Triumph TR4 and TR4A Sports Car

Triumph TR4 Arrives

The Italian stylist Giovanni Michelotti designed the Triumph sports car the TR4 which was released to the public in September 1961 and continued through to 1967 in TR4A guise. Its design reflected the changing times with both a heater as standard and face-level ventilation fitted.

Price was now up to £1,032 in the UK, but it was still good value and marginally quicker than its predecessor the Triumph TR3A. Top speed was around 110mph and 0-60mph in just under 11 seconds was possible, while 29mpg was a decent average. In 1962 US magazine Car and Driver got 0-100mph in 33 seconds from one. The price in America for the Triumph sports car convertible was $2,849.

The TR4 received constant criticism for its harsh rear suspension. A throw back to the TR3 which was becoming less acceptable as time moved on and customers expected greater comfort and refinement from their sports cars. The problem was cash-strapped Triumph couldn't afford to update the chassis and had only just managed to get the Triumph sports car in to production as it was.

Triumph TR4A by Arnaud 25 on Wikimedia Commons
Triumph TR4A by Arnaud 25 on Wikimedia Commons

Triumph TR4A

Around 40,000 TR4s were built with around 80% going to America, and only about 2,500 staying in the UK. The TR4A was its replacement in 1965. Externally the body looked the same but underneath there was a dramatic improvement with the rear chassis section being changed to allow fully-independent rear suspension. This significantly improved both driver comfort and handling on the Triumph sports car.

The trouble was as with most cars the TR4 put on weight as it aged and its performance was now no better than the early TR2, and its economy could be worse. Where 100mph had being the sports car target speed in the late fifties by now 120mph was expected and the Triumph sports car, the TR4A, got nowhere near that in standard.

There were less than 30,000 TR4As built when production ended in July 1967 with the usual majority in left-hand drive for America.

Roll on the Triumph TR5...

Triumph TR4A

TR4A by MartinHansV on Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution license.
TR4A by MartinHansV on Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution license.

Triumph TR4 Tech Spec

TR4 1961-65
 
 
Engine
four cylinder in line, cast-iron block and head
 
Capacity
2138cc
 
Bore x stroke
86mm x 92mm
 
Power
100bhp at 4600rpm
 
Torque
127lb ft at 3350rpm
 
 
 
 
Transmission
four-speed all-synchromesh, optional overdrive
 
 
 
 
Kerb weight
19.5cwt
 
 
 
 
Perfomance
 
 
Max speed
102
 
0-60mph
10.9sec
 
 
 
 
Number built
40,253
 
 
 
 
TR4A 1965-67
 
 
As for TR4 except
 
 
Engine
104bhp at 4700rpm
 
Torque
132lb ft at 3000rpm
 
 
 
 
Kerb weight
21.0cwt
 
 
 
 
Performance
 
 
Max speed
109mph
 
0-60mph
11.4sec
 
 
 
 
Number built
28,465
 

Triumph TR4 at Nurburgring

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