"The Raiders of the Lost Filter"
"Will the REAL Tiger Fuel Filter please stand up!"
An Article by
A relatively recent question has arisen regarding the identity, source, appearance, and materials of the original Tiger in-line fuel filter cartridge, as supplied by the manufacturer, Rootes. These issues have been the source of much discussion that resulted more in heat than illumination. Ahh, not only a mystery shrouded by time, but one that appears to have some passionate adherents.
There appears to be a number of views, running from a see-thru plastic cartridge to a Ford Motorsport metal can unit. Adherents on both sides point to various published, and internet pictures that do not identify what is shown as "Original Factory Equipment". So, what is a seeker of the Mystical 100 point Concourse Grail to do? And, more importantly, what are the judges using as a criteria?
Some of this is easily solved by reference to the manufacturer's own literature. TigersUnited.com has been the fortunate recipient of the authentic Rootes PARTS LIST SUPPLEMENT for the SUNBEAM "260" and "click" on the Section "PETROL (Fuel) SYSTEM UF" to open the .PDF pages for a clear view.
To save some time, the pertinent section is shown below, but not as large and clearly as the above link.
As may be able to be discerned, in this smaller version, the "Rootes Pat Number" is 6100034, and a corresponding Ford Part Number is given as C2RZ-9155-A. Clearly this is a recognizably configured Ford part number, and indicates the original application was "1962". We have a verifiable authentic start in our Quest. The "Rootesetta Stone" has been found, the part is clearly made by Ford, and from the appropriate period. Unfortunately there are NO illustrations of this part in any of the many exploded parts plates. At this point, although we know the manufacturer, Ford, but we have no physical description.
Alright, then. As in any Archaeological endeavor one first starts a literature search to yield what information is available. The next step in a "find" is to consult with contemporary literature, which was done. Next, we would investigate many current knowledgeable reference sources and examine them in detail. First we started with Norman Miller's extensive treatise on the Tiger history and configuration, "The Book of Norman". This most excellent source is full of valuable detail, right down to the original colors of components for each factory revision. Entire chapters are chock full of pictures and descriptions of authentication details and lists. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any text reference to this filter, or it's appearance. There are numerous photographs in the book, showing a variety of differently appearing objects in the appropriate location, but no verification of which of these would be of the Rootes listed production component. There are even pictures of the introduction of the Tiger in the Rootes Tiger Show Displays, with Ford V-8 engines on stands that are clearly not of the Tiger production configuration. So, photo source, alone, is not a reliable guide. In fact, the advertising drawing of two people enjoying their Tiger ride has been retouched and used for Alpines, Tiger Mk I, IA, and even Mk II, Lord Rootes was gripping those purse strings tightly.
The excellent historical coverage of William Carroll's "Tiger, An Exceptional Motorcar", is yet another illuminating treatise, filled with details on the development and early racing of the Tiger. But, alas, no fuel filter originality information.
Mike Taylor's delightful "TIGER, The Making of a Sports Car", is beautifully illustrated with the initial concept of a Tiger, and how it grew into an actual car. Even the "future" Tiger by Chrysler" that never was is shown in concept. But nothing as prosaic as a fuel filter authentication.
Gordon Chittenden's "Sunbeam Tiger Performance Tuning", while chock full of valuable information on contemporary period speed tuning of the Tiger, including some pictures of the engine compartments, sufficient detail, or authentication on the filters is not presented.
Ahh, another source of information comes to mind. 1960's Period Ford vehicles!!!! I just so happen to still have my 1966 Ford Mustang Shop Manual. And it shows and lists the fuel filter!!! As a matter of fact, THREE of them. Some were cartridges screwed into the carburettor, and some were integral cartridges inside the various mechanical fuel pumps. None were in-line, as on the Tiger. Not only a strike-out, but the most significantly "re-pro" parts sources for the Mustang produce the wrong filter! (8-(
All right, back to the "Archaeologist and Relic Hunters (Tomb Raider's) Guide". "When there is no one that has contemporaneously researched and validated a question, there is no relevant revealing literature, the sources of verifiable memories are dim, and controversy creates more heat than light----", the "Guide's" next step is INTO THE FIELD FOR A DIG !!!!