Is It Worth Saving? 1964 Triumph TR4

t1

You have to give the seller of this 1964 TR4 credit for realistic expectations. It’s for sale here on eBay as it waits for a new owner in Larned, Kansas. Bidding is starting at $100 with no reserve!

t2

While it doesn’t look too bad at first glance, it really is. I don’t see a single panel on the entire car that could be used as is–every one of them would need some body finessing–and some would need a lot of it! I’m not sure what the wheels are from, but I know it’s not a TR4. Early MGB maybe? I know they have the same bolt pattern.

t3

The seller describes it as pretty stripped and rusty. They’re right. That being said, I see a lot more than $100 here in parts, and I’ve also seen TRs a lot worse than this restored to near-perfection.

t4

I think the floors have either been patched or replaced, as they don’t look like the original stiffening ribs to me. Obviously, you’d be sourcing a lot of interior components.

t5

There’s no telling what, if anything, is good under here, but one nice feature of these wet-liner engines is that if you have to, you can replace both the pistons and the cylinders. Gives a whole new meaning to the term engine rebuild. I’m surprised to see the wiper motor and what might be rebuildable master cylinders in place. Of course, one other option here is to turn the car into a LeMons or ChumpCar racer. The TR6 that we used to run in ChumpCar made its return to the track last weekend, and there’s another one running down in Texas, so it could be done. TR4 frames tend to hold up better than the later IRS TR4A/TR5/TR250/TR6 frames, so maybe this one is still useful after all. Anyone close enough to find out for us?

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Comments

  1. Bill

    Run of the mill car, not historically significant and it would cost a fortune to bring it around.

  2. SunbeamerStu

    Cool as heck.

    I’d buy it and park it in the yard just as is. Plant some daisies and sunflowers in it.

    Sometimes yard art is just yard art.

  3. Healeydays
  4. The other Jim S.

    As someone who grew up around a MGTD with similar, if not the same, wheels… I’m starting to dig this look on Triumphs. I saw a really nice TR6 recently running this look a few weeks ago and it is really starting to grow on me. Perhaps I’m getting old and cranky but chrome wires are just too flashy for me (and they are a pain in the ass in a real driver) and everyone and their brother has the repro panasports. These LOOK British and no-nonsense. That classic SCCA boy-racer look. But then again I’m not a car-show guy… i’m a safety fast, point A to point B with maximum smiles kind of guy.

    Now this car? I’d take a stab at making it an ugly runner if it turned up near me and I still had a garage. For a hundred bucks? sure.

  5. rogerowen

    Is it worth saving? Of course it is! But then I’m a TR nut!

    Yes, Left hand floor looks like it’s had a repair at some stage. As Jamie says – these guys have a really strong chassis and the panels (if orig) are made of sturdy metal. Parts supply is very good for TR’s and generally not too expensive. I’d take it on for sure, but probably as a race lookalike rather than a standard Triumph (ooops). The windscreen’s gone – but could look super cool with aero screens.

    Forget re-trim, just a cheap pair of bucket seats. For dials just fit a modern electronic tach.

    Engines are bulletproof too – stick some petrol in that removed tank (as long as it’s not perforated) and light the blue touch paper.

    This has potential to be a cheap, fun, sports car – as long as a bidding frenzy does not occur.

  6. Doug Towsley

    Those ARE correct wheels. My 66 TR4A has them as well. Theres a chromed center hub cap that goes on them and has a interesting logo on the caps. Ill take a picture of mine and post. While chromed or even Stainless wire wheels look iconic, they are a royal PIA to maintain. Its like a supermodel girlfriend, exciting at first and great to look at but the high maint. wears out the appeal. Maybe not to everyones taste, but the alloy Gold Honey comb rims i think look good on these. Enkie made some that are really nice. This car is rough, but not impossible, I have seen a lot of restorations and slightly modded cars worse than this one. With the growing value on these this will find a home and with no reserve thats certain anyway but no lack of buyers looking for these.

    • The other Jim S.

      Dang… you are right. In my head they didn’t have the holes…I would have sworn they were slots. TR6’s always have the beauty rims and center-caps on so they aren’t as noticeable I guess.

      My TR3 had painted wires and it was always a sinking feeling when you’d hear the spokes creaking in really hard corners. Always felt like this was the moment that one of them was going to snap. It was fun doing that first roadside “let’s show everyone how fast I can change a tire” demonstration but then the charm just wore off.

      I’ve always thought the 60’s Halibrand Studebaker five-spoke mags would look sweet on a TR roadster but the pattern is all wrong…. it would take some doing to rig up five-bolt hubs I think.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Hi, Doug — I almost always agree with your comments, but this time I can’t…they aren’t the original wheels.

      • Doug Towsley

        okay,ill admit I can be wrong, it happened once with my wife and she told me ALL about it. I saw the holes and steel wheels, I was just looking at my car yesterday and thought they were the same. They are not, but similar. Theres a ridge around the center to hold the hubcaps on and holes on the perimeter are slightly different. Im including 2 pictures of mine. Heck, even my wheels could be wrong as well, its just what my car came with when i got it. And I saw several others at the All British field meet with them so assume they were fairly typical.

        See attch pix

        However, as i said on the blue TR4 posted the other day, the original tires and wheels these cars came with are not very easy to find today and much better options exist now. I wouldnt think wrong wheels are that big of an issue unless a OCD bolt counter resto in which case this car aint it. I saw some nice wheels advertised on Seattle CL for a TR4 2 days ago with nice tires and great price!
        See: http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/pts/5476572345.html

        For Sale: Set of 4 KN brand Minator wheels with Yokohama tires. Wheels are Minilite replicas made in UK by KN Wheels. The wheels are 15×6 and the tires are 215/60-15.
        The lug bolt pattern is 4 x 114.3mm and and is standard TR 4-6…..will fit other vehicles. The offset is 6mm but more applicable is the back spacing measurement of 3 7/8in (pictured.)
        The tires are Yokohama AVS Sport with an overall diameter of 25.16 inches and have 7/32 of tread remaining (tires have only have 1000 miles since new).
        All tires and wheels are mounted, balanced and in perfect condition with one exception. One wheel has a ¾ inch, very small curb rash — visible in picture attached. None have ever had a puncture or any repairs.
        Please contact me thru CL mail.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        LOL, Doug! That’s a great price on the Minators with tires :-) I agree with you on the steel wheels, and after breaking the centers out of two under the strain of racing our ChumpCar TR6, I can tell you that Triumph steel wheels aren’t that strong, either. It’s not fun trying to figure out what’s wrong with the car when it vibrates like that! BTW, your wheels are correct, and you can actually get replacement hubcaps and emblems if you want them.

      • Doug Towsley

        Close up of the hubcap, needs a rechrome. The center badge is secured with a BA threaded screw on the back side. I can take a picture of the rear if need be.

  7. Andrew S Mace Member

    Sorry, Doug, but Jamie was correct. TR wheels had three each “free-standing” pegs to locate the hubcaps, and that was true of the disc wheel right up to the first TR6. Also, the holes were not consistently spaced but in three “groups” of four holes on each whee

    With the number of these that have rusted away and then parted out, somewhere someone just might have a garage or barn full of the bits needed to make this car more or less complete. Besides, it wasn’t too many years ago that an over-restored TR4 sold for $97,400 at auction; that could happen again. ;)

  8. Doug Towsley

    This little diamond in the rough sold on FeeBay and closed at just over $200 dollars so someone got one heck of deal on this car. It truly looks a lot rougher than it really is. But in this case, appearances are everything. I hope it finds a good home. But heck!! just over $200???? Holy cow!

  9. rogerowen

    Oh my, that’s unreal – someone got a serious bargain here!

  10. Madi

    It sold for $202.50 … even at that price, it’s a bargain.

    • rogerowen

      I just want to cry😭

      • Doug Towsley

        No need to cry there Buckaroo! (Cockleburr under your saddle?) You could buy mine. I aint letting it go for a few hundred bucks though. When I get back from my road trip Im going to try and fire up the motor. When I last fiddled with it the starter died. See if i can revive or rebuild the starter, clean the carbies. See if i can make it run again. I plan to list it on FeeBay in next couple weeks.

        1966 TR4A. Largely complete and pretty good condition. But its rough and needing a FULL rebuild-restoration. It sat in my barn at my old farm for 15 years and here at my current farm has been sitting in a tent/storage thing on top of Pallets/deck for another 8 years. I need to face reality I have too many projects. But I have a relationship with it, and dragged it around with me and moving 5 times since i got it.

  11. Doug Towsley

    The cylinder head sells for more than that, Smoking good deal. On ebay, it all depends on the item. Parts sales are one thing and there are certain strategies for getting the best value when listing for sale, Whole vehicles are another matter entirely. Look at the ebay page for listing costs and fees. If a high volume seller or low volume you have to evaluate the best listing strategy,. IE: low opening bid or a realistic bid near or at your bottom dollar, and then reserve or no reserve.

    I have won items where the seller assumed they would get much more. (And were upset when they did not get it) Last summer won a S&S air cleaner assy worth $250 and won it for $15 Seller tried to tack on $50 in shipping. I too have also listed stuff and bidding did not go as high as expected. My bad. So, whoever won this Triumph made out like a bandit.

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