Stored For 42 Years: 1967 Triumph TR4A

Miss me? Probably not, but I’ve been traveling internationally for the last couple of weeks and haven’t been able to write. One thing I noticed during my travels is how lucky those of us in the US are with consistently being able to discover largely original finds like this 1967 Triumph TR4A. It’s been stored for 42 years, and is now up for sale here on craigslist. You can travel to Powhatan, Virginia to pick it up if you choose!

My first Triumph was a TR4A, and I remember thinking how odd it was that the rear badging called out the IRS, or independent rear suspension — until I found out that it was actually an option for the North American market. That’s right, you could get one of these cars with either a solid rear axle and leaf springs or semi-trailing arms and coil springs. Unfortunately, the badges are missing from this car, but we can tell from the hole pattern in the trunk lid that it is an IRS car. I’m hoping the badges has been kept, but if not, they are readily available as reproductions.

Here’s one of the dilemmas that those of us that enjoy finding original-ish cars face. The left front fender as well as the hood (bonnet) have been damaged at some point in the car’s life. However, the paint is still mostly intact and certainly looks like it could be original. So do you sympathetically repair/maintain the paint that’s left, or do you restore the finish to new? I wish it were me with that problem, as this seems to be a really nice car. I’m not sure it’s $14,000 nice, but as with any craigslist price it should be at least somewhat negotiable.

After purchasing the car from the original owner in 2015, the seller has refurbished some items on the “rust free” car and installed new leather seat covers, Michelin tires, tune up parts and some other components. They also mention a new bumper, but it’s not clear whether that’s a replacement for the missing front one or a new rear one.

The TR4A was the final application for the now 2138 cc wet-liner four cylinder engine. We’re told that the car has been driven 100 miles at highway speeds since being removed from storage and that it “runs good and shifts with no problems.” What do you think about this British racing green classic sports car?

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Comments

  1. Rube Goldberg Member

    I missed your British offerings. Very few authors highlight the British cars, and when I saw this, I knew it had to be you. Great find, 4A’s are pretty rare.( 250’s, more so) If it sat for 42 years, someone drove this pretty hard for the 1st 5 years, but that’s what they were made for, having fun. While TR-6’s are pretty much out of the question now, a 4 is just as nice. I’m not sure who would order an A with a live axle, the IRS is clearly superior. And to think, my brother sold a TR4 in the mid 70’s for $250 bucks, tired, but it ran.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you!

      I’ll agree with you regarding the IRS from a ride standpoint, and even handling on rough roads, but…I’ve seen way too many trailing arm mounts rust away in the IRS TR frames to automatically choose IRS. That being said, a quick look at the TRs in my garage shows the count to be IRS=3, rigid=1 :-)

      I met someone once that had grafted on part of a TR4A rigid axle frame to the rear of his TR6 for that very reason–tired of the rust and clunks…

      • Little_Cars Alexander Member

        The grafted TR4-TR6 I believe showed up here on Barn Finds a few years ago, I think. The car was rough, and the write-up made note of how many things had to have been done to perfect tolerances to make the car a ideal driver. Wish I could find the listing….

    • Steve65

      If I recall correctly, the US importer insisted on the live axle being available to have a cheaper version to offer.

  2. Had Two

    A solid rear axle had its advantages in fun, as it was pretty easy to
    hang out the rear end on the turns with the proper tires.

  3. Blueprint

    Aren’t IRS cars sold at government auctions?

    (…sound of crickets…)

  4. Blueprint

    With my previous post out of the way, nice find! I love TR4’s, my first plastic model kit as a kid. The curves, hubcaps, BRG paint, wing-mounted mirrors…the charm is hard to beat.

  5. Rx7turboII

    I love these cars but after restoring LBC’s for 20+ years I do not miss them one bit anymore…beautiful cars though. One day I will sell all my British Leyland posters, dealer signs etc and be done with it all together…sighhhhh.

  6. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Welcome back, Jamie!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Scotty!

  7. Bob

    I thought the TR4 was a great car for the time. However, with my Cooper S spec powered Sprite, It was easy to make the TR owners cry. The car wasn’t the performer most owners thought it was.
    The TR4s, and other sports cars in general, were very popular on the Canadian West Coast. The early 60s, was the happy time for that type of car.
    If I didn’t have so many other projects, I’d buy it.
    Bob

  8. sluggo

    $14k might be a tad unrealistic but not by much, Check out top prices on #1 & #2 cars of these and some are pushing $25,000 to saw one at $30K plus. But this car is almost too nice as a project but needs a full rebuild to be a #1 or 2 so its in a weird place.
    Cool cars though,, I got a 1966 TR4A and facing facts, I have been storing it for way too long. I will probably be giving BF a shot at selling it in near future.

  9. Maestro1

    Jamie, glad to have you back, I think the price of this one is unrealistic.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thank you, Maestro!

  10. barry walker

    Traded my ’64 TR4 for a more civilized ’72 Fiat 124 Spider. Enjoyed the Fiat more as the family grew to 2 kids, but the TR was more raw fun.

  11. CJ

    When I was in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1960s, several airman had TR4s they had brought back from overseas. Unfortunately, the owners were under them more driving them! Very unreliable! Of course, this was the era of time when cars similar to these were not being imported, no dealerships and repair parts were difficult to obtain. As a result, many of the TRs either sat at the auto repair shop on base or at a mechanics shop off base waiting for parts usually from overseas for a significant period of time.

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