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    United States
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To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Monterey event, 15 - 17 August 2024.

  • A fascinating and well-known Tiger with documented race history since new
  • Presently equipped with a race-prepped 347-cu. in. Ford V-8 engine
  • Originally built in period using selected components, including some aluminum body panels and rear suspension, of the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans #9 Lister Tiger coupe
  • Accompanied by FIA Historic Technical Passport; exercised on-track and carefully maintained by current ownership
  • Prepared and eligible for vintage racing events worldwide

When the UK-based Alan Fraser Racing Team set out to construct a Sunbeam Tiger to contest the 1966 club racing season, they were not exactly starting from square one. To pilot the car, they recruited Bernard Unett—a skilled driver who also happened to possess the #9 Lister-bodied Tiger coupe that had run at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. So it was that select components, including lightweight aluminum doors, hood, and trunk lid, as well as the rear suspension, were transferred to the 1965 Tiger chassis offered here: B9472738 HROFE. Dunlop magnesium wheels were tucked behind flared fenders, and an aluminum hardtop was commissioned to complete the car. Packing a powerful Ford V-8, the resulting machine was nicknamed the “Monster.”

The Monster proved quite competitive in UK club racing in 1966, contributing to Unett achieving first in class and second overall in both the Autosport and Freddie W. Dixon Championships. However, this was to be the only season in which it raced on its home turf. In 1967 the car was shipped to the Canary Islands, where it was driven by Peter Harper through 1968 and later sold to the Equipo HH racing team.

After several years of competition use in Spain, the Monster was acquired by Ken Dalziel in the UK; in 1982, it was sold to Chris Gruys, who would serve as its enthusiastic caretaker for the following 38 years. Gruys would return the Monster to racing form, in the process discovering that it still retained the lightweight aluminum doors “borrowed” from the Le Mans coupe, as well as the coupe’s rear suspension. In 1998, the car was refinished its present blue and white Scottish-themed livery (reflecting Alan Fraser’s familial heritage) by Steve Alcala and Dan Walters, and aluminum wheels cast to the original Dunlop 15-inch pattern complete its period-correct appearance.

Research and correspondence on file indicate that this Tiger originally ran a 289-cubic-inch Ford V-8—a ferocious powerplant that no doubt inspired the car’s nickname—but in 2013, it was fitted with a race-prepped 347-cubic-inch Ford V-8 built by Tony Oddo. Notably, this higher-displacement engine has the same overall exterior dimensions of the smaller V-8, ensuring that the original positioning of the exhaust system and other ancillaries has remained unaltered. This engine is crowned with four twin-choke Weber IDA carburetors and paired with a four-speed manual gearbox.

Issued a FIA Historic Technical Passport in 2012, the Monster raced at the Goodwood Revival that year, and has made several appearances at the Sonoma Historics. Since its acquisition by the consignor in 2020, no expense has been spared in maintaining this Tiger in optimal running condition, preparing it for track testing and competition events. Extensive invoices on file detail the level of care that went into improving this Sunbeam’s overall usability, including a well-considered addition of electric power assist for the rack-and-pinion steering. Further, any incidental wear and damage accrued while racing under the consignor’s care have been carefully remedied—resulting in a car that is both well-suited for further on-track action, and one that is quite visually appealing to boot!

This is a very special and historic Tiger with unique and unrepeatable provenance—one which has continually raced through the decades, maintaining a competitive edge without losing its important heritage and character. For a dedicated fan of the Sunbeam marque, or simply someone seeking an exquisitely prepared vintage racer, the “Monster” is a must-have. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mo24/.

RM Sotheby's
5 Heron Square
United Kingdom
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