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Summer Driver: 1964 Triumph TR4

1964 Triumph TR4

Summer is right around the corner, so now is the time to start looking for that little British roadster. There are always a lot out there to choose from, but the bright blue color of this TR4 caught my eye! It doesn’t look like any stock TR4 color I could find, but I suppose that isn’t really a deal breaker if you are buying a sports car to drive. As long as it goes and turns well, you can live with just about any color. Personally, the rims and tires would bother me more. Anyway, this one is located in Los Angeles, California and is listed here on craigslist for $11,900.

TR4 Interior

Things look good inside too all except for that auto parts store steering wheel. A Motolita would work wonders in there. The dash look good in all black, but I think there were supposed to be white panels in there. Please correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t early most TR4s have the white sections with some later cars gaining the full wood dash?

Radial TA Tires

As I already mentioned, the rim and tire combo just doesn’t look right. Some wires and narrow tires would really clean things up. Heck, even some black steelies would look better. I know everyone wants big alloys and wide tires, but there is something to be said for stock wheels. Anyway, this TR4 does look very solid in the photos. I couldn’t spot any holes in the floors or frame. There are some things to sort, but that can be part of the fun. As long as this car is ready to go, this could be an easy one to have ready in time for summer!


  1. Avatar photo Hoos Member

    I think you’re right about the dash. A google search turns up either white panels or “wood”.
    The wheels also have to go.

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  2. Avatar photo RoughDiamond

    Looks more or less like a cosmetic custom inside and out. I for one don’t mind the color, but steering wheel and the wheel and tire combination would have to go.

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  3. Avatar photo RayT

    I’ve seen a similar blue on other TR4s. I don’t mind the Panasports all that much, but the raised-letter tires need to go, as do the seats and steering wheel. Shouldn’t take much effort to repaint the dash.

    All in all, looks like a decent car, if condition checks out.

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  4. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    I always liked the TR-4, but would much rather have the 250, 6 cylinder, (TR-5) but that will never happen, and will eventually have to “settle” for a TR-6. While I’m not crazy about the color either ( this color is huge in California, for some reason, in everything, not only cars) I do like the wheels a lot. I’d never get a car with wires again.( MGB had wires) The dash did indeed have white metal panels, and in ’65 got the wood dash. I do like this car, but no engine pics. Why don’t people include that in their ads? http://www.gentrylane.com/s/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/64tr4_dash1.jpg

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  5. Avatar photo ClassicCarFan

    I love TR4s ( I own a 1962 ). Mine is “powder blue” which was a factory color but is a little lighter (paler blue) than this. This one looks slightly closer to “Wedgewood” blue which was a factory color for the TR4As – but if I had to guess, it’s probably a re-paint that didn’t turn out looking quite like what it was meant to? hardly, a deal-breaker though. From what you can see of it, the body does look quite solid, which is a definite plus.

    I agree with the other comments that the wheels just don’t go with this car. You’re right that the dash should be painted white if original. The standard wood dash started with the TR4A. I seem to recall that the wood dash was fitted to some late run TR4s – or at least started to be an option?? The seats in this car are not original TR4 either.

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  6. Avatar photo rogerowen

    I believe the ‘Cosmic’ type wheels became popular for TR’s in North America in the 70’s. Apparently – the best to have were American Racing Eagle ‘Silverstone’s’ – they are apparently worth a lot of money now. My TR4A (re-import) came with them on – and at first I didn’t care too for them too much, but I’ve now got used to them and lots of people comment on them. As far as I am aware the UK all 4’s had metal dashboards – The wood covering appearing with the 4A, although the wood would retro fit the 4 and many 4 owners chose this modification.

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  7. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    The underside of this TR looks better than 99% of the cars we see on BF, even California cars—a welcome change. And with the lack of rust, the drilled & bolted seat belt anchors actually look like they would hold when you need them the most.

    But I would want to check the panels on the car carefully because some are badly out of alignment, like the driver’s door in the photo of the L.R. wheel, and the hood and trunk lid in some photos. Maybe just poor refitting after the paint job, but I would want to make sure before laying down my $12K. My fix would be to repaint it from that [comment withheld] color, and then refit the panels properly.

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  8. Avatar photo bcavileer

    12 k is a very fair price for a running example. And wedgewood blue is close, but not quite right in this example. As for “settling” for a ‘6’, that is your purogative, but the 6 was a great car ruined by legislation here in th U.S.A.. Early pre 72 examples run rings around the later cars, and the early 4 bangers too. Drive a 70 to 71 with steel or alloy correct wheels (forget the whammbly wires we have been force fed) and you will find fewer roadsters that give more smiles per mile than a ‘6’. Oh that 4 is cool too!

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  9. Avatar photo DrinkinGasoline

    First order of business…Banjo steering wheel replacement.
    Secondly, turn the blackwalls out, but I do like the rims, maybe add a set of tri-bar knock-off spinners. I would keep the seats if they are comfortable, and figure out the dash later.

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  10. Avatar photo Jack Stand Member

    Change rims and steering wheel, maybe seats too. But for the first few weeks I would just drive it (no radio) and listen to it for for any and all out of place noises. Price is ok. One day soon I think it will be a 18k car.

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  11. Avatar photo leiniedude Member

    Well, you cats know way more about these than I do. I do agree with Dolphins comments on condition. The steering wheel has to go. I do not have a problem with the tires or wheels. I had and old MGB with the wires. And really nothing looks better. Same with scooters, spokes are King. I do not follow these anymore but if I had room and it was closer I would investigate. She seems reasonable.

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  12. Avatar photo Britcarguy

    My very original 65 TR4 came with a wood dash and 4A seats. It was produced 500 cars from the end of the run and I had no reason to doubt these anomalies as Triumph was likely running out of the TR4 components and went ahead using the 4A stuff already in inventory. A light blue, by whatever name, was available back to 1962. My friend still has a 62 he bought new in that color.

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    • Avatar photo rogerowen

      Pretty sure that the colour you refer to is Wedgewood Blue.

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  13. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    Not a darn thing wrong with those wheels. The 2 largest suppliers for British Sports cars carries that style in their catalogs, Seems to me theres 2 or 3 brands with that style rim. PanaSports and Minilite seem to be the most common. Moss Motors is probably the largest supplier but in my office I have catalogs for several companies and they all offer these wheels.
    Based on personal experience, while wire rims have a certain look, they are a ROYAL PIA to take care of and maintain. My 1966 TR4A has silver steel wheels and triumph logo hub caps. I got news for you guys. Wheel and Tire tech changed a LOT since the mid 60s. Good luck finding original size tires. They were crappy construction as well,. Bias Ply, small contact patch and not good for handling (Killed Steve Prefontaine). Some of the repop companys sell replica tires for the trailer your car to the show anal bolt polishers but anyone who wants to drive these things long ago adopted different rims and tires. I was planning on aftermarket wheels and tires for my car as well, but instead im just cleaning up mine, doing a mechanical resto, and letting someone else restore or rebuild it. Theres many sensible upgrades for these. The original shocks were Lever shocks and not the best, most people buy the adapter kits and use modern shocks. Upgraded sway bars, bushings, and Brakes are also worth considering. You can retain the stock brakes but most people have the calipers and MC sleeved in stainless, or there are high performance calipers and rotors for those who drive them hard. Motors are farm tractor simple, you can source overdrives and several are on ebay right now. Great little cars. My wifes family and I have owned a lot of British sports cars (They are into MGs) and nothing beats a drive with the top down along the pacific coast highway (101).

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  14. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    I will add more direct to this car, I do NOT care for this color (Blue Sherbert?) and would go for a more appealing color. (Guards red, British Racing Green, Or a more attractive blue such as a darker royal blue or perhaps a fine sheen pearl aquablue.) But the steering wheel is a easy fix, and the seats are an easy fix as well, but i think those in there look good and probably a damn site more comfy than the stock ones. Stock seats on these are not conducive to long drives. This car looks to me a mild custom daily driver. Price seems fair for what it is. But if you start adding up the little stuff, then theres a LOT wrong for the show car-Originality scene. And could be very expensive to get it to a 98 point car. Compare prices for cars that are to that level, So this one is fairly priced i think for what it is. Drive it and enjoy it.

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  15. Avatar photo rogerowen

    Like your comment Doug (Motors are farm tractor simple…), How true! That they are! In fact they were used in Massey Ferguson tractors (Grey Fergie’s) in the 1950’s. They started life in the Standard Vanguard Phase 1 cars. In their agricultural role some had a ‘Dual Fuel’ capability, They would fire up on petrol and once the engine was running the driver could switch over to Paraffin (think it’s called Kerosine there), which was much cheaper than petrol.

    In my ’54 and ’55 TR2’s that 4 pot engine was awesome. Torque was amazing, the power just on kept coming. Very easy engine to tune and 135 BHP was obtainable without to much bother.

    But drum brakes all round and no servo – YIKES! These cars went like something off a shovel, but you sometimes pressed the brake pedal real hard (and prayed)!

    TR3’s saw front disc brakes introduced and many people retro fitted this to their 2’s

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    • Avatar photo Doug Towsley

      Yes, I would advise someone who actually wants to drive one to upgrade the brakes. My 66 TR4A has discs but they were not very impressive either. Small fortune to resleeve to Stainless but worth it I guess for originality but much better systems out there. Parts availibility for these cars is rather good. Both for restoration parts and sensible upgrades. At the All British field meets we have regionally its great to survey the many cars that show up and talk to the owners to learn what they have done. Many good vendors show up and great to have one on ones with them about the parts they have available. My father in law is very active with restoring MGs, I helped with the paint on some of them, he completed an amazing restoration on a MG (ealry 70s) did a refurb-mechanical resto on a 63 MG and currently is working on a TD. Totally OCD about restorations and mostly stock but he does upgrade certain issues (Electrical wiring and connectors, Electronic ignition upgrades using Nissan parts, and swaps out the alternators-generators for a Delco internal regulator high output alternator, and most importantly swapping out the crappy fuel pumps for aftermarket electronic fuel pumps. My wifes old MG would break down all the time and she got adept at leaning back in the seat and pounding on the floor where the fuel pump is, or worst case crawling under and tapping on it. Finally swapped out the pumps for something that works. Holley in her case)

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  16. Avatar photo Doug Towsley

    Same car is listed on FeeBay with a buy it now, also pix of the engine, Advertised as “Summer driver” makes it clear the car is far from stock, located in Beverly hills. See:

    ####### I was looking at current and completed auctions for TR4s to evaluate selling mine #################

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