One of only 3 surviving Prototype MKII Sunbeam Tigers. This car has everything the Tiger should have had!

AF203 - Prototype Mk2. Built spring 1965.

The Rootes Group initial design intentions for the Mkll Sunbeam Tiger unfolded only a few months after the public launch of the Tiger at the New York Auto Show of April 1964. By September a management policy meeting gave the go ahead for a series ll Tiger. The intention was to produce a Tiger with all round performance that would eclipse its British competitors. It would have: 289 engine & modified gearbox ratios (Ford HEH-B) - 1" wider track to rear axle - Disc brakes all round - 14" wheels on 5 stud hubs - Modified radiator and ducting - Revised steering assembly - Larger brake servo - Alternator assembly - Oil cooler - Revised footwell ventilation - Sportier exhaust system for the USA market - numerous styling modifications. Over the next couple of months Jensen Motors Ltd (subcontractors to Rootes for the Tiger) built 3 'Alpine Ford' second series development cars - AF202, 203 and 204. Each of these vehicles received the complete specification upgrades planned for the provisional launch of the MKll in 1966. AF202 was to be a 4 speed automatic with Fords C4 box mated to the 6 bolt 289 (4.7 litre) engine and built in RHD. AF203 (this car) was to have a manual box, LHD and US spec. AF204 was to be a manual box, RHD and UK spec.

The body shells provided for the three vehicles were period production shells having the stamping of the early MK1, wearing MKI trim and badges. Jensens’ completed the construction of AF203 during January and February 1965 and the car was registered by Humber for road use on 10th March 1965. 

Sold into private hands -1966

Upon the revision of the project intention and completion of the pilot production MKll's with scaled back specification, AF203 was surplus to Rootes Engineering requirements and was soon sold privately to a member of Rootes Group management a Mr. Kenneth Lunt. The car was though used for one last exercise, that of being fitted up with all the sill trim and moulding trim around the wheel arch openings that would be the visual hallmarks of the MKll. But in this case Jensens' did not remove the MKl trim and as a result AF203 is unique being the only factory Sunbeam Tiger to carry the trim of both series.

In 1968 AF203 was acquired by Paul Banbury and during his custody Paul changed the steering to right hand drive using factory parts. After 10 years with a John Burton the car in the early 80's came in to the hands of Sunbeam Tiger restore Keith Hampson. He set about completely restoring the Tiger and all the mechanical components over the following few years ensuring it was returned to its appearance as it left the factory but without the side trims and by 1988 AF203 was ready to be exhibited at classic car shows and be the subject of a feature article in Classic Car Magazine.

This remarkable and unique Sunbeam Tiger in its prototype completeness is now available for the next enthusiast to own and enjoy. It has had little use since being restored and has recently been re-united with the original wheels and trims. The next owner can specify which wheel and trim combination is required as both sets come with the car.