When the Triumph TR4 was introduced in 1961, it was a bold and drastic change from the aging spartan design of the outgoing TR3. The new body was a modern design, penned by Michelotti, that still looks elegant and sporty even today. The updated TR4 design took sporting prowess and mixed in a bit more creature comfort into the design, doing away with the leaky side curtains in favor of much more practical roll up windows. Other key upgrades over the outgoing TR3 included a wider track in both the front and the rear, rack and pinion steering, a fully synchromesh gearbox, and a slight upgrade in engine displacement to 2138cc. The TR4 was well received by the public and throughout its 5 years run would see an estimated 40,253 cars produced. In 1965 the TR4A was introduced as a slight upgrade to the standard TR4. The biggest change was the availability of IRS or independent rear suspension, in an attempt to stop the critics who chided the TR4 for a harsh ride. The TR4A would be produced for two more years until in 1968 it was replaced by the similar design but updated power plant of the TR5.
This particular TR4A, chassis number CTC73750LO, and engine number CT73971E is a 1967 model fitted with IRS (independent rear suspension). It came from the factory fitted with a rare and desirable hard top allowing for a little bit more protection from the elements when motoring down the road. This car is in fantastic original condition with largely original paint and superb patina throughout and is numbers matching according to the supplied BMIHT. The car has been thoroughly sorted mechanically and is ready for immediate use. According to the BMIHT, this car was built on October 31, 1966, and delivered to the Standard Triumph Motor Company of New Jersey on November 8, 1966. Factory fitted equipment included Michelin X types, heater, overdrive, triumph racing green hard top, black surrey top, European lights and independent rear suspension. Not much is known about the early life of the car but it can be said that it spent time in California and was a black plate car up until the early 2000’s when it was purchased by Jamie Kitman, a well known automotive journalist, who resides in northern New Jersey and New York. Under Mr. Kitman’s ownership, the car was routinely serviced at reputable shops and all the records are included. Most of the work that was done was routine maintenance and replacing expendable items and the car presents today as very well maintained.
This car comes with BMIHT Certificate, Spare, and Records
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Body & Paint
The car is largely original paint and as such, displays its imperfections in a charming and honest manner. There are numerous spots where the cars 50 years worth of usage show through. Starting from the front, there are numerous small rock chips across the front of the fenders as well as on the front portion of the hood and the lower valence. There is a small rub spot on the front edge of the hood above the passenger side light. There is also a 4 inch scratch on the front of the passenger fender, between the marker light and headlight. There are a small ding and paint chip on the driver’s side edge of the hood. The driver’s side door has a small spot under the latch where the paint has worn away from continuous usage. Both doors have some small rock chips and dings in them and the rockers appear in a similar manner as well. The drivers side rear fender has a small scratch and some light peppering of rock chips towards the top and some slightly more substantial scratching towards the bottom, just in front of the rear light. There is a small area of light paint flecking on the passenger side fender where it meets the trunk lid. There is some additional flecking around the trunk hinges and edges of the trunk lid, all in normal high traffic and usage areas. The hard top is in similar condition, with signs of usage such as paint rubbing in high contact areas but a stunningly original feeling throughout. The body itself is very straight with only a few minor little dings here and there all from a life of normal daily usage. There is no rust or rot visibly present anywhere on the body, all the shut gaps are extremely respectable and all panels appear straight and clean.
Glass & Trim
The headlights are clean and clear with no cracking or water ingest. The marker lights that sit below have some slight hairline cracks in them due to age but appear structurally sound. The front grill is clean but shows as original with some minor pitting and scratches. The front bumper shines nicely but has some minor scratches consistent with the rest of the car. The marker lights attached to the tops of the fenders have one or two hairline cracks in the plastic but are in overall good condition. The chrome stripping on the marker lights is bright and clean, the rubber gaskets are a bit worn and cracking. The windshield has some minor pitting but no cracking or major marking. The trim around the windshield is supple and free of cracking or issues. The side roll up windows are in good shape with properly marked glass. The rear tail light housings are in decent shape with only some minor hairline cracking around the screws that hold them in which is a common problem with older plastic housings. The rear bumper shines nicely with some minor signs of age.
All four wheels are in relatively good shape with a clean consistent finish to the wheels and bright clean chrome caps. All four center caps are present and have a nice bright painted finish to them.
When looking over the car there are a quite a few small paint issues such as rock chipping and scratches but these simply add to the charm and allure of the highly original nature of this car.
Seats & Surfaces
The interior of the car is also highly original with a nice level of patina throughout. The door cards are nice and tight with minimal wear. They are pulling away from the door frame slightly in one or two spots but nothing major. The door sills show a good amount of patina, displaying the continued usage of the car. There is some paint flecking inside the door jams from normal use. The seats are in fantastic original condition with just the right amount of creasing to give them an aged look but no real separation or pulling. The piping is slightly worn on the edges but the only real issue of note with the seats is a small separating section on the front corner of the passenger seat. The carpets are likewise nicely worn in accordance with the rest of the car but are still clean and respectable. The top of the dash is smooth and bright, no cracking or pulling present. The wooden dash face adds supremely to the overall feel of the cockpit and is in fantastic shape with a nice smooth finish and excellent color. The steering wheel is in good shape with excellent patina and thoroughly original look, although the hub behind the wheel has become discolored with time.
Functionality & Accessories
All the faces of the gauges are bright and clear with only minor fading and discoloration on some of the ancillary gauges such as the oil and fuel. All the knobs and levers display good originality but are in good condition with no cracking or heavy discoloration. There is currently a modern radio tastefully installed in the dash that was wired in at the time of our purchase, with speakers placed in the back seats but we chose to remove the speakers for aesthetic reasons. The turning indicators do not currently work however the brake lights and headlight function well. The windshield wipers function good and even spray fluid from the reservoir.
There is some slight paint flaking on the inner driver side door jam. The carpets are a bit work in high use areas but it all adds to the outstanding original feel of the cockpit. Turn signals do not appear to work at the current time.
ENGINE BAY, TRUNK, UNDERSIDE
Once again the engine bay presents nicely original with slight imperfections on the painted surfaces and clean but nicely patina’d engine components such as the intake runners, carb bodies, and air filters. The car has been well cared for so all hoses and fittings are in good shape with what looks like a mix of some updated and original clamps. The valve cover is a nicely polished chrome piece and sets off the engine bay nicely. Overall the engine bay is clean and tidy and presents very nicely, similar to the rest of the car.
The trunk area is clean and respectable. The thin piece of wood trim that covers the rear bulkhead/gas tank area is slightly distressed and the mounting points have become worn, causing it to not stay in place. The painted surfaces of the trunk area are fairly clean with some minor scraping and scuffing from normal use. There is a modern CD changer still wired in from the sound system that was in place. This could easily be removed or hooked back up at the owner’s discretion. The spare tire sits in a clean and dry recess with absolutely no bubbling or issues to report. The rubber trim piece around the edge of the trunk is a little worn and is cracking and flaking off in a few spots.
The underside of the car is reminiscent in quality of the rest of the car. There are some minor signs of usage but overall it is very clean and respectable with no signs of rot or rust having ever been present on the car. There are some spots where the paint has been flaked off the frame rails but for the most part they are smooth and finished in their proper black coating. The floors and wheel wells are similarly smooth and free of issues. There is some minor oil residue on the bottom of the engine and trans area but for the most part, it looks clean and dry. The exhaust system is a little dented at some of its lower points but there are no holes or rot present. Upon brief inspection, all suspension components appear to be in good serviceable condition with no obvious dry or cracking issues
Other than the wooden trim piece in the trunk losing its mounting points, there are no real issues to note.
With a little help from the choke, the engine cranks a few times and fires to life. Releasing the choke allows the engine to fall into a smooth and maintained idle. Once up to temperature the engine sounds and feels wonderful with great throttle response and no flat spots to note. While under our ownership, we have put close to 100 miles on the car and it has been a joy to drive.
The clutch peddle has slightly odd take-up that needs a bit of getting used to and may be able to be adjusted a bit. The clutch itself, however, feels nice and solid with a good positive engagement. The shifter moves smoothly between gears and the transmission engages excellent. Going from 2’nd to 1’st requires one to be essentially at a standstill, but this is very common with cars of the era.
Brakes & Suspension
The brake peddle has a good responsive feel to it, the brakes themselves bring the car to a controlled although non-hurried stop. The brakes certainly are not confidence inspiring but there is no shimmy or odd noises to report. The suspension feels compliant and responsive with no odd noises or issues to report.
The tires are Michelin XZX on all four corners are in excellent condition with no cracking or dry rot and plenty of tread left for years of enjoyment.
This little TR4A is a charming and highly original example that really feels excellent behind the wheel. The car has been well maintained over its past ownership and the driving experience really mirrors this. Its certainly not a high-speed cruiser and it won’t handle like a go-kart but what this car does provide is a superb tactile driving experience. The body rolls a bit going into turns and the size of the engine lends itself much more to keeping the momentum up rather than powering out of turns. The steering is light and crisp making it very easy to point the light little roadster wherever you want it to go. The supplied hardtop provides a little shelter from the wind as you motor along on excellent backcountry roads, something this little TR4A excels at! Overall this is an excellent highly original example of the ever famous TR4A and with that added additions of the hard top and the independent rear suspension, this is the perfect car to take to shows, display and then find the long way home for pure driving bliss.
- Body Types Convertible
- Colour Exterior Triumph Racing Green
- Engine Size 2138cc
- VIN Code CTC73750LO
- Drive LHD