Tiger Mk I
Owners: Tom and Linda Witt
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
VIN: B9470101

Well I've had a desire for Sunbeams since I was a kid. In high school, "Wide Meats" (big tires, too big in fact-like the rest of him) drove an Alpine. Though "Wide Meats" was a "Loser," I did envy his car. Flash forward to 1995. (I kind of noticed most people don't get a full page for letters.) I'm at this guys' house to get a free '61 Corvair Station Wagon and find out he also has a '63 Alpine for sale. The interior was completely redone, it had fair body work and a repaint. For $900 the rod knock came at no charge. Problem one, it didn't have a top and I didn't have any garage space. Problem two, I told my wife I was going for a free car, not to spend $900! Passing it up is one of those mistakes you don't forget for the rest of your life.

A short while later After escaping the supposed Y2K annihilation I came to my senses (or did I ?) and realized that, in addition to maintaining a family, I have neither the time or money for seven cars. Five of which ('61 Corvair, '63 Rambler, '65 Plymouth, '66 Volvo 544, and a '73 Datsun 510) are incompleted "hobbies." So I get this crazy notion to convince my wife (who sees cars as "transportation") that perhaps I should acquire one "substantial vehicle" and get rid of "most" (a clever word on my part) of the other cars. Well, only to prove that she is crazier than I, I need to tell you she said "O.K.."

My wheels are something special. I believe they are the same as those on the "One-and-Only" Harrington Tiger. Any confirmation?
A few days later a guy at work was "surfing the net" (when he shouldn't) and he comes across this Tiger for sale. The family and I make the 300 mile round trip to see the car. It's a "low dollar" Tiger (what else can I afford). It comes with lots of "stuff," though. I hedge. Someone else is looking at it tomorrow. The wife says, "if you want it, give the asking price." I'm too "cheap" to do that. I offer, he says "I'll wait." The next day "someone else-tomorrow" can't come and my offer is accepted. A week later my legally blind friend (who owns a blimp photography company- go figure) loans me his truck and assistance for another 300 mile trek. Jan. 21, 2000, 8:30 p.m., the Tiger is out of two years storage at Smitty's and is safely caged in my garage.

I am reading 5 years of back issue Tiger Tales that came with the car. The previous owner has Hi-Lited a comment by Steven Alcala in the July 1993 issue. He states that 'there were new cars and faces.' Then he goes on to say, "There was a black Tiger from San Diego with rust holes so big you could put your hand through. I couldn't stop looking at it." Hey, that's my car - NOW. For the record the holes are large, but the inner rust is managable in part, I'm sure, due to the excellent "drainage." Steve, if you still feel as compelled as you were in 1993, you are welcome to keep looking. Maybe it was the dead rat in the trunk that caught your attention?

As I get more time to venture into the world of Tigers, I'll be able to better determine who got the better deal, seller or buyer.

A final note.
Just before Christmas our cat of 13 years died. I guess now we have a new one!

Tom and Linda Witt

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