Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II

This post is a follow-up to my recent post about the Sunbeam Tiger Mk. I.  At the end of 1966 Rootes dropped the Mk. I model and began to produce the Sunbeam Mk. II.  The main difference between the Mk. I and Mk. II Sunbeam Tigers is that the Mk. II had the Ford 289 cubic inch V8 engine, while the Mk. II had the 260 cubic inch version of the same engine.  These engines had the same engine block, so the switch from one engine to the other was not particularly challenging.  By the end of 1966, the 260 cubic inch V8 engine had virtually disappeared from the domestic Ford engine line up, so in addition to the performance advantage of the 289 over the 260 engine, Sunbeam and their Tiger builder, Jensen, might simply have run out of 260 cubic inch engines.  The larger 289 cubic inch engine reduced the Sunbeam Tiger 0 to 60 miles per hour time by about 1.4 seconds.  The two cars had the about the same top end speed.

Sunbeam Tiger (7)

Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II

Visually, the main difference between the Mk. I and Mk. II was the egg-crate grille on the Mk. II.  I like the this egg-crate grille much better than the single bar grill on the Mk. I models.  In addition, previous badges that said “260” were changed to say “V8”.

Sunbeam Tiger (1)

This Particular Car Has Been Painted And The Factory Side Stripes Were Deleted

If you look carefully at the advertisement shown below you can see the side stripes that were also added to the Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II.  This advertisement also shows painted headlight bezels, but the particular car shown in this post has chrome bezels.  The chrome bezels look good on this blue car.

Sunbeam Tiger 289 Ad June 1967

June 1967 Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II Advertisement

A clue to the future of the Sunbeam Tiger is presented in this advertisement from the June 1967 issue of Canada Track & Traffic.  Note that in the bottom right corner Rootes Motors (Canada) Ltd. is noted as being a “Chrysler Corporation Associate”.  In June 1964 Chrysler had 30% control of Rootes, but by 1967 Chrysler had increased their ownership of Rootes to 100%.  This ultimately doomed the Sunbeam Tiger.

Sunbeam Tiger (4)

The Rear End Has Been Cleaned Up By Deleting The “Sunbeam” Name from The Trunk Lid

Rootes also cleaned up the rear end and made some subtle changes to the interior.  They realized that the original Sunbeam Alpine design was looking a little old, but Rootes, and particularly with the Tiger, lacked funds to make major changes.

Sunbeam Tiger (5)

I Find This Sunbeam Tiger To Be Quite Appealing

When Chrysler gained full control of Rootes, the Chrysler management were very uncomfortable with the Sunbeam Tiger as it used Ford engines.  Chrysler had its own small block V8 engine, the 273 cubic inch engine that was used in Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracuda, but it just would not fit into the Sunbeam Tiger engine bay.  As a result, Chrysler pulled the plug on the Sunbeam Tiger at the end of June 1967.

Sunbeam Tiger (2)

Dimensionally The Ford 289 V8 Is The Same Size As The Ford 260 V8

The Ford 289 cubic inch V8 engine used in the Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II produced 200 horsepower, which was not particularly high for this engine.  Many of the Ford 289 cubic inch engines used in the Ford Mustangs yielded significantly more power.

Sunbeam Tiger (3)

Th Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II Interior Is Mostly Unchanged From The Mk. I

I was surprised to learn that Rootes never sold the Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II in England.  Seems strange for an English car not to be sold in England.  There were about 571 Sunbeam Tiger Mk. II cars produced during its brief production run making them much more rare than the Mk. I models.

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