Drive It Now! 1967 Triumph TR4A

The current seller of this traditional British sports car bought it from a marque mechanic with the intent of driving it regularly, but now is selling it to build a shop. It’s listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is up to $8,100 but has not yet met the reserve. The car is located in Adamstown, Maryland, a tiny little place with only 778 households.

TR4As were an unusual stopping point in the Triumph TR journey from 1953 to 1982. It’s one of the few cars from any manufacturer that ever offered independent rear suspension as an option, which this car has, but still featured the wet-liner four-cylinder engine that didn’t change much from the 1953 TR2. The styling was starting to look dated by this point, with vestigial tail fins remaining from the Michelotti 1961 TR4 design.

The sills on this car are a bit wavy, and the seller states that the paint job is a 20-footer at best. It should at least keep the rust under control if you choose to make it look nicer later.

This is the money shot for any IRS-equipped TR4A, TR5, TR250, or TR6. These box sections tend to rust out, and the seller says this car’s have been repaired already. I’d want to look closer, and on the other side of each section, to make sure they had been repaired well. While I was under there, I’d also check the differential mounts, which tend to crack under the torquey four’s power.

The interior of a TR4A is a nice place, and this one doesn’t disappoint with really nice upholstery and a handsome walnut dash. I wish I saw an overdrive engagement lever, but that’s probably going to help keep the price reasonable.

Aside from some replacement cables and hoses and some unusual-looking horns, the underhood appearance of the car looks very, very stock. The TR4A came with a better flowing exhaust manifold than the TR4. One point of interest is that one of the SU carb tops is oriented incorrectly; I find that surprising since the car came from a mechanic. All things considered, I’ll bet this car would be a great-driving convertible next spring (or now, depending on where you live), and you could spend some time this winter attending to the minor issues. Have any of you owned one of these Michelotti-designed four-cylinder TRs?

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Comments

  1. Steveo

    If you mean the carb dashpot transfer hole rib, I don’t think the orientation makes a difference. This is the only place I’ve read about it being ‘incorrect’.

    Like 3
  2. Dave

    “torquey four” lol!

    Like 1
    • JMB#7

      Have you driven one of these with the “torquey four”? Mine pulled strong from around 350 RPM. With that said there wasn’t any point in winding it out past 5000 rpm. The exhaust system has a rather long 4 into 2, 2 into 1 arrangement which is specifically tuned for the low end. Funny fact, when I ported the head and took it to get magna-fluxed (thought there was a casting flaw), the guy at the block repair place thought it was a head from a Ferguson Tractor!

      Like 3
    • JMB#7

      For those who might be interested in reading more about the connection between Ferguson/Triumph/Standard, there is a bit of history at the following. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_wet_liner_inline-four_engine

      Like 1
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Like Steveo said, orientation of the dash pot makes no difference but being the picky dude that I am I’d probably line them up the same. Our two race cars have the same dash pot carbs and we rotate them to get the smoothest movement out of the jet needle piston. They did have problems with the rear end mounts on the GT6 but have no personal knowledge of it on theTR4As. Still, an item to check. Looks like a good solid project car.

    Like 5
  4. bobk

    I had a TR4 (in Emporia, KS) shortly after returning from a government sponsored tour of SE Asia. Brakes failed on the drive home from the seller’s location. Luckily the drive to the barn behind our house was uphill.

    My dad developed an almost instant hatred for that car as he felt that he had to do the parts chasing for parts to fix the brakes and that ended up being a trip (trips?) to Wichita, Topeka, and Lawrence to get all the parts necessary and then he volunteered to put them on as I was just starting my first “city” job. After that, he never referred to the TR4 without throwing in a “GD foreign piece of cr*p”. LOL.

    bobk

    Like 1
  5. Laurence

    My first car ever was a 1964 TR-4. It wasn’t in very good condition, but I learnt a lot about sports cars from it. Years later, I got a ’68 TR-250 as a daily driver, to not put much mileage on my nice Big Healey. By this time I had owned many sports cars and knew what I was doing when buying the 250. While it still had the TR-4 body shell, it was almost a totally different car, with a smooth six with a bit more compression than the same engine in the TR-6. The independent rear suspension made it so much more pleasant than the TR-4, which used to shake and rattle. TR-4As and especially TR-250/5s, have become quite rare. I consider them reasonably-priced classics and they are going up in value. My advice: if you can find a decent one, buy it.

    Like 4
  6. Tom Ossowski

    I had one back in the Seventy’s. It was red and had a white tonneau cover. It could be zipped apart in the center and the drivers side unbuttoned, folded behind the seat, leaving the rest, protected from the elements. I drove from Detroit, to outside St. louis on one tank of gas, using the overdrive. Gas tank a little over 10 gallons. All and all, a thrill to drive.

    Like 2
    • JMB#7

      I had a tonneau cover like you describe. I had that on while I was repairing the rag top. Then I needed to drive the car on the only snowy day I can recall while living in Greensboro NC. Needless to say, I got a lot of looks while driving the TR4A poking out of the tonneau cover with my wool sock hat on. Actually the heat worked extremely well under that cover. Good memories with a fun car.

      Like 3

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