies, taking first, second and third places in the 1964 Geneva Rally.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/features/classic-police-cars-descend-ace-cafe [76] By the end of the 1966 Acropolis Rally though, it had become clear that low-slung sports cars such as the Tiger were unsuited to the increasingly rough-terrain rally stages, and the car was withdrawn from competition soon after. ][12] The larger 289 cu in (4.7 L) Ford engine improved the Tiger's 0–60 mph (97 km/h) time to 7.5 seconds, and increased the top speed to 122 mph (196 km/h). ", "Hillman Avenger (Dodge Polara – 1500 – 1800 – Avenger) and Hillman Tiger", "Smart's Sunbeam: A behind-the-scenes look at the iconic car that stars in the new "Get Smart" movie", "Big stunt. Rootes decided instead to contract the assembly work to Jensen at West Bromwich in England, and pay Shelby a royalty on every car produced. [66], Three racing Tigers were constructed for the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, a prototype and two that were entered in the race.

[32] The first few Tigers assembled had to be fitted with a Borg-Warner 4-speed all-synchromesh manual gearbox, until Ford resolved its supply problems and was able to provide an equivalent unit as used in the Ford Mustang. [f], Both Tigers suffered early mechanical failures, and neither finished the race. [73] The Tiger was also raced on quarter-mile drag strips, and for two years was the American Hot Rod Association's national record holder in its class, reaching a speed of 108 mph (174 km/h) in 12.95 seconds. [28], Several performance modifications were available from dealers.

Miles was provided with a budget of $800, a Series II Alpine, a Ford V8 engine and a 2-speed automatic transmission, and in about a week he had a running V8 conversion, thus proving the concept.

Conceived in part by Carroll Shelby, it followed the template of the great man's ‘Cobra' in combining a pretty but relatively soft British sports car — the Sunbeam Alpine — with a properly powerful V8 engine from Ford America to produce a roadster that could comfortably top 120 mph. The compression ratio of the larger Mark II engine was increased from the 8.8:1 of the smaller block to 9.3:1.

By then, the car's original white livery had been changed to red, the mileage had climbed to 125,000, and it was the property of celebrated Cobra dealer Rod Leach, who had loaned the Tiger to Thoroughbred and Classic Cars in the hope that the publicity might attract a buyer. [22] The fitting points for the Panhard rod interfered with the upright spare wheel in the boot, which was repositioned to lie horizontally beneath a false floor. Sunbeam Tiger: the car of Agent 86.

The first car suffered a piston failure after three hours and the second a broken crankshaft.