Sunbeam Tiger

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Shadow
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Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:35 am

So there's a guy in one of my other forums who owns a Sunbeam Tiger. He posted some pictures of it (which I've copied/pasted below) and it looks to be in fantastic shape. It's really a beautiful car. It also appears to be all original/stock except for the wheels/tires, but I'm not 100% sure. Anyway, the guy started talking crap about fast his car is and how it would make my Audi feel like a 4-cylinder (which it is, lol) if we ever met up on the road or on the track.

In his pictures, you can clearly see the V8 engine. Now I have to admit that I know very little about Sunbeam Tigers, so I thought he had dropped the V8 engine into that car. Turns out the car comes with that V8 engine. Here's the kicker though---the engine puts out 164 HP. The performance numbers for the car put it at 9.5 seconds from 0-60. So basically the car has very poor acceleration. Seriously, even my V6 4Runner is way faster than that in a straight line.

Anyway, the guy said that he'd bet me $100,000 that he could beat my A5 on a road course. I'm quite sure he was just running his mouth and wouldn't dare bet that kind of money, but I'm thinking about taking him up on his offer....even if it meant we bet just a fraction of that amount. I mean, he has a '60's technology car with a very weak V8. It definitely has to be nose-heavy with that V8, so it can't possibly be very well balanced, right? How well can it possibly handle? And brake? There's no way he'd have any chance at all on the straights unless the engine is HIGHLY modded. So I'm thinking he'd have no chance at all. Don't get me wrong--anyone can modify a car to make it faster/better handling/better braking etc...but I think this guy just has a nicely restored (and pretty much original) Sunbeam Tiger and he just has no clue what he's getting himself into. I don't even consider my A5 a fast car, but it should easily run circles around his car without breaking a sweat.

So does anyone know anything about Sunbeam Tigers? Is he going to go all Mad Max on me? LOL

BTW, his car is a 4-speed manual.

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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:38 am

FYI:

FACT FILE

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mk IA
ENGINE: 4261cc V8 OHV
GEARBOX: 4sp man
POWER: 164bhp at 4400rpm
TORQUE: 258lb-ft at 2200rpm
PERFORMANCE: 9.5secs 0-60mph/118mph top speed
CONSUMPTION: 16.9mpg
LENGTH: 158.2in (4018mm)
WIDTH: 60.5in (1537mm)
WEIGHT: 2644lb (1200kg)

Source: http://www.classic-car-mart.co.uk/featu ... -sept.html
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Squint » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:49 am

Your A5 supposedly has 0-60 of like 6.6 seconds according to edmunds. I might actually be a little wary of it after reading the "history" of the car. What's the weight on your A5?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbeam_Tiger

EDIT: I missed this line, "The Tiger was arguably more practical and commercially successful than the AC Cobra that inspired it, but its road and track performance was inferior. It did however increase the sporting cachet of the Sunbeam brand."
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:02 am

Squint wrote:Your A5 supposedly has 0-60 of like 6.6 seconds according to edmunds. I might actually be a little wary of it after reading the "history" of the car. What's the weight on your A5?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbeam_Tiger

EDIT: I missed this line, "The Tiger was arguably more practical and commercially successful than the AC Cobra that inspired it, but its road and track performance was inferior. It did however increase the sporting cachet of the Sunbeam brand."
My A5 is definitely heavier than his car, probably by about 1,000 pounds. I'm not too concerned with straight line acceleration though. I have a road test of my exact car (with the 6-speed manual) from Car and Driver and they got 0-60 in 6.2 seconds. That's not really very fast by today's standards, but it's more than 3 seconds faster than the published numbers for his car at 9.5 seconds. Still though, I'm more interested about how well his car can handle & brake. I just can't imagine it could possibly match my car in any category. His car might have had sporting intentions back in the '60's, but it just doesn't compare to today's cars. I'm thinking a modern economy car would probably be a better match for his car.

Now that I think about it, I'd love to see his car up against a Mazda Miata. I'm sure the Miata would absolutely destroy his car on a road course, but it would be interesting to see since they are both small roadsters of similar proportions.
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by theholycow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:07 am

You sound unsure of just how stock his car is. I wouldn't think it's smart to bet until you're sure.

Also, 258lb-ft at 2200rpm is nothing to sneeze at and could be an unexpected advantage depending on the course.
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:16 am

theholycow wrote:You sound unsure of just how stock his car is. I wouldn't think it's smart to bet until you're sure.

Also, 258lb-ft at 2200rpm is nothing to sneeze at and could be an unexpected advantage depending on the course.
That's correct, I'm not completely sure. The car appears to be stock, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

The engine does make good torque. Ironically, my car makes the same exact torque rating, but at 1500-4500 RPM. Even though his engine makes a decent amount of torque, it doesn't seem to translate to the acceleration figures you'd expect on a 2600 lb car. That's why I'm thinking that his engine would have to be HIGHLY modded to even have a chance of keeping up in on the straights. And I still don't see how he could possibly have an advantage in the twisties either.

I'm actually really intrigued by this and I think I'm going to try to get the guy to meet up. I didn't buy my A5 to race it, but I wouldn't be opposed to putting it on a road course for some fun. The last car that I've raced on a road course was my M3, so it's been a while.
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Squint » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:27 am

Should totally video this. One, in case you get burned and we can see how awesome that car is. Two, in case he gets burned in which case you have proof you can laugh at him. Three, in case it turns out to be interesting, in which case it'd be fun to watch. Four, for the reason that anyone watches a NASCAR race, the wrecks (not wishing it on you, but if it happens, videos make it better :D )
8)
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:36 am

Squint wrote:Should totally video this. One, in case you get burned and we can see how awesome that car is. Two, in case he gets burned in which case you have proof you can laugh at him. Three, in case it turns out to be interesting, in which case it'd be fun to watch. Four, for the reason that anyone watches a NASCAR race, the wrecks (not wishing it on you, but if it happens, videos make it better :D )
8)
If it ever happens, I promise to post a video of it, win or lose. If he beats me, I'll admit that his Tiger is awesome. But If I beat him, I can't laugh at him because I'm expecting to win easily. He seems like a nice enough guy, but he did run his mouth a bit, telling me that he'd make me feel like I was driving a 4-cylinder. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Oh well, looks like the guy doesn't want to play. He stopped posting in the thread and he wouldn't answer a PM I sent him asking him to meet up for a little road course action.

Maybe he came to his senses!
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by theholycow » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:26 pm

Ah, I've found his photo:
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:46 pm

LOL....I don't know if he was just playing around from the beginning, but who would have known that a V8-powered car like that would be so slow? If the car was created as a cheaper alternative to a Cobra, I think they missed the mark by about 300 HP.

It's still a nice looking car though...
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Urs4guy » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:01 pm

That tiger is not stock. Note the big honking 4 barrel carb and the intake manifold. Stock was a 2barrel. If it has headers and bigger exhaust, plus a mild cam, you are talking at least 250 hp. If it is a 347 stroker, look out. The main reason the tiger was slow was it had 2.88 rear end. It is common to swap in 3.23 or higher rear end. Handling was never it's strong suit, at least stock. Understeer till throttle applied, then massive oversteer. Way fun though!

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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by AHTOXA » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:06 pm

A respectable first post.
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Shadow » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:07 pm

Urs4guy wrote:That tiger is not stock. Note the big honking 4 barrel carb and the intake manifold. Stock was a 2barrel. If it has headers and bigger exhaust, plus a mild cam, you are talking at least 250 hp. If it is a 347 stroker, look out. The main reason the tiger was slow was it had 2.88 rear end. It is common to swap in 3.23 or higher rear end. Handling was never it's strong suit, at least stock. Understeer till throttle applied, then massive oversteer. Way fun though!
Yeah, I did a bit of research on them and they normally came with a 2-barrel carb, but you could get an optional four-barrel Holley carburetor on an Edelbrock F4B manifold. Sounds like a fun little car, but still not a match for my Audi. Seriously, if he somehow managed to shave 3 seconds off his 0-60 time I'm sure that would help, but that car still won't handle or brake anywhere near the level of a modern sports coupe.
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Re: Sunbeam Tiger

Post by Urs4guy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:21 am

I would also add that the 0-60 specs quoted above are off by 2 seconds. The generally accepted number for a Mark I tiger (260 cubic inch) was 0-60 in 7.8 seconds. The car was limited by very narrow tread on 13 inch wheels. Note that the red tiger above appears to be wearing 15" minilites, and considerably more tread width. You could almost hit 60 in first gear, but the factory tach went redline at under 5k Rpm. You could easily hit 60 in first with better valve springs and the right cam. Many tigers have been improved over the years by changing the factory Ackerman angles (the mgb steering fix) and by adding koni shocks and improved springs. In addition, it is now relatively easy to improve the factory front disc brakes and replace the rear drums with discs as well. Tigers do not compare in any wAy with more modern sedans designed for performance, but they can be devastating in a straight line and quite respectable in the curves with the proper set up and an experienced handler. Driving one is a hoot, but definitely not the same kind of ride as a modern sports sedan. In 1964, no one imagined that in a few more decades, one could afford to buy a 4 door five or six cylinder sedan that would cruise at over 130mph with the ac on.

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