Almost A Driver! 1966 Triumph TR4A

I’m going to get this out of the way at the beginning; I’m heavily biased in favor of this particular car — my first (legal) car on the road was a 1966 TR4A and I have many happy memories of it. It was a perfect car to learn on then and it still is today! This one has been languishing off and on in garages since 1992 but up until the last 10 years it was still started on a regular basis. The seller is located in Deltona, Florida and the car is listed for sale here on eBay at no reserve and a $5,000 opening bid.

The seller painted the car themselves in around 1993 and they admit it’s not a perfect job. However, after looking the pictures over carefully, I could live with the DuPont Signal Red (the original color) lacquer for a long time, and the seller is including a small can of the same paint with the sale. The panels look nice and straight and I don’t see anything that worries me.

One of the more unusual features about the TR4A is that there is still a crank hole in the grille and lower valence ala TR4, despite having a different grille than the 4, but there’s no corresponding hole in the radiator for the crank to go through! While I’ve never used the crank on an early TR to start the car (it is possible) it’s very useful for valve adjustment. What’s even weirder is that the succeeding model, the TR5/TR250, did away with the grille half of the hole but kept the lower half in the valence, despite the valence tooling being modified to add a hole to get more air to the radiator. Weird.

The seller replaced the convertible top some time ago, but since it’s never been down and has always been inside, it’s in great shape.

This is looking up at the area on a TR4A/TR5/TR250/TR6 that you really have to worry about, where the cast aluminum semi-trailing arms attach to the frame. Often rusted out, repairing this area can be a pain. Thankfully, they look solid on this southern example.

The seller tells us that they have added the overdrive transmission from a TR6, something that is essentially a bolt-in upgrade. The electrical actuation circuits still need to be connected, not a problem as the parts are available from The Roadster Factory and other suppliers (and are not terribly expensive). There’s a reproduction carpet kit included that needs to be installed as well. The seller has already refinished the wooden dash, and notes the front section of the floorboards has been previously repaired.

Apart from a few holes to patch under the battery box (an hour with a welder and some scrap sheet metal) and reinstalling the air cleaners, the engine bay looks complete and original. Hydraulic cylinders will need to be rebuilt or replaced, but again, everything is readily available to go either route. I see no reason why you couldn’t be happily driving this car a few weekends after purchase, and if the price stays where it is now, it’s one heck of a bargain! Have any of you driven a TR4 or TR4A? Share your experiences in the comments, and be sure to let us know if you are the new owner of this great find!

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Comments

  1. JMB#7

    The TR4A is a very fun car that can be maintained on a reasonable budget. I had a non-IRS TR4A. The only thing I find weird is how many time you wrote weird. Jamie, you know your Triumphs… weird is what they are all about. By the way, that little bump on the hood over the air cleaners is referred to as a “Power Blister”.

    Like 2
  2. rancher

    Mine was a ‘sleeper’ w/302 Ford & automatic transmission. I put a new wood dash & stereo in it. The shocks were lame lever shocks!
    https://i.imgur.com/SbKcS3V.jpg

    Like 1
  3. jim l nashwinter

    i had a tr6;put in 350 sbc;now have a 77b and 2 sls

  4. Rick

    I had a TR3 and a TR6. I started the TR3 with the hand crank several times to entertain friends. I used to ride with several TR owners. One had the TR4A and I always admired the car ……. and the girl who drove it.

    Like 2
  5. Armstrongpsyd Armstrongpsyd Member

    My very first car was a TR4 that caught fire behind the dash the first week I owned it. Then, decades later, I did a five year rebuild of a 58 TR3. It was a beautiful machine rebuilt to factory specs. It drove trouble free and was as fun as any car I’ve driven. I sold it here on BF to s Frenchman who is now racing it in Europe. I love Triumph cars. Masculine styling and drivability; they’re the quintessential vintage sports car.
    P.S., the roll up windows in the TR4 are a vast improvement ;)

  6. Kelly Breen

    One of the most under rated features a car can have is a çrank starter. They are awesome. Saved me a few times when I was in school and my clunkers had sub par batteries.

  7. Christopher Gentry

    Cranked started Dad’s TR 3A once. Once.

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