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Rare 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Sells for $88,000

As Carroll Shelby's success kept growing back in the 1960s, more and more companies were turning to him for a bit of magic that could take them all to the heights of glory. Rootes Group was one of those companies.
1965 Sunbeam Tiger 16 photos
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The now defunct British car company attempted to hit the jackpot just a few years before its demise. Its brilliant idea was to have Carroll Shelby do his thing on a little car called Sunbeam, more precisely on the roadster version of it, the Alpine.

In the 1960s, the Sunbeam Alpine was so-so successful, and seeing what Shelby was doing with another British machine, the one that went down in history as the Cobra, they tapped him for the new project. Shelby agreed to help out and thus the Sunbeam Tiger was born.

As usual, the biggest change Shelby did to the car was take out the old engine of the Alpine and replace it with a Ford V8 one, a stunt he had already pulled on the Cobra. It worked, and the revived model went into production in 1964.

The miracle didn't last long and production would end just three years later, soon after Chrysler bought into the British company. Of course, Chrysler would have nothing to do with a Ford-engined sports car (nor did Chrysler have an engine to match and replace the Blue Oval’s at the time).

And that makes these cars rare, and for some, priceless. One Sunbeam Tiger made in 1965 was on the lot of cars that sold this month during an online Barrett-Jackson auction. It did so for no less than $88,000.

The car is in its original condition (it did undergo a major restoration in 2013), and for more than a quarter of a century was in the possession of a single owner - that must have counted for something as well during the bidding process.

 
 
 
 
 

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