In 1967, I was seventeen. My father’s best friend was the Rootes Group Dealer in the next town over, Weymouth, Mass. I wish I had a photograph of our driveway back then. My mother had a brand new red Hillman Super Minx Station Wagon. My dad was driving a brand new Blue Sunbeam Tiger with the 289. My 21 year old brother got my father's hand-me-down. Poor SOB....a white ‘65 Tiger 260.
Although I really wanted a Tiger, it was not to be. When I told my father I wanted a Tiger, He smiled and said " No, We're gonna try to keep you alive for a while.” I was given a lowly white 1965 Sunbeam Alpine; a low mileage, perfect auto. The car was traded in by the original owner, a middle aged woman, who only drove it to school and back. The car probably never hit 60 MPH the whole time she owned it. Well, it only took me 2 weeks to blow up the engine. Fortunately, under warranty, I watched a brand new engine get installed a week later. I drove the car for years until I found a ‘65 Austin-Healey.
My father was a wise man in giving me the Alpine, for sure. At any opportunity, I would “borrow“ either of their cars. Car sitting for the day?
IT WAS MINE! I figured it was OK, after all, my keys fit their cars.
This was NOT a good combination.... 17, Young, and DUMB... and a Sunbeam Tiger. I never hit anything, but every time I took one of them out I almost killed myself. I would scare myself so bad. Many times I just brought it back, parked it and slinked away with my tail between my legs. Too much car for a kid.
I am now in my 60's and so far have had 4 Sunbeam Alpines and 2 Tigers. I grew up before getting the Tigers. I currently have a ‘67 MK V in pieces for a full restoration. Just wish I had a picture of our driveway back in the day.