The MK1 was introduced in April 1964. Approx. 3767 vehicles were built by August 1965. To visually identify a MK1 check the Chassis (VIN) plate number, which is an eight digit serial number beginning with B947. The MK I was built at first for the USA & Canadian markets; they have the VIN# suffix of LRX FE. The very early cars had a vinyl covered dash a black rimmed steering and short handled gear stick. These early Tigers are bodily distinguished by having round trailing edges to the bonnet, doors and boot. The body pressing changed in March 1965 around B9473000 to square trailing edges to the bonnet and doors but still with a rounded boot. Confusingly UK cars continued with the first body for some weeks afterwards.
The home market (HRO FE) version of the MK1 was introduced in March 1965 with the same specification and appointments as the export version bar the rear light reflectors. The ‘cross over’ body changes noted above began for the HRO Tiger around B9473250. This is not a ‘golden rule’ but should be considered when ordering new or used panels. The factory supplied RHD MKIs to British Commonwealth and some other countries that drove on the right. The VIN suffix of these Tigers is RRO FE.
Early in production a European version was introduced and sold in limited numbers throughout the continent. Due to brand protection measures of other manufacturers the vehicle was badged and known as the Alpine 260 (in fact the first name the factory gave to the model). Again other than being LHD with European lighting specification the Alpine 260 is the same as the LRX and HRO Tigers, badges apart.
The Tiger was also briefly sold in South Africa during 1965 by way of Complete Knock-down (CKD) kits shipped from Coventry. These vehicles have a unique VIN number series: B9480001 – B9480073. Many of these 73 Tigers assembled in Johannesburg, S.A. have found their way to England. All have the late MK1 body and in all other respects have the same general specification. Owners have reported finding electric fans fitted and additional thermostat.