Bits & Pieces Fifteen


One very sad, very bad end for a very rare Tiger GT.

These kinds of stories are not the tales that one relishes in reporting.  At the beginning of this narrative there was hope for a fresh charter, a renewal of long ignored grace and stateliness. Many, if not all of us have dreamt with the same fever that infected an Alabamian, David Brill.  The source of his infirmity was the chance to own one of the fifteen Sunbeam Tigers originally configured as a "GT".  The car in question had been unsuccessfully on the market in Colorado for several months before being transplanted to a small, Alabama consignment operation in hopes of a more willing market.

As it often does, the "move around" worked and the new kid on the block soon found its longed-for guardian.  All that was needed was everything.  Previous holders had not done themselves proud, nor missed many opportunities to wound the valiant chariot.  While the project broadcast intimidation it was not beyond the mind's eye.  Simplified into a familiar "drive-‘n-detail" program, Dave undertook the slow, first steps of restoration by focusing on achieving reliable derivability.  In no time the fun was on.  If you'd just purchased a V8-powered sports car, how likely is it that you wouldn't have been behind the wheel whenever possible?  Driving while actively wrenching is not the best of restoration scenarios, but certainly not uncommon in the world of budget-constrained rebuilds.  Fixing a nagging leak at the fuel pump fitting was finally at the top of the "to-do" list.

Aside from a few trinkets, there is little to mark the headstone of
 B9470212 LRXFE GT.

Old GT's never die, they just rust away.

Intention aside, it might have made more sense to address such a serious malady earlier on the timeline.  Compressing the specifics, it's enough to note that a fire got started while underway.  Once at rest, the progression of involved elements could not be extinguished until long after it was meaningful.  Having had a parallel baptism by flame experience (a carburetor blaze that nearly consumed my three-week new pride and joy) I can only mourn the misfortune of losing this scarce example.  Oddly, as if to soften the wounds of catastrophe, a week after I received these ghastly images a previously unknown surviving sister to this GT turned up in Pasadena, California.  At present, only four of these unique models remain unaccounted for and I'd just as soon not have to report any further fatalities.

Happy Tigering


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