Sean Johnson

    This looks to be a pretty nice Mk1a. It does have an Alpine front valance as the Mk1a Tiger did not have the starter handle tube (valance to radiator support). It also should not have the lubrication plate riveted below the chassis plate, that was discontinued at the start of MK1a production. Very early MK1a’s will have the holes, but they were just filled with rivets that matched the ones in the chassis tag. A TAC would have substantially eliminated concerns, this, mostly because the rivets are not correct holding the chassis plate to the car.

    It’s not quite correct saying that a Tiger is just an Alpine converted by Jensen. Tigers were purpose built by pressed steel on a different line than the Alpine. That’s why Tiger body number plates are prefixed JAL (Jensen assy line) and Alpine are prefixed SAL (Sunbeam assy line) these prefixes told Rootes, and Jensen, where the shells were to be sent. Parts were included, or deleted in the structure that were different from the Alpine. To send an Alpine to Jensen and cut off numerous parts not used on the Tiger would have been a huge waste and would have magnified the rectification of massive parts of the paintwork. This was something that Rootes wanted to avoid to keep the costs down. For someone who is really an expert in the differences between a Tiger and an Alpine, it just requires a few minutes inspection. There are HUNDREDS of differences between the two cars, and these changed over the evolution of the car. I’d wager that most novices or Alpine owners could never know all of them.

    That’s why the “TAC guys” keep this information pretty close to the chest.

    I understand the difficulties that a TAC inspection can represent. I live in Eastern Washington, for me to get a tac (I’ve done it twice) represents a 500 mile round trip and $200 worth of fees to take an auto ferry from Edmonds across Puget Sound. The fee itself is inconsequential.. it’s only $25.