The Car


Above: B9499997 settling in on the start grid for the 1964 Le Mans.

For Rootes and its competition department, the 1964, 24-hours at Le Mans was supposed to be a glorious repeat of their success three years earlier. Looking back at that effort, one finds some interesting puzzlement's. In the first place, work on all three of the coupes had to have started long before the Tiger was officially in production. Apparently, Lister was supplied with base vehicles from the Series III Alpine line. If it turns out that one of the Alpines was "project 870" (the "Jensen" produced prototype Tiger), that would go a long way toward explaining some of the details found on 7734 KV (the Le Mans "mule") and add validity to the suggestion that the Le Mans development car was indeed the first "factory" prototype. With time in short supply, the production of a Le Mans test vehicle could have been cut in half by using an existing V8 Alpine. Sorting out the mechanicals would then have been somewhat independent from the construction of the two race machines. Wind tunnel testing of the proposed body silhouette could have moved forward from mockup to a full-scale test bed in very short order. So, had it not been for the struggle to acquire Rootes promised Tiger bits and pieces in a timely manner, Lister and Sons might well have delivered ADU 180 and 179B with more than enough time to adequately prepare for a visit to France.

This postcard was typical of the approach Ian Garrad took to publicizing his Sunbeam Tiger and the collection of LAT options. Listed on the back, the recipient would find descriptions and prices for the car - $3,425.00, the optional LAT 9 wheels - $41.25 ea.., plus 10 other Tiger extras. To display all the finery, Ian used the whole Garrad clan and then some.  On the left, a studio model, then daughter Susanne, Laura, a second professional model, son Stuart and of course "the man". It is interesting to note that except for this picture, LAT 9s do not make an appearance in "factory" publicity until 1966.

Above: The LAT everything postcard.


1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

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