The Car


Above: The two "factory" supported California racing Tigers.
On the left, a rare color portrait of Lew Spencer with his #45 car and crew, Ted Sutton (left) - Jim O'Leary (right).
On the right, Jim Adams and the Doane Spencer built Hollywood Sport Cars race Tiger doing what came naturally.

While both of these cars and their creators are hard not to appreciate, the Spencer/Adams team has become legendary as the most successful Sunbeam Tiger competition pairing in US history. Even today, most stateside Tiger owners consider the #55 race car the ultimate competition achievement. Doane Spencer's genius for tinkering transformed a run-of-the-mill B9470048 into a "let the force be with you" cat attack. Nothing escaped the Spencer treatment, not even the color scheme. Black on the outside, contrasted against a red under-skin, guaranteed an appropriate visual message to accompany his awesome performance package. More than a few contemporary owners are pursuing replication of Doane's modifications and who could blame them. If you want to run with the big boys, you could do worse than follow the footsteps of past success.

Above: The Team Fraser "Monster" Tiger (driven by Ray Calcutt) racing
 in the UK at Brands Hatch.  At this stage the car was equipped as a mini Le Mans contender disguised by a Scottish Flag paint scheme.

Another legend, but with different origins. One part standard production car, B9472738 HROFE and three parts Le Mans coupe, produced a very successful semi-factory sponsored competition Tiger under the Alan Fraser banner. Fraser's engineers grafted the complete ADU 180B rear axle setup, the light-weight alloy cased transmission and major elements of the front suspension onto what was (not surprisingly) nicknamed the "Monster". Other details included an aluminum hood, deck lid and hardtop, plus some serious fiddling with an original 260. A purported 325 bhp, seemed to have little trouble moving the mere 2464 lbs at some fairly impressive speeds. The "Monster" car is now in the United States (Chris Gruys, New Mexico) and the Le Mans pieces were long ago reunited with the donor coupe.


1996 Historical Glimpses Archive

1997 Historical Glimpses Archive

1998 Historical Glimpses Archive

1999 Historical Glimpses Archive

2000/2001/2002 Historical Glimpses Archive

Current  Historical Glimpse

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