If you think that stuffing a V-8 into a tiny British roadster is a terrible idea, you've obviously never heard of the Sunbeam Tiger. British manufacturer Rootes Group believed its Sunbeam Alpine convertible needed more power to increase sales. The only logical solution then was to fit a V8, and with the help of Carroll Shelby, Rootes dropped in a 164-horsepower, 4.3-liter Ford motor. Thus the Tiger was born.
About 7,100 soft-top Sunbeam Tigers were made, but Rootes also built 15 cars with removable hardtops. Only 11 of the targas survived, and one of those is currently for sale on Bring a Trailer. Tiger historian Norman Miller apparently found this example in a Palo Alto, California garage in the '90s. Miller signed off on the Tiger GT's authenticity and sold it to a collector, who restored and modified it with period-correct parts.
The collector repainted the GT's Moonstone white exterior black to match the car's black interior (maybe not a great idea in California) and refinished the interior with black Connelly leather and Wilton wool carpets.
The car also received an aftermarket four-speed manual gearbox, period-correct 15-inch Hallibrand wheels, stainless steel exhaust, better rear shocks, rear disc brakes, and an LAT hood scoop. The car's 260 cubic-inch V8 remains untouched and comes with matching numbers.
This Sunbeam Tiger GT comes with a period-correct toolkit signed by Carroll Shelby and the original owner's manual. The $46,500 current bid may seem high, but this a rare, authentic roadster with history. Cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway with the top off listening to the V8 roar and you'll immediately forget that how much you paid for it. It's a quintessential Californian roadster.