In Wednesday's episode of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," buyer Steve Hoffman explains that the legend is what led him to buy a rusty 1966 Sunbeam Tiger MK 1A Roadster in the desert outside Pasadena for $3,000.
First, there was the historical interest. James Bond drove a sunbeam in "Dr. No," and a MK 1 appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film "To Catch a Thief."
The Tiger was designed for speed. The original manufacturer Carroll Shelby knew that cars that won races were cars that sold, which is why, in 1963, he dropped a Ford V8 engine into the British Alpine.
"Hence the expression: Win on Sunday, sell on Monday," says Leno.
This car is also the last MK 1A built, which is a factoid interesting to world-renowned auto appraiser and bow-tie connoisseur Donald Osborne. That increases the car's value although, Osborne admits, the first MK 2 would have a larger bump.
Still, Hoffman stands to make a tremendous profit: Osborne explains it's now worth $112,000.