- Year: 1965
- Exterior: Blue and White
- Scale: 1:43
- Marque: Sunbeam
- ONE43™ Feature: First Automodello ONE43™ Release, build 143
The Sunbeam Tiger is best known in racing circles for the success of its Works European rally program from 1964-66, but the car also enjoyed sports racing success with privateer teams during the same period, and for many years after. Tigers continue to acquit themselves admirably in vintage racing even today. One particular Tiger that can occasionally be seen tearing up the track at vintage events is the so-called “Monster” Tiger campaigned by Alan Fraser Racing. The car has its origins two years earlier in 1964 in the beautiful—but fragile— Sunbeam Lister Tiger Le Mans Coupes that were raced with factory support at the prestigious 24 Hour race in 1964. Both entries suffered mechanical failure at Le Mans, and one of the two cars—chassis ADU 180B—was rendered into the hands of Rootes factory test driver Bernard Unett to race in club events. Unett had also raced a Sunbeam Alpine during the 1964 season winning the ‘Freddy Dixon Challenge Trophy’. Later he raced Alan Fraser-prepared Hillman Imps to great success. After seeing Unett win 11 of 20 races for the 1965 Autosport Trophy in the Lister Tiger Coupe and with a fresh contract to run Rootes Group’s circuit racing program for 1966 he approached Unett about collaborating on a Tiger. That car would be the Monster.
Straightaway they stripped the driveline and various special ultralight aluminium body panels of the Le Mans Coupe to use on the Monster. The car was lowered three inches, and the fenders (aka wings) flared to clear Le Mans-style Dunlop 15×7 magnesium wheels, which allowed oversized Girling brakes, and throughout the season various ducts and vents were cut into the body to improve cooling to the brakes as well as the cockpit. The twin dual choke Webers fed the Ford 260 cu in V8 which produced in excess of 300hp. An oil cooler sits below on the bumperless front grille. The Monster was ferociously fast, winning frequently and just narrowly missed winning the Autosport Championship of 1966. The car would be run at select events in 1967 and ’68 before being sold to local club racers in the Canary Islands, before being rescued in 1983 and restored by Chris Gruys, who also restored the Lister Tiger Coupe.
Each precision replica will come with a certificate of authenticity for this exclusive piece of racing history in scale.