Bits & Pieces Ten

The following blurb taken from the April 1964 issue of California Sports Car magazine, under a column titled Manufacturer's News, answers an  interesting question, but poses another at the same time.  While we learn the name of the first movie star to drive a Tiger, we were for awhile, pondering what car was displayed in the picture.  The story of the prototype does not mention using original wire wheels, even for a short period of time.  For once I had hard evidence to solve a dilemma.  Photos of the Shelby car during a recent outing clearly provide the proof that this portrait is from its youth.
"Tony Curtis, star of 20th Century-Fox production, 'Goodbye Charlie', is the first Hollywood star to preview-drive the prototype of a new Sunbeam Tiger, powered with a Ford V-8 engine, which is to be introduced in the U.S. by Rootes Motors, of England.  Inception of the California-inspired car coincidentally parallels Curtis' starring role in 'Johnny Dark' a few years ago.  In that picture, the star worked for an automobile company and created a popular sports car.  The Sunbeam Tiger began similarly at Rootes, which is now manufacturing the car for world markets.  Curtis is well-known as an auto aficionado."

It turns out that this is indeed the Shelby-built prototype and the giveaway is that one short section of stripe on the center door of the soft-top cover. That paint scheme is still on the car and was clearly visible at United XXII in Eureka - 1997. Now I need to talk with someone who can tell me how long the wire wheels remained a part of the package.

We suggest with real enthusiasm that you stop in at 1150 S. LaBrea Ave. (that's a few blocks south of Wiltshire) in Los Angeles and be impressed...we are.

More period verbosity, this time from a thing called Meet Your Sports Car Dealer.  I again, admit to playing around with the images, but I just can't help myself.

"Hi-Performance Motors Inc. promises to contain more speed per square foot than any other building in the country. Carroll Shelby and Lew Spencer offer the most unique and complete service you will find.  Although open for business right now, Hi-Performance is still busy refining and inventing under the watchful eye of general manager, Lew Spencer.  The result will be a showplace as well as unexcelled service and engineering.

Some of the features of Hi-Performance include race tuning, engine swapping (how about a 289 for that TR-4?) and expert care for your street machine.  Also a special room is being equipped to show the latest race films.
 In addition to sales, service, etc., Hi-Performance (which is separate from Shelby-American) will maintain its own racing stable including a Cobra and a Tiger for the road racing circuit and another set for the drag strip.  Also offered will be the complete line of Cobra equipment to enhance your Mustang, Fairlane, and Falcon.

And while you're looking over the hot Cobras and Sunbeam V-8 Tigers, take a look at the line of regular four-banger Sunbeams and Imps."

More proof that Shelby seldom missed a chance to make a buck.  Don't hurt each other rushing to your Goliath dealer for one of these babies.  And no, you won't find them listed in the Shelby World Registry either.

Where were you when this ad hit the magazines?  I must have still been in high school practicing the trombone for the marching band.  Imagine, a mere ten years after this "PR" effort, 536 MK II Tigers would herald the finish of the Sunbeam Tiger.  "Time flies when you're having fun."

Happy Tigering


Page - 1

Page - 2

Page - 3

Page - 4

Page - 5






Page - 6

Page - 7

Page - 8

Page - 9

Page - 11

Page - 12







Page - 13

Page - 14

Page - 15

Page - 16

Page - 17

Page - 18





Rootes One Home