This car restoration post covers one of our smaller projects and a nice custom. We enjoy taking a break from the larger projects in the shop, especially when granted artistic freedom.
As with many of our car restoration projects, big or small, we were referred by a current or previous customer. This customer is associated with the vintage/ classic car rally circuit and was looking to modify his original Sunbeam Tiger hood to integrate a hood scoop that looked as though it was pressed at the factory. He supplied the drawing and a couple of photographic influences and the rest was up to us.
The Sunbeam Tiger is probably most famous for its staring roll in the TV series ‘Get Smart’, created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. The main character, Maxwell Smart, drove the vehicle to Control each week where he was given his assignment. Agent 86, er Maxwell Smart, received attention where ever he went, thanks in part to the stylish vehicle that accompanied him.
The Sunbeam Tiger continued the long tradition of putting a large American engine in a small European car. Others, such as the Nash-Healey, Facel Vega, and perhaps most successfully the Shelby Cobra, had done this before.
Follow the pictures with the captions as they tell the story of this custom build best.
Sunbeam Tiger Car Restoration: hood before scoop and jig building
Here’s the design/influence supplied by the customer.
First port of call is designing and mocking up of the jig.
Progressing on building the jig.
This jig is complete and ready for some ‘jig chasing.’
Sunmbeam Tiger Car Restoration: Beginning of hood scoop build
Outer jig is clamped to sandwich the hood material. Then the hood material is ‘blocked’ out with a domed wooden mallet to the shape of the base of the jig.
Progressing onto using nylon ‘chasers’ of varies diameters to continuously drag down and stretch the original hood material.
‘Jig chasing’ is now complete. Peak depth is 1.75 inches.
Showing the face side that requires metal finishing and the hood scoop peak to be made as the original hood material has reached its elastic limit before tearing.
Making of the peak with guidance of the customer’s drawing and my artistic interpretation.
Overview of the fabrication.
Showing the face after jig chasing.
During the metal finishing process.
Metal finishing continued.
Sunmbeam Tiger Car Restoration: Custom hood scoop completed
From metal finishing to the final stages of using highlighting fluid to check how the finished product looks.
Looking pretty sleek.
A new 1.75″ opening should help out the cooling issues of the Sunbeam Tiger engine.
Completed Sunbeam Tiger custom hood scoop!