Wednesday, March 08, 2017

LAT, Los Angeles Tiger (Sunbeam Alpine with the Shelby 289) accessories

That old goofy situation of a Ford engine in a Chrysler acquired company. Strange stuff, but I've posted about that oddity before.

Here's something new I just learned.

" LAT option descriptions, pictures, and prices from original "International Automobiles Incorporated". This company was headed by Ian Garrard and was the President of the U.S. importer, International Automobiles Incorporated, for Chrysler International Automotive Products, in Los Angeles, and was the "spark plug" behind the LAT options and racing program, with his sponsorship of Carroll Shelby's racing efforts with Ken Miles and Lew Spencer.

He later sponsored Hollywood Sport Cars and Doane Spencer, who helped develop many of the later LAT options.  Doane who created the most famous 32 Deuce ever. Well, he also was the crew chief of the Tiger racing program run by Hollywood Sports Cars in LA, Chick Vandagriff's dealership

The Doane Spencer Tiger came about when Ian Garrad approached him about building and running a car for them after Shelby's had been a big disappointment. Doane managed to overcome many of the Tigers shortfalls through clever thinking. The Spencer Tiger raced in B Production in 1965. He built a custom steering rack, which was 'hidden' within the standard housing, as the standard system was too slow for racing. He fitted rear Daimler Girling disc brakes, while the front disc assembly was reversed on the stub axle carrier so straight track rods could be used.

He fitted a Dana rear axle with hi nickel shafts, and he fitted 14" wheels (the Tigers were fitted as standard with 13" wheels) for better brake cooling and so he could use larger discs. One of the big problems with the racing Tiger was engine overheating and excessive engine bay temperatures which Spencer overcame by moving as many items as he could from the engine bay, eg, he repositioned the brake servo inside the front guard etc. He created reverse louvres in the bonnet, and made special ducts that channeled hot air out through holes in the front guards.
 This specially designed race preparation tool was made specifically for the Sunbeam Tiger racing enthusiast, developed by the Rootes Racing Department for their own use in preparing race and rally cars for winning competition in Europe. It is specifically designed for professional use only, and only by race mechanics trained in the arts of competition preparation. In the wrong hands it could be dangerous to the operator, the driver, and any spectators or officials. Rootes denies any liability connected with the non-professional use of this equipment.

Originally designed to operate at 220 VAC, 50 cycle power, the tool has been modified for 110-120 VAC, 60 cycle, 3 prong US grounded connectors for use in the USA. The use is obvious to the knowledgeable racer and race car designer for eliminating excess weight to improve performance, adding racing cooling openings for competitive driving conditions, and persuading recalcitrant connecting devices to be removable.

Introducing the Rootes Sunbeam Tiger All-purpose Professional Race Prep tool, the LAT-122 DW, at a mere $1127.98 USD.

Sunbeam Tiger owners have included Art ArfonsAndy Rooney, Playboy Playmate Jo Collins and Carroll Shelby ... who though auctioning off a lot of his personal cars in 1995, kept his Tiger


  1. I have an old Sunbeam drill that was my dad's. It has a broken tooth so it won't hold a bit, but I still keep it around. It looks cool and heavy duty.

  2. Do you think they sold any of those LAT-122 DW tools? $1127.98 was a lot of money for a power drill back in the '60s.