Release date planned April 2024
The first full length documentary film about the fabled Sunbeam Tiger since Stanley Schofield’s superbly crafted The Tiger Sharpens its Claws which was released soon after the car’s launch. Made for the Rootes Group, Raymond Baxter’s informed voice over complimented well the full-colour footage. Yet to my mind the marque misses a credible account of its history past and present for today’s admirers of the Sunbeam Tiger and that is what drew Josh Goode and me together in 2021.
The Story of the Sunbeam Tiger
Legend has it that everything Carroll Shelby touched turned to gold. For the Le Mans winner, Cobra creator, Mustang maverick and GT40 mastermind, the Sunbeam Tiger is a less well-known success story. The unlikely transatlantic teaming of the Texan and the British Rootes Group saw a plush US hot rod and a comfortable European cruiser emerge. From the outset, the Tiger was no ordinary sports car and stuff happened to it that you really couldn’t make up.
Our film covers the remarkable story of the genesis of the Tiger, it’s ill-fated journey to Le Mans and how, after this setback, the car went on to track, rally and critical and commercial success. We are bringing together those that were there, experts, journalists, and owners to tell the Tiger’s tale.
With unique access to archive material and to the historically important cars, the film will be a full-length documentary and represents a significant initiative to produce a premium quality historical document and engaging feature on the Tiger’s 60th anniversary in 2024.
Who’s Making the Movie
An hour-long documentary, it is directed by film maker and long-term Tiger owner, Josh Goode of Berlinetta Films. Josh is also Executive Producing in conjunction with Graham Vickery, former 20-year Chairman of the Sunbeam Tiger Club UK. Director of Photography is Josh’s long-term collaborator, Tony May, who has over 30 years shooting experience. We hope, this passionate and experienced Team will ensure the project delivers the highest production value and editorial integrity.
Who’s In the Movie
The production to date has seen filming in the UK, USA and Europe. In the UK, we’ve tracked Tigers from the Silverstone Classic to the Goodwood Revival, from Thruxton to Donington Circuits, following the Le Mans cars and the rest of the pack. Legacy interviews have been conducted with 60s Irish rally ace Rosemary Smith, Le Mans driver Peter Procter, Baron Nick Rootes, Classic&Sportscar Editor, Mick Walsh and Shelby biographer, Rinsey Mills.
European filming is focussing on international rallying and three of the original Works Tigers that campaigned in the 60s and recently entered the 2023 Monte Carlo Historique Rally. (Now all these cars have Belgian owners.) We are working closely with Graham Rood the author of The Works Tigers.
Since the Tiger story is rooted in the USA many of the surviving historic cars are there: the Shelby prototype, Ken Miles proof of concept Alpine Tiger (Canada), the race cars #55 and #74, the Le Mans No.9 Tiger, the Targa Florio ’65 race car and The Monster ’66 race car. As are some notable folks who worked on them back in the day. We have managed to get almost all of them in front of camera. Also, we were able to interview a couple of more recent big fans of the Sunbeam Tiger – Jay Leno being a very big one!! We covered the three-day gathering of West Coast Tigers at their TIGERS United meeting and took that opportunity to get on film several owners from new and much high speed road action.
Watch the Tiger Trailer
Archive research and compilation is being conducted through the Ford Motor Company, the Rootes Archive Centre Trust and the international Tiger/Shelby/Rootes community.
Editing is ongoing and final assembly and mastering will take place upon filming completion. Launch will be synchronized with celebrations marking the coming Tiger anniversary in Spring/Summer 2024.
Why Are We Making a Movie about Tigers
Our motivation is to see a film made that honours the Tiger’s origins, the people who raced and rallied it in period, who still do, to get close-up to the car itself, and importantly, capture the enthusiasm of the machine’s owners. You, the enthusiast, fan and owner are our first audience, so the production must be true and honest.
At the moment, there are numerous options for the means of release of the film. Online viewing will be available of course and there will be additional footage of club events, owners and personalities captured during filming that will be uploaded to a YouTube channel. It may even be picked up by motoring channels. One way or another, the international Tiger community will have privileged access to the film and associated content, including special screenings.
To date the project has been backed by individuals mainly in the UK Tiger community. Our filming this year and our post-production effort require further funding. As do a few additional shoots to pick up the last remaining cars and people of note. It is our intention to feature all the surviving, historically important Tigers and we are well on the way to achieving this.
We have access to some excellent archive assets within our amazing communities. Nonetheless, we will also have to license material commercially beyond these resources.
We aim to raise an additional minimum of GBP25K (about $32K US) so that we can do the content captured so far and this great story total justice in this
Crowd Funding Campaign
We have opened a crowd funding project at Kickstarter.com, an international medium for accepting donations to the project. Kickstarter runs on an all or nothing basis – if we don’t reach our target, no donations are charged or received. And if we don’t make the target by the end of October, we also fail.
With Kickstarter, you don’t just help fund a project, you become part of the Team and there are a fun set of rewards too. Why not join us on a wild ride to the chequered flag!
The documentary is a one off, legacy initiative for the Tiger on its 60th anniversary, please help us make it the definitive film on the car. Feel free to email me at gr************@gm***.com.