Sunbeam Tiger Dealer & Rootes Factory Options
"Off the Showroom Floor" is an expression that is often used in collrctor car circles. In the case of the Sunbeam Tiger, this can have many meanings.
- As Delivered, by the US Distributor, a Division of Rootes, to the Dealer with NO extra options.
- As Delivered with Distributor installed stock options. This is true of some LAT orders, especially those intended for racing use, and specifically developed for this purpose. This includes some of the rarer, and more involved LAT (Los Angeles Tigers) racing options. There is a section on this site that describes the LAT options.
- As modified/installed by the dealer using Rootes approved and provided options.
- As modified/installed by the dealer using dealer"aftermarket" resources, which could include custom non-LAT wheels, tires, paint, radios, lights, horns, and "fox tails".
The Factory Invoice will include all those items supplied and installed by Rootes. The Dealer Invoice should list the additional items, whether Rootes LAT options, or outside accessories, obtained and installed by the dealer.
The Owner may, of course, purchase many items from his own sources, and even Rootes standard and LAT parts from the dealer. Whether this is considered "Off the Showroom Floor" is subject to discussion, often heated. Unless one is competing for a Concourse Trophy, it should not be a big concern. Non-standard equipment that is NOT intended for a Tiger may be of concern if it does not perform correctly. These can include poorly designed or installed electrical accessories, wheels of the wrong bolt circle, offsett, diameter, or wheel/tire combinations that interfere with the suspension system or steering, or exhaust components unstalled to close to wires or as lines/pumps.
So, how does one know what he has? Well the lucky individual with fully documented papers is in reasonable shape, until something is changed. The rest of us must be alert. This section provides the Dealer Accessories Brochure for your reference, as well as a very complete section with most of the LAT offerings. It is complete in the dealer socked items, including original brochurre and dealer/customer costs. Race-type equipment, accecpted for Homogulation (sometimes arguably) by the SCCA and the CSCC are shown. Not all of the available numbers were used, some were used more than once, some were not produced in sufficient quantitity to eventually be Homogulation acceptable, and some were never released. The really complex stuff was allocated to qualified, and accepted race drivers, and installed at the Rootes Central Headquarters on West Pico Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles, CA. Some may have been installed at the Long Island City, NY. There were two Rootes authorized Performance Parts developers in Los Angeles. While part origins being sold may have mixed inventory sources, the development work did change. The first was Carroll Shelby's operation near LAX. At a later date, Hollywood Sports Cars, under the guidance of Doane Spencer took over factory race operations as well as LAT option development. It is certainly possible that prototype equipment was installed at this Hollywood location, including outfitting of Larry Reed's and Lew Spencer's race cars (even though both of them were dealers as well). Ken Miles was a race driver of Alpines for Lew Spencer, then both joined Carroll Shelby's race team. This information has been verified by era participants. At that time, your Editor knew them all, but was more into Jaguar, Porsche, and Morgan vehicles.
A short list of links to the resources described: