Sunbeam Tiger to take on the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique
27th January – 3rd February 2016
Last autumn, Jeremy Holden – Managing Director of Holden Vintage & Classic acquired a very rare 1964 Sunbeam Tiger ex-Works Rally Car, one of only seven Rootes Group works ever made. Since the acquisition the car has undergone a £100,000+ major restoration, and in 2016 will return to the tracks at the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, exactly 50 years since it last competed.
This unique vehicle has seen many changes during its lifetime – both on and off the road; the story still continues…
About The 1964 Sunbeam Tiger ex-Works Rally Car:
Jeremy’s model (The AHP 294B), features the original Ford 4.2 Litre V8 engine. It made its debut at the 1964 Geneva Rally, just three months after it was registered, where ‘Tiny’ Lewis and Barry Hughes took the controls and edged the car to victory. Heralded as the most campaigned of the seven Tiger models, highlights for this particular car include being driven by Maurice Gatsonides in the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally, as well as by Peter Harper in the 1966 Monte. Other successes include a spell of endurance racing at the Zandvoort circuit, shattering Dutch National Records in three, six, 12 and 24 hour categories where it averaged a speed of 75.47mph over the course of 23 hours, despite regularly pulling into the pit lane to be topped up with water. The car so impressed Gatsonides that he christened it “Thunderbus”.
Despite lying unused in dry storage the car has remained in excellent running order. Found still wearing the same Rootes competition bodyshell it had in 1965, it also retains many period competition features including the 288 limited slip diff, the long-range saddle tank fitted in the boot, quick-rack steering, the original works hardtop badged “1966 Marathon de la Route”, period Halda rally instruments and the fly-off handbrake specially made for Peter Harper to aid his cornering technique. Indeed all the interior trim is original, including the driver’s seat which was specially tailored to suit Peter Harper’s long-shanked frame.