Triumph TR4 and TR5

Send This Page To A Friend

Triumph TR4 and TR5

1962 - 1969
United Kingdom
6 cyl.
2498 cc
150 bhp
4 spd. man (optional overdrive)
Top Speed:
191 km/h
Number Built:
4 star
Triumph's new-generation sports car with body design by Italy's Giovanni Michelotti. Originally based on the TR3A chassis and running gear with a larger engine (though the 1991cc unit was available optionally to qualify for 2.0-liter class racing) and new all-synchromesh gearbox.

Michelotti's styling was contemporary and good-looking, with a squared tail and a curvaceous nose featuring high-set headlamps with "eyelids" formed by humps in the hood.

A "power blister" offset to the right on the hood provided clearance for the air cleaner/carburetor. In 1961 the TR4 arrived to replace the TR3A. It was built with wider tracks and rack and pinion steering.

The larger 2.1 liter engine was fitted as standard as were a new all synchromesh gearbox. The body styling was entirely new, based largely on the Zest experiments.

It incorporated a number of important refinements like wind-up windows, through-flow ventilation and a uniquely designed hardtop. In this hardtop the rear window was a rigid structure bolted to the body.

The roof section between the windscreen and the rear window was detachable for open air motoring. A fabric roof option for this section was called the "Surrey top".

Vynide was still the upholstery material, but this was no longer used as a covering for the fascia. The metal fascia was painted white and incorporated two large outlet vents at either end for the through-flow ventilation system.

The two main instruments were still directly in front of the driver with the smaller instruments in a black panel in the centre of the facia. Switches were positioned in a separate panel below the smaller instruments while the warning lights were placed between the two main instruments.

The North American distributors were hesitant about accepting the new model, so they ordered a supply of the old model which became known as the TR3B. This used the old body and chassis but incorporated the new gearbox and offered the choice of either the 2.0 or 2.1 liter engine. This version was only supplied to the North American market.

The Leyland Motor Corporation took over Triumph around this time and they were unenthusiastic about competition, so the LeMans cars were sold. A racing coupe had been designed by Micholetti and built by Conrero, a respected Italian tuning expert, and this project was cancelled.

The Triumph management were obviously very persuasive as the following year a works team was re-established and four TR4s were prepared for competition. These cars were fast, light and possessed excellent road holding. They distinguished themselves in the 1962 Alpine Rally and proved their reliability in events as diverse as the Tulip Rally, RAC Rally and the Canadian Shell 4000. Their last outing was in 1964.

By 1965 potential buyers were complaining that the TR4 had a very hard ride compared to competitors like the MGB and Sunbeam Alpine. To cater for these views the company introduced the TR4A version. It had a new frame with a coil sprung independent rear suspension. The body and styling remained almost identical to the TR4 model. The most notable change was the grille which now consisted of plain, horizontal slats, in place of the egg-crate design used for so many years previously. The side lights were moved from their former position in the top corners of the grille and placed in chrome plated plinths on the front wings, which also incorporated side repeaters for the direction indicators.

A chrome flash ran back from these plinths to the door handles. As with the original TR4 five years before, the North American distributors demanded a live axle version in case buyers did not take to the irs model. (The North American market was beginning to get troublesome around this time.) Performances were improving all round and it was necessary for Triumph to take steps to stay ahead of the competition. However, exhaust emissions regulations in the US were starting to strangle the output of all but the largest capacity engines.

Visitor Rating:

Also see:

The History of Triumph
Triumph Car Commercials
Comments page 0 of 0
Click here to add a comment
There are currently 0 comments to display.

Unique Cars and Parts USA - The Ultimate Classic Car Resource