Back in 1964, life was simpler. Then the Rootes Group in England could mate its latest Sunbeam Alpine with a straightforward mild-tune 164-bhp Ford V- 8 engine to make an extremely pleasing sports car and call it the Sunbeam Tiger. Everybody knew where they were and how they stood.
Since then Chrysler Motors Corporation has acquired Rootes (as well as Simca in France) and seems a little embarrassed to find one of its products running a Ford engine. The simple truth is that the parent corporation doesn't have an engine that would fit the package without major re-engineering, so they're stuck with the Ford. We're glad Chrysler choose this route rather than discontinuing the Tiger as they might have done, because it is a fine automotive package without which the world of sports cars would be poorer.
The major feature which distinguishes the Tiger II from the I is that it now has the highly respected 200-bhp 289-cu-in., single 2-barrel V-8 in place of the 260- cu-in. unit. With the stronger engine come several other related changes, such as a slightly larger clutch (10.4 in vs. 10.0) and wider spaced ratios in the all-synchro 4-speed gearbox (which result in overall ratios of 8.01, 5.56 and 3.92:1 in 1st, 2nd and 3rd compared to 6.68, 4.87 and 3.72:1 with the 260 engine). There's also a bit of rearrangement in the rear suspension, an alternator is fitted instead of a generator and an oil cooler has been added in front of the bottom of the radiator.
There have also been some identity changes, such as full-length stick-on stripes at bumper level, an egg-crate grille (in place of the single chrome bar) and stainless steel trim molding around the fender cutouts and body sill. And, oh yes, the little crest that used to say "Powered by Ford 260" now says "Sunbeam V-8" and lets it go at that.
There have also been some comfort changes in the passenger compartment since the first Tiger. The seats are better looking and more comfortable, though less deeply bucketed. The steering wheel is marginally higher, which gives a greater amount of useful space for the thighs under the wheel rim. The cockpit ventilation has also been improved by adding vents to bring in raw air from outside.
PRICE PERFORMANCE List price $3797 Top speed, 4th gear, mph 122 Price as tested $3842 Acceleartion, time to distance, sec: 0-100 ft 3.6 ENGINE & DRIVE TRAIN 0-250 ft 5.8 No. cylinders & type Ford V-8, ohv 0-500 ft 8.8 Bore x sroke, mm 101.6 x 73 0-750 ft 11.3 Displacement, cc/cu in 4737/289 0-1000 ft 13.8 Compression ratio 9.3:1 0-1320 ft (1/4 mi) 16.0 Bhp @ rpm 200 @ 4400 Speed at end, mph 87 Equivalent mph 106 Time to speed, sec: Torque @ rmp, lb-ft 282 @ 2400 0-30 mph 3.1 Equivalent mph 57 0-40 mph 4.1 Transmission type 4-spd manual 0-50 mph 5.6 Gear ratios, 4th (1.00) 2.88:1 0-60 mph 7.5 3rd (1.36) 3.92:1 0-80 mph 13.1 2nd (1.93) 5.56:1 0-100 mph 22.0 1st (2.78) 8.01:1 Synchromesh on all 4 BRAKE TESTS Final drive ratio 2.88:1 Panic stop from 80 mph: Deceleration rate, %g 68 GENERAL Control good Curb weight, lb 2560 Fade test: percent of increase in Weight distribution (with driver) pedal effort required to maintain front/rear, % 51/49 50%-g deceleration rate in six Wheelbase, in 86 stops from 60 mph nil Track, front/rear 51.8/48.6 Overall brake rating good Overall length, in 156 whitewalls, etc. Also numerous Width 60.5 performance options. Height 51.5 SPEEDOMETER ERROR Frontal area, sq ft 17.3 30 mph indicated actual 27.3 Steering type rack & pinion 40 mph 36.4 Overhang, front/rear 28/42 60 mph 56.3 Departure angle (no load), deg 15 CALCULATED DATA Turns, lock-to-lock 3.2 Lb/hp (test weight) 14.3 Brake type, discs front/drums rear Cu ft/ton mi 146 Swept area, sq in 295 Mph/1000 rpm (high gear) 23.9 Engine revs/mi 2510 ACCOMMODATION Piston travel, ft/mi 1200 Seating capacity, persons 2 Rpm@2500 ft/min 5215 Seat width 2 x 18 Equivalent mph 128 Head room 39 R&T wear index 30.1 Seat back adjustment, deg 30 Brrake swept area, sq in/ton 205 Driver comfort rating (scale of 100) FUEL For driver 69 in tall 90 Type fuel required regular For driver 72 in tall 85 Fuel tank size, gal 13.5 For driver 75 in tall 85 Normal consumption, mpg 18-20
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