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Old 12-30-2016, 07:36 AM
HolyCat HolyCat is offline
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Thumbs up Happy 50th Birthday to My Tiger

I became infatuated when I saw my first Tiger. It was in 1965, when my older brother and I were walking in a parking lot at Cottonwood Cove at the Colorado River. There it was – a shiny, new Forest Green Mk 1. Only I had no idea what it was at the time, but told my brother that it was a very nice-looking car. He replied that it was nice looking, but more important, it had a Ford V8 under the hood.

It was a couple of years before I had my driver’s license and time to look for a car. Like many fathers, mine was concerned that my first car be a very safe one. Eventually, I settled on a 1962 Mercury Meteor S-33, a sporty version of a typical “mid-sized” American car. At least it had a 260 in it!

After a few years of safe and sane motoring, I felt the need for something with more oomph. While looking in the Green Sheet Advertiser (10 cents to list one’s car for sale back then), I spied an interesting ad. “1968 Sunbeam Tiger, red w/ black interior” was all it said, plus a phone number. I called the number and made arrangements to see the car. The man selling it said he was the second owner. For the test drive, he would not let me drive it, but drove me around a bit. He was asking $1,800 for it. I told him I wanted to think about it. Later, after talking about the car with my brother, he told me that some of the Tigers had 289s in them and asked me about this car. So I called the phone number and talked with the man’s wife and asked her about the engine. She did not know. I called the owner later and offered him $1,600. It was his turn to think about it. A couple of days later, he called back and accepted my offer. I still did not know what engine sat in the engine bay.

That is how, in August of 1970, I became the owner of my Sunbeam Tiger Mk II. I did not know it was a Mk II until later, after I had joined C.A.T. and found out there were different models.

So today (December 30) is my Tiger’s 50th birthday. While I am not the original owner, I have had the car for most of its life. I drove this car in most of my college years. This is the car I used to court the second love of my life (and not necessarily in that order), Michele, while we were students at UC Riverside. We drove it from Riverside to some of the C.A.T. meetings, which were held in those days in an upstairs conference room at Galpin Ford, on Roscoe Blvd. in San Fernando Valley. We drove off to our honeymoon in this Tiger. Later, this is the car in which I taught Michele how to drive a car with a stick shift. It was perfect for this – with lots of torque and a fairly light body, it was harder to stall when taking off in 1st gear.

My car had suffered from some of my youthful indiscretions and I dreamed about making it look like it did when it rolled off the assembly line at the end of 1966. I started early buying NOS and LAT parts for it, including some of the Mk II parts that had been replaced with Mk 1 equivalents when the car was in the body shop. After many years of collecting parts and dreaming about it, I finally bit the bullet and took my car to Dale’s for restoration. I cannot thank Dale enough for working with me on my vision and I was extremely pleased with the final product!

And so, on its 50th birthday, I had planned to make sure the battery is well charged, clean it up, and take it (along with Michele) for a nice drive. But SoCal is getting some much-needed rain, but I am hoping for a break in the weather later today. And maybe I’ll toss one or two back, toasting the men (and women, if any) who put together my Carnival Red beauty and rolled it off the assembly line 50 years ago today!
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:53 AM
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Doug C Doug C is offline
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Thanks for sharing and hopefully the rain will stop to allow a quick drive. Cheers and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:55 AM
CLIFF_MK1 CLIFF_MK1 is offline
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You are one lucky guy today, David. Happy New Year and have a great drive. Cliff
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:24 AM
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Default Great story

David, loved the story of your Tiger! You are fortunate to have been able to hang onto your 'first love'!

Your story has similarities to my first Tiger- loved the cars before I had a drivers license, bought mine in late '70 as the second owner, went through high school, dating, college with my Tiger.

People may find it hard to believe that something that is made up of metal, rubber, and fabric can have such a place in our hearts, but the memories make it so! Congrats on keeping yours and restoring to it's former glory

Kirk
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:55 PM
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Happy birthday to your mkii David, the car caught a lucky break when you became it's custodian, it's a spectacular looking vehicle and I hope to see it in person some point soon.

Happy 50th and congratulations on 30 years with your first love ..... Who luckily seems to have a great working relationship with your other love
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1963 Alpine SII 1996>
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:06 PM
HolyCat HolyCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hottigr View Post
People may find it hard to believe that something that is made up of metal, rubber, and fabric can have such a place in our hearts, but the memories make it so! Congrats on keeping yours and restoring to it's former glory

Kirk
Kirk,

You are so right! When I look back at many of the high points of my life, I remember the part that my Tiger played.

There was a break in the rain, so Michele and I took it for a quick spin to fill up the tank. Michele took a few photos with my cell phone.

Photo 1 - Taken a few years ago, right after the restoration.
Photo 2 - At the wheel on the way to the gas station.
Photo 3 - Getting closer to the gas station.
Photo 4 - Filling the tank. (those of you who don't have to deal with vapor recovery systems are so lucky!)
Photo 5 - Putting back the nozzle.
Photo 6 - Driving home, enjoying every minute of it.

I just realized that I have the honor of recognizing the first 50th birthday for any Mk II Tigers, even though my Mk II was not the first.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:32 PM
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David,

Glad the weather cooperated for your 50th anniversary spin! I remember taking mine down PCH and shooting a pic by Mugu Rock for mine

Long may we drive!!

Kirk
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:01 PM
HolyCat HolyCat is offline
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Default You're Getting Me in Trouble with Michele

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael-king View Post
Happy birthday to your mkii David, the car caught a lucky break when you became it's custodian, it's a spectacular looking vehicle and I hope to see it in person some point soon.

Happy 50th and congratulations on 30 years with your first love ..... Who luckily seems to have a great working relationship with your other love
Michael - I look forward to meeting you in person some day, too. Maybe you will come over here or Michele and I will go Down Under.

However, Michele wants to know who is my first love for the last 30 years? She and I met 45 years ago next month and have been married over 43 years now.

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyCat View Post
Michael - I look forward to meeting you in person some day, too. Maybe you will come over here or Michele and I will go Down Under.
David,

The alpine has served as transport for 2 stateside couples on their downunder trips... Though ricks became a little more adventurous than was ideal due to some electrical gremlins that got compounded by some less than diligent local input on the fix. However there would be sunbeams at your disposal
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1963 Alpine SII 1996>
1964 Tiger MKI 2009
1965 Alpine SIVGT 1994>
1965 Tiger MKI 2009-2012
1966 Tiger MKIA 2006>
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:34 PM
Tomaselli Tomaselli is offline
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Hi David, great story and certainly sounds you are a fine custodian. Completely forgot until I read your story, but mine #...125 was 50th the day before yours on 29th Dec!
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