Viewing 9 reply threads
  • Author
    • #57983
      Gene Sokolowski

        Hello Everyone,

        I have not been on the site for about three years, so I am a returning member. During that time I took retirement and moved to my current residence in South Western Pennsylvania from South Dakota.

        I own a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger MK1 project. I had purchased the vehicle sight unseen on the internet about 10 years ago or so. In retrospect it was not the brightest thing I have ever done. I had always wanted a Shelby but didn’t have the finances for one. I had read about the Sunbeam Tiger and how Shelby had a hand in the development of the car. The car I bought was more of a basket case than I had anticipated. I, however, with the advice and help of a few car ‘buddies’, learned about sheet metal fabrication, auto body work and painting. I started the project in late 2004 and had the car in ‘new paint’ in March of 2010. It was six years of weekend work and good dirty fun.

        If you are interested in seeing a couple ‘before’ pictures of the project I have a storybook on photobucket that can be accessed for viewing at: … tory/13295

        I am currently detailing some parts and re-upholstering seats. I will start assembling the car in about a month. It will continue to be a slow process, I have no illusions of that. The car was just a roller when I bought it. About 85% of the parts were in bags and boxes. Since I did not dis-assemble the vehicle to start with, I will surely have questions on the forums as I assemble the car.

        Oh, I did have professional help from Doug Jennings. He rebuilt the front suspension.

        It’s good to be back. I enjoy the forums and articles. I am getting excited about getting this long time project a little closer to done.


      • #65026

        You are one ambitious fella, Gene. Glad to see another car back from the grave and heading toward a proper restoration.

        We’ll be looking forward to seeing more than just your teaser photo of the car in new paint.

      • #65027

        WOW. It would have taken me 20 years to get that far. You will feel better after every part goes back on. The greatest day was the day I could actually move my car in and out of the garage without having to push.

      • #65028

        Welcome back Gene! I hope you can make it to the BASH this May 18th in Carlisle, PA and meet up with fellow Sunbeam owners. Bring all of your questions and you will find lots of folks ready to help. Eric

      • #65030
        Gene Sokolowski

          Thanks Eric, Bud and Eric,

          I am posting a link to a picture story board that I just finished tonight. It gives a look at the modification I did to my Tiger hood during the body restoration. I will post it in the "Modified" forum but thought I would also include it here since many nice folks are taking a peek at my introductory post.

 … tory/13365

          … back to re-upholstering those bucket seats.


        • #65084

          Welcome back – Wow – it looks like you started with a real "basket case" 😯
          Great to see a Tiger "saved" from extinction!
          Do you know what color the car was originally? What is that new color?
          Good luck, I’ll look forward to seeing more, and eventually to meeting you & seeing the "finished product".

        • #65085
          Gene Sokolowski

            Thanks for the encouraging words!
            The original color was code 86 – Forrest/B.R. Green. I prefer a green with a little less yellow and a little more blue, so I repainted it a 1968 Shelby GT500 color – Dark Moss Green. The paint was laid down with a black base cote and then the color cote.

          • #65087

            I’m kinda partial to the 86 color… since that is the color or our Tiger.
            Of course, it is pretty hard to go wrong with anything "Shelby". Does the Dark Moss Green have any metallic?
            Due to my mild case of forum addiction, our car (Forest Green with Cosmic wheels) is shown in several threads here…

            You gonna be at the BASH?

          • #65194

            Nice job, I have to ask where did you get your replacement metal from, I have a lot of similar issues as your car. I’m going to need a piece of frame rail tp correctly replace where someone hacked mine with a torch for the worst patch job I’ve ever seen.

          • #65199
            Gene Sokolowski

              Hi Redbaron,

              Wow. Good question. You are making me think about what I did years ago in starting my project.

              I purchased a donor alpine in Dallas Texas (about 800 miles from where I lived at the time). The car was a stripped down to just a partial body. From that car I was able harvest a rust free trunk floor and a partial front clip that include the driver side fender and the radiator support.

              I purchased front frame rail extensions from a gentleman in Illinois who had parted out a car.

              I purchased a new front valance top from Doug Jennings in Dayton, Ohio. I think he said that Rob Martel had made that piece. I do not remember where I got my front valance but it was dented and needed a new valance top.

              I hand fabricated the front and rear, rear wheel opening corners by hand using a metal brake, English wheel and shot bag/hammer.

              I made the driver side floor pans using a bead roller.

              I had purchased the exhaust pipe x-frame replacement pieces but don’t remember who had fabricated them.

              The rest of the patches and repairs were made from appropriate gauge steel as needed.

              The pan hard bar attachment on the frame rail had been totally ripped out, leaving two holes in the side of the frame rail. That took a bit or reinforcing and repair.

              The metal at the end of the x-frame/front spring perch area where the traction master perches were welded in was fatigued and cracked and badly rusted. That took extensive repair and reinforcing.

              I had not undertaken a metal work project like my Tiger before and I learned as I worked the project. That is probably why I spent six years of weekends and some nights getting it done. I must say to undertake the extent of repairs that my car needed it was imperative to have the car on a rotisserie.

              Before I started the project I had the car chemically dipped to remover all the paint, bondo and undercoating AND had the rust chemically dissolved. I believe it was a Redi-Strip process. I started with bare metal and exposed all the ‘sin’ in the body so I knew what had to be done.

              I hope that helps. I will attempt to put a picture story together on the front frame rail extension repair to show you what I did. Hopefully I did it right.

              I am sure there are sources for what you need. It may take a bit of networking and parts chasing but you can get there. I would start by posting your needs in the ‘wanted’ forum here. You can check with junk yards (auto parts recyclers) on the net. Good luck.

              Updated with photo story:


          Viewing 9 reply threads
          • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.