The Tiger Registry

 
Fresh-from-the-boat Tigers at the Long Beach warehouse.  All are 1964/65 MK Is and were likely some of the first cars shipped to the U.S.

 


George A. Fallehy 1914-1993

The International Registry Of Sunbeam Tigers represents an extraordinary marque resource.  That it exists at all, is no small miracle. Even before the first MK Is were ten years old, one California Tiger enthusiast started collecting ID information from every owner he could find.  It's hard to imagine the labor required, or the drive necessary to persist for twenty years, but that effort by George Fallehy, established the foundation for a "Tiger Registry".  As his zeal for the undertaking began to wane, attempts to find anyone in the organized Tiger community willing to purchase his work product, went begging.  At the time, it seemed no one could see paying money for a computerized record of owners and cars, or the toil involved to put it all together.  It looked as though all of his hard work would die of indifference.  Over a period of years, George managed to enlighten me concerning the importance of his records, and we struck a bargain.  At long last he had his disciple.

Another threat to the continuation of the Fallehy work, came in the form of a devastating fire in the hills of Oakland, California (1991).  A few short weeks before the "firestorm", we had finally finished transferring the last of his thirty-year Tiger collection from his house to my shop across the bay in Redwood City.  George lost everything in that fire, including the computerized Tiger files and possibly the will to fight the good fight.  By the grace of God, he was not harmed physically and the recently transferred backup copy of the "registry" data survived on my own computer system.


6161 Buena Vista Ave. Oakland, CA


Ledgers of Tiger production, safely held at the Coventry Motor Museum

Years earlier, a similar tragedy nearly transpired in England.  What would later represent the only "factory" contribution to today's "registry", somehow managed to survive Chrysler's wholesale destruction of Rootes records.  Along with a large collection of historic photographs, production ledgers from Jensen Motors Ltd. ended up secure in the hands of a former Rootes/Chrysler public relations firm. Then this amazing collection was again in jeopardy when downsizing of the PR organization forced the possibility of a final obliteration.  For a second time, intervention acted to preserve this glimpse of Sunbeam history, eventually allowing rediscovery in the early 1990's.
 As I picked up where George had left off, the list of living Tigers grew rapidly.  In 1991, the "Jensen" ledgers emerged from hibernation and through a lengthy ordeal, the hand written records were transferred into a computerized database. The final step was to marry the two information sources into one, astounding
International Registry Of Sunbeam Tigers, which now chronicles well over three thousand survivors.

In George's memory, I continue to administrate this archive and invite each of you to add to the growing record. We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.



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