One Year Only: 1968 Triumph TR250

There comes a point in our hobby when you start wondering whether you have the space and funds to build a barn. Anything can trigger these sorts of thoughts, but nothing sets me on this path quite like a British classic in need of some attention. Case in point: this 1968 Triumph TR250. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and advertised here on Craigslist, this little red convertible has an asking price of just $4,000.

In production for only a little over a year, the TR250 was a federalized version of the British TR5. The TR5 kept all of the innovations of the last generation of the TR4s, including the Michelotti-penned lines and independent rear suspension with one small change: the inline four was swapped for a 2.5 liter straight-six equipped with Lucas mechanical fuel injection. Billed as the first British production sports car with fuel injection, the new engine did not disappoint. With 150 brake horsepower on tap, the TR5 went from zero to sixty in under 6.5 seconds, hitting an advertised top speed of 125 mph.

Sadly, emissions restrictions kept the Lucas system out of North America, and the TR250 had to settle for a pair of Zenith-Stromberg carburettors. This version wasn’t quite as sprightly; with just 111 bhp, it took over ten seconds to reach sixty. Boasting 7 more horses than a stock 1967 TR4A, the difference in performance offered by two more cylinders and 300 cc of displacement was… slight. Even so, the TR250 was popular, with a little under 8,500 of this American version being produced.

While this example appears rough, it may be the proverbial diamond. Keeping in mind that it shares a lot of sheet metal with the TR4, much of the rust can be addressed with easily purchased, if not inexpensive, replacement panels. Though the seller doesn’t provide pictures of the underside of the car, the floors don’t look to be completely gone, which gives one reason to hope that the structural components aren’t a lost cause. All together, a very desireable and relatively rare Triumph roadster at a price that could make a fellow wish that he had space for one more in the garage.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly a lot of work sitting here. Only good things are the buy in price, the body off frame capabilities to insure a good rebuild, and the availability of parts, which is quite extensive. If it finds a do it yourself buyer it’s got a lot going for it as restored they are very nice cars.

    Like 3
  2. Howard A Member

    Quick, smelling salts for Jamie( who most assuredly passed out), again, proof positive, some poor sap froze their arse off in cold Ohio winters, because this was all they had. Like me in my MGB. Hardly a thought how rare it was, just a beater. I always liked the TR4 types, the 6 sweetens the deal. British replacement parts, while plentiful, were incredibly expensive 10 years ago, I can only imagine have doubled, like anything else. Going to take a dump truck full of money for this one. Be worth it? Interest is waning fast on these, be a tough call.

    Like 4
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      I’ve had a 4A, 250 and (4) 6s. I’ll stick with my 6 for the moment! This car is straightforward to restore IF you can cut and weld.

      Like 2
  3. GuernseyPagoda

    This was listed on here a few months back, I think.

    Like 1
  4. Mark

    20 plus years outside under a tarp. I think it will need a lot more than new panels.

    Like 2
  5. Bultaco

    Looks like an honest car, albeit a very rusty one. The frame is probably toast from the doors back. Either a parts car or an expensive project for someone who really wants a 250. These have the charm of the 60s TR4 styling with the really nice sounding, smooth 6-cylinder engine of the TR6.

    Like 2
  6. Ben T Spanner

    Cars that I drove in Cilubus, Ohio winters, Healey 100-4’s. 1954 Porsche, 1963 TR 4, 1966 Spitfire, 1970 GT6, 1972 Honda Z 600, and a 1973 TR 6. The British cars were like toaster ovens compared to the Porsche.
    Roll up windows were a definite improvement. Sidecurtains on the 100-4s tended to bow out at speed and form big air scoops. Mechanical clutch linkage vs hydraulic could be a problem as slush could freeze it up. All of the above always started.

    Like 2
  7. JMB#7

    This is just across the river from me, not very far at all. A bit rusty, but an extremely complete car. If the frame is good, then it seems priced appropriately. Very easy cars to work on.

    Like 2
  8. DelBoy

    Saw one; years back, parked inside a shipping container in a scrap yard. It was complete and accident free. However, whoever thought that storing it in a sealed container in a semi tropical environment where the average year round humidity is 90%+ will have been gutted to find it rusted beyond saving when they finally rolled it out its storage. I had no idea these six cylinders were so rare; didn’t even know they were six cylinders!

  9. Brien

    I owned one of these in the early seventies as a teenager. I can’t imagine driving one as an adult. Extremely hot in the cabin, engine always had heat issues. The metal on the car was extremely thin compared to cars made in the US. Rust, rust and more rust. It did handle really well though.

    Like 1
  10. Auric

    Many think that to meet emissions for ’68, all that had to be done was switch from the Lucas petrol injection to twin Zenith-Stromberg carburettors. No. A 39 horsepower difference was also triggered by a milder cam and lower compression (8,5:1).
    As pointed out by Guernsey above, this car was listed here not that long ago. It probably does need a fair amount of cash thrown at it, but I don’t know where Howard A. gets that “interest is waning fast” on Tr-250s. They are rare sports cars (only 650 left in the world, apparently) that can be made quite fast with a higher lift cam and triple carbs. In England TR-250s are being re-imported and turned into TR-5s that fetch a pretty penny.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      I meant interest for British roadsters has diminished, with only purists willing to put up with their quirks. All the real nice ones, all 6 of them, are already accounted for, and all that’s left is this stuff, requiring a full restoration, for a car not many want anymore. There was a time when TR4 parts were around, greatly reducing the restoration costs. Today everything will have to be fabricated or bought from the British “suppliers” and costs a fortune. The cost, like most restorations today, will be solely for the restorers enjoyment, and will never get their money back, if that’s an issue. The biggest plus here, is one rarely sees these at auction, for good reason. Unless it has a LS motor and clowny wheels, that’s what folks want, not rusty British roadsters, regardless how rare they may be. Again, purists like me might restore this, but with all the work needed, people that might have a slight interest, will pass for one of the many Corvettes, or something else.

  11. Cadmanls Member

    There is a car and a title, but it has to be quite rusty below those fenders.

  12. matt

    I was very cold in my MGA in Ohio winters, I was in the service then, and had military blankets to cover myself with, but the TR6 was better – but then I didn’t drive it snow too much.
    I got reasonably priced floor pans (below vic british and moss) for my TR4 from a guy doing re-pops in Detroit I think, and they were reasonable.
    Inner and outer rockers from Vic British, bought four used steelie fenders in very good shape for a thousand, and I’m on my way with a reasonably priced resto.
    I suspect there are more than 6 nice cars left, since I have seen more than twice that many in person.
    Just sayin’

    Like 2

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