Earlier this month, I went to what would be the last track day of the year for me. Knowing I wouldn't make it back out to the track for several months, I decided to make it a good one and hang out with some petrolheads from the local Shelby car club. I chose this club in particular because the local Viper car club was also going to be in attendance. I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going.
Well, it didn't go the way I thought it would. Unlike last year -where there were four Vipers- there wasn't a single Viper to be found. Annoying, considering I haven't had a chance to shoot a Viper on track with my new camera yet. Not one to let a relatively minor inconvenience dampen my mood beyond repair, I decided to look on the bright side of things. Which isn't very hard to do when you find out there's a Sunbeam Tiger in the paddock. Oh yes, if I wasn't going to ride in a Viper again this year, then I was definitely going to ride in what I consider to be an old cousin.
Enough babbling though, you're probably wondering what it was like to ride in. Well, let me tell you!
The Engine Punches Above Its Weight
Sunbeam Tigers came with a few engines. The 260 V8 and the 289 V8. The one I rode in had the more powerful 289 V8. Mind you, "more powerful" is sort of a relative term, because the 289 only made a modest 200 HP. Knowing the Tiger wasn't the most powerful British sports car ever, I was expecting an enjoyable but somewhat under-powered experience.
I was very, very wrong. Despite making a little over 200 HP, the Tiger felt like it had closer to 270 HP. Seriously! The throttle response and the sheer eagerness of the engine exceeded my expectations and not by a small margin. Of course, it helps that the Tiger weighs less than Thor in Endgame. In any case, the 289 V8 in the Tiger impressed me a lot.
The Handling seemed Pretty Good
Let me start by saying that we weren't going all out, so I won't say for certain whether or not the handling is good at the limit or a bit sketchy. When/If I get a Tiger for myself, I'll probably do a write-up on my thoughts of it first-hand. Seeing as I only have second-hand experience at what I'm guessing was 6/10ths, I'll tell you what I thought anyway.
I felt that grip was pretty good, body-roll wasn't that bad and the brakes did a darn good job of slowing the small V8 sports car down.
The exhaust note was awesome! Hearing such a muscle-carian sound come out of a small British-sports car is brilliantly refreshing, considering the sound of a four-cylinder would be expected.
That's it! Do you like Sunbeam Tigers? Do you own one? Tell us what you think down below! As always, I'll see you later.