Just over seven thousand Sunbeam Tigers were built in total between 1964 and 1967, but three special lightweight racing cars were built in 1964 aimed to compete in the GT category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
These three cars were highly modified versions of the production cars and fitted with attractive lightweight, fastback coupe bodies by coach builders Williams and Pritchard
7734KV served as the test and development mule, and regularly reached speeds of 160 mph in testing at Le Mans. Lessons learned with the mule were then incorporated into the construction of its 2 sister race cars.
The car was prepared by Brian Lister, well-known for his Lister-Jaguars and Lister-Chevrolets. A race prepped Ford 260 was supplied by Shelby American and rated at 275hp. It was fitted with a Cobra intake, a pair of Carter AFB carbs, a Borg Warner T-10 trans, and magnesium rims. Instead of the factory 13", 15s were used so that larger brakes could be installed for racing.
The two Tiger coupes entered in the race carried number 8 and 9. The first to retire, just three hour’s into the race’s 24, was car number 8, which experienced a broken piston. Six hours later, car number 9 expired with a broken crankshaft, and the Tiger coupe’s first and only appearance at Le Mans ended in disappointment for the Rootes Group team.