• Sunbeam-Tiger-Factory-Competition-Car-SM

Carroll Shelby, under a contract with Rootes Group of England, built the 1964 Sunbeam Tiger 289 prototype, a high-performance V8 version of the Sunbeam Alpine roadster. The production Tiger was very close to the prototype developed by Shelby American. This Tiger, with serial number B9470035, is one of seven competition “Works” Tigers built by Rootes to compete in international rallies. It was later modified specifically to run in the 1965 Targo Florio International FIA race in Sicily where it finished 2nd in class and 16th overall, driven by accomplished rally drivers Peter Harper and Reverend Rupert Jones.

Of the original seven competition rally Tigers, five exist today with the other four in England. This Tiger was imported into the U.S. in the late ‘90s, then restored and has been in vintage car shows such as the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, Calif., The Rocky Mountain Concours d’Elegance in Colorado Springs, and other events. 1964 Rootes Factory “Works” Rally Tiger, B9470035

Two major versions of the Tiger were built: the Series I (1964–67) was fitted with the 260 cu in (4.3 L) Ford V8; the Series II, of which only 633 were built in the final year of Tiger production, was fitted with the larger Ford 289 cubic-inch engine. Two prototype and extensively modified versions of the Series I competed in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, but neither completed the race. Rootes also entered the Tiger in European rallies with some success, and for two years it was the American Hot Rod Association’s national record holder over a quarter-mile drag strip.

Vehicle Details

Chassis Number: B9470035
Horsepower: 200 hp
Displacement: 8-cylinder, 289 ci (4.7 L)
Wheelbase: 86”

Race Details

1964 Race Season

TRACK: RAC Rally of Great Britain

DRIVER: Rupert Jones/John Clegg

TRACK: Mallory Park Boxing Day Race

DRIVER: R. Somes

1965 Race Season

TRACK: Targa Florio FIA Race

PLACE: 2nd

DRIVER: Peter Harper/Rupert Jones

TRACK: Isle of Mann Hill Climb

DRIVER: Bernard Unett