2013-07-04 / News

Sunbeam Tiger Catches Sunlight, and Eyes on State Street


Celine and Bob Lanting of Mattawan show their 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. The color is called creamsicle with pearl. While the model is rare, the couple enjoys running to town in it. Celine and Bob Lanting of Mattawan show their 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. The color is called creamsicle with pearl. While the model is rare, the couple enjoys running to town in it. Creamsicle orange paint glows on the 1965 Sunbeam Tiger belonging to Bob and Celine Lanting of Mattawan. The car was cardinal red, and when Mr. Lanting had it fully restored after finding it in a family member’s barn, he and his wife selected the shade, which has pearl incorporated with the paint.

“When the sun shines on it, you can see a lot of metallic,” Mrs. Lanting said.

“I like the color,” Mr. Lanting said.

St. Ignace Car Show Saturday, June 29, is the first time that the Tiger has been on display fully completed. The Lantings did a rotisserie restoration on the car, meaning it was disassembled and sandblasted.

“The bottom is just as clean as the top,” Mr. Lanting said.

It includes a leather interior, new convertible top, and its original Ford 260 V8 engine. When they first found the car, “It was drivable, but it was pretty rough,” Mr. Lanting said.

Driving the Tiger now, however, is a treat.

“They are tight. They are very easy to steer,” he described. At 2,300 pounds and with the V8 engine, “Put the two together, and you’ve got a rocket.”

The defunct Rootes Group, an automobile manufacturer in England, produced only around 7,000 Sunbeam Tigers from 1964 to 1967.

“That is a pretty rare car,” Mr. Lanting said.

The Lantings also displayed a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, which has attended the auto show in past years. Restoring old cars is Mr. Lanting’s hobby.

“I’m looking around for another one to do,” he said. “I have a couple of ideas.”

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