Factory Installed Performance Equipment
An Article by & Peter MacDonald
Preface: The issue of whether a Rootes "Factory Installed" Performance Parts option really existed, and was "Factory Authorized", has been beat to death on the Tiger list. The doubters mostly appear to just "doubt" the printed information, but have nothing to offer to show the printed documentation and current direct testimonial offerings of those who have related their experiences are not correct. "Doubts", without support, carry little merit versus time contemporary written, and published, information, as well as current testimony from those who were there. All this is discussed in detail in the Factory LAT Options page.
BUT, putting all that aside, we are most fortunate to have had the Peter MacDonald papers of the Original price sheets for Factory Modifications of Sunbeam Tigers for performance and competitive activities. There were many options offered to the customer, with detailed cost information, broken into Labour and Materials. These are the authentic Factory Options, as installed by the Rootes Group Competition Department in their factory facilities. Being VERY specific, you will note that the prices and word spelling are in English Pounds, Schillings, and Pence. Yes, this operation was conducted in England. You will recognize many of the options, with the exception of the Minilite wheels, to be the same as Rootes literature for Long Beach, CA and Long Island City, NY Racing Homogulation offerings by Ian Garrad in the US.
Peter, and his wife, live in Coquitlam, B.C., Canada. Thank you, Peter, and just wait until you see the rest of what he has sent, when it is web formatted!
Note: The English Pound Sterling, and its coins are now in the decimal system, with 100 pence to the pound. Currently the Pound is about $1.43. In 1954 it dropped from $5 to $3.50, allowing me to purchase a new XK 120M roadster for $3450. for relative valuation, that is about what my father paid for his '54 Cadillac. Not sure what the exchange rate was in 1965-66, but inflation would make that meaningless in any event, and a good wheel will still cost more thatn $200. There were 20 shillings to a Pound Sterling, and 12 pence to a shilling. See how easy it was to find out what things cost. And then there is the "Quid"..... Ed.