1966 Triumph TR4A

Highlights


• Long-term restoration project since 2010
• Very recent respray in original Wedgwood Blue
• Six owners and 49,000 miles in 55 years
• Surrey Top model, with hard and soft roof
• Mot till July 2022 with no advisories
• Narrow belt Alternator, spin on oil filter, electronic ignition and electric cooling fan

The Background


Triumph's legendary TR range was first introduced in 1953 as the TR2 and, with various revisions over its lifetime, ran through until the TR6 was replaced in 1976 by the all-new TR7.

Probably the most important version came in the shape of 1965's TR4A. After the introduction of front disc brakes on the TR3, the TR4 added a sleek new Michelotti-designed body and a larger 2.1-litre engine, but it was the independent rear suspension of the TR4A model that transformed the ride and handling.

The History


The TR4A here was first registered on April 1 1966, and the fact it's still going strong 55 years later shows it was no foolish purchase.

Records with the vehicle place it in and around North Wales for the early part of its life, up until around 1976, and then there's something of a gap until it resurfaced in 2010 in East Sussex – with a relatively clean MOT suggesting either restoration or careful storage in the intervening time.

From there it made its way up to the north of England and into the hands of two successive enthusiasts who've maintained, restored, and refreshed where necessary. The current owner picked the car up last year, put it back into close to original condition, and is now moving it on due to buying a slightly more expensive to run V8 replacement.

The car shows just under 50,000 miles on the clock – under 1,000 miles a year on average! - with just five owners on the V5C before the current keeper.

The Paperwork


There's a pretty weighty box file to go with the Triumph which is absolutely packed with bills and invoices from specialist suppliers and garages. For the most part though these date from 2011 onwards, which is roughly when the previous owner picked the vehicle up.

You can see from the sheer volume of invoices that the TR4A has wanted for nothing, and there's more than a couple running into four figures. This includes a recent respray to refresh the original Wedgwood Blue colour under the current owner.

There's a couple of older documents too, with an original RF60 Registration Book showing the car's first days on the UK's roads. You'll also find an owner's handbook, and a 2006 certificate from the BMI Heritage Trust confirming the car's provenance (though the registration number is incorrect due to an error by a previous owner!).

The Interior


A classic, British, two-seat convertible, the TR4A has a pretty compact cabin but it is in generally excellent condition.

Primarily that's because a lot of it is new, or close to it. Among other things, the current owner has replaced the wood dashboard and door card tops with burr elm pieces, and there's a new wooden gear knob and three-spoke and wood Moto Lita steering wheel – a common addition to Trs. Notably, the steering wheel is slightly offset from centre, allowing the rather tall current owner a little more room, but the original is also available.

One item – or rather two – that will jump out at you is the replacement seats. These are actually collector's items all on their own, having been sourced from a Mazda MX-5 10th Anniversary Edition thanks to the blue inserts matching the car's own Midnight Blue trim and the extra room and support afforded by MX-5 seats. They have some wear around the outside bolsters, but they're in generally good condition, and again original Triumph items – recently recushioned – are available with the car.

The carpeting throughout is in good condition, and there's lining beneath to add an extra layer of soundproofing and protection for the floor beneath. That continues through to the boot, which has a new carpet.

Other areas such as the rear cabin storage compartment and the blue vinyl door cards are all in great condition too, and all the switchgear functions as it ought as far as we can tell. There's no audio system in the car, but there is a new 12v socket for powering any additional equipment like navigation or phone.

The Exterior


The recent respray means that the TR4A's exterior is in excellent condition, and as it's stored locally in a specialist automotive facility it should remain the case until a new owner collects it. We've gone over it quite thoroughly and can't spot any chip, dent, or blemish anywhere.

All four wheels, which are actually from the later TR6, are also in excellent condition, with no marks or kerbing, and are shod in brand new Blockley radial tyres. Again, there's original TR4 steel wheels and hubcaps available with the car.

The various chrome parts of the exterior are all in great condition too, including the surrounds on the new halogen headlights.

One important feature is the “Surrey Top”. Predating the fashion for targa tops, this consists of a fixed rear section, onto which you can mount either a hard roof or a vinyl roof with metal braces, or leave open. Whichever you choose, the items on this car are in as good a condition as the rest of the vehicle

Underneath the car has been protected from chips, both with a stone guard protection and wheel arch liners, and it all appears to be in great condition. With the exception of a little surface oxidation on the sump and a couple of chassis cross-braces, it looks barely troubled by the passage of time.

The Mechanics


The mechanical components all look to be free of leaks and drips, both on the underside and in the engine bay. That 2.1-litre engine has been enhanced with a pair of refurbished Stromberg 175CD carburettors which where done professionally – a like for like replacement – and there's also a stainless exhaust system from manifold to tailpipe.

It fires up on the key and without any untoward noises or wisps of anything concerning, and settles into a smooth idle quickly. Out on the road, it pulls well – and makes all the right noises! - through the gears.

There's rather a lot of gears too. Although it's a four-speed box, there's overdrive on second, third, and fourth – effectively creating a seven-speed gearbox, 40 years before it was fashionable – and this engages and disengages as it ought.

With the independent rear suspension, the ride is surprisingly cultured and again there's no issue with any clunks or rattles that shouldn't be there. The same goes for the brakes, which seem to pull the car up well.

The Appeal


Triumph's TR4A probably represents the peak of the TR range, or at least the sweet spot of it. Earlier models were less advanced, while later cars simply added more power and redesigned the looks.

This car has been well cared-for since it returned to the road in 2010, and is just as ready to drive daily as it is to come out occasionally for a classic show in the summer months. Add in the Surrey Top roof and you've got a classic British sports car for all weathers.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1966
  • Make Triumph
  • Model TR4A
  • Colour Wedgwood Blue
  • Odometer 49,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2138
  • Location Tyne and Wear
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
30 bids
  • Ni•••• £22,750 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £22,500 21/10/21
  • Ni•••• £22,250 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £22,000 21/10/21
  • Ni•••• £21,750 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £21,500 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £21,250 21/10/21
  • Ni•••• £21,000 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £20,999 21/10/21
  • sj•••• £20,750 21/10/21

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