1961-1965, 40253 produced.
Sports,2 doors,2 seats
Standard-Triumph tasked Italian stylist
Underneath the sleek TR4 body hid the old 1991cc Standard Vanguard engine which was quickly changed for a more powerful 2138cc unit with twin carburettors. The 1991 cc unit wasavailable to special order. Four 'works' Powder Blue rally cars had this engine as did another two cars for British rally drivers. 235 cars were built with this engine - 95% of which were exported to Japan.
The TR4 came complete with wind-up windows (replacing the old TR2/3 sidescreens) and could be specified with a clever hardtop known as the "Surrey" top. The Surrey top consisted of a fixed rear screen and a removable centre section, thus giving the car a useful compromise between open top and closed car comfort.
Buyers Guide Triumph TR4, TR4A & TR5 featured in Practical Classics February 2003 – available from our sister site Bookbase. Click here to view.
The Triumph TR4 was a sports car built in the United Kingdom by the Standard Triumph Motor Company and introduced in 1961. Code named "Zest" during development, the car was based on the chassis and drivetrain of the previous TR sports cars, but with a modern Michelotti styled body.
The new TR4 body style did away with the classical cutaway door design of the previous TRs to allow for wind-down (roll-up) windows (in place of less convenient side-curtains), and the angular rear allowed a boot (trunk) with considerable capacity for a sports car. Other key improvements included a wider track front and rear, slightly larger standard engine displacement, full synchromesh on all forward gears, and rack and pinion steering. In addition , the optional Laycock de Normanville electricallly opereated overdrive could now be selected for 2nd and 3rd gear as well as 4th, effectively providing the TR4 with a seven-speed close ratio gearbox.
Advanced features included the first use of adjustable fascia ventilation in a production car and the option of a unique hard top that consisted of a fixed glass rear window (called a backlight) with an integral rollbar and a detachable, steel centre panel (aluminium for the first 500 units). This was the first such roof system on a production car and preceded by 5 years the Porsche 911/912 Targa, which has since become a generic name for this style of top.
On the TR4 the rigid roof panel was replaceable with an easily folded and stowed vinyl insert and supporting frame called a Surrey Top. The entire hard top assembly is often mistakenly referred to as a "Surrey Top". In original factory parts catalogues the rigid top and backlight assembly is listed as the "Hard Top" kit. The vinyl insert and frame are offered separately as a "Surrey Top".
Features such as wind-down windows were seen as a necessary step forward to meet competition and achieve good sales in the important US market, where the vast majority of TR4s were eventually sold. However, dealers had concerns buyers might not fully appreciate the new amenities so a special short run of TR3A (commonly called TR3"B") were produced in 1961 and '62.
Despite dealer concerns, the TR4 proved very successful and continued the rugged, hairy-chested image that the previous TRs had enjoyed. It became a celebrated rally car in Europe and the UK during early to mid-sixties. In America, the TR4 also saw a number of racing successes, even winning an SCCA class championship as late as 1991. In Australia the TR4 was a common site at hill-climb events and various club rallies and circuit racing events. Some cars were fitted with vane-type superchargers, as the three main bearing engine was liable to crankshaft failure if revved beyong 6,500rpm. Superchargers allowed a TR4 to produce much more horse-power and torque at relatively modest revolutions. The standard engine produced 105bhp SAE but supercharged and otherwise performance-tuned a 2.2 litre version could produce in excess of 200 bhp at the flywheel. It should be noted that the TR4, in common with its predecessors, was fitted with a wet-sleeve engine, so that for competition use the engine's cubic capacity could be changed by swapping the cylinder liners and pistons, allowing a competitor to race under different capacity rules (ie below or above 2 litres for example).
TR4 were originally fitted with 15x4.5" disk wheels. Optional 48 lace wire wheels could be ordered painted the same colour as the car's bodywork (rare), painted metallic silver (most common) or in matte or polished chrome finishes (originally rare, but now more commonly fitted). The most typical tyre originally fitted was 165x15 bias ply (bias ply). In the US at one point, American Racing alloy (magnesium and aluminium) wheels were offered as an option, in 15x5.5" or 15x6" size. Tyres were a problem for original owners who opted for 48 spoke wire wheels, as the correct size radial ply tyre for the factory rims was 175x15, an odd sized tyre at the time that was only available from Michelin at considerable expense. The much more common 185x15 radials were too wide to be fitted safely. As a result, many owners had new and wider rims fitted and their wheels re-laced.
In 1965, the TR4A with IRS or independent rear suspension superseded the TR4. Apart from the rear suspension, which required a redesigned frame and a number of small styling changes and refinements, the two models appear nearly identical. In fact, an estimated 25% of TR4A were not equipped with IRS, but instead reverted to a live axle design similar to the TR4.
|1991cc||S4 OHV||Standard/Triumph Vanguard S4 OHV||83mm x 92mm|
|2138cc||S4 OHV||Standard/Triumph Vanguard S4 OHV||86mm x 92mm||9|
|Drivetrain||Steering||Front Suspension||Rear Suspension|
|Top Speed||0-60||SQM||MPG||Engine Pwr||Comment|
|109 mph||10.9 s||100 bhp 4600|
Still fun at 50
|Publication||Classic Cars August 2011|
|Still fun at 50 - In 1961 Triumph's gutsy sports cars received a coat of Italian glamour, with sophisticated independent rear suspension following soon after. But which is right for you today. TR4 or TR4A?|
The Magnificent Eleven
|Publication||Practical Classics February 2011|
|The Magnificent Eleven - Its a never-been-done-before 11-Triumph road test. Matt Jones samples TR heaven..,.or is it hell?|
Test drive - Triumph TR4vs TR6
|Publication||Practical Classics August 2008|
|Test drive - Triumph TR4vs TR6- It's a battle of the Triumphs this issue, with a brace of roadsters to charm the pants off PC's fuzz Townshend and Neil Campbell.|
From Cradle to Grave - TR2 to TR4
|Publication||Practical Classics August 2003|
|From Cradle to Grave - TR2 to TR4 - As different to look at as chalk and cheddar, Triumph's TR2 and TR4 are more closely related than you might think. Dan Stevens gets under the skin of the sports cars that made Triumph's name in North America.|
Buyers Guide - Triumph TR4, TR4A & TR5 (1961-1968)
|Publication||Practical Classics February 2003|
|Buyers Guide Triumph TR4 TR4A & TR5 1961-1968. You'd be pushed to find a more traditional British roadster, but there are major pitfalls to catch out the unwary when buying one of these Triumphs.|
|Publication||Classic Cars May 2002|
|Raining Champions - Three affordable hard top sports cars for the British summer. Triumph TR4 Dove, Sunbeam Harrington and MGB GT. Do they make a practical alternative to their soft top kin?|
Restoration Triumph GTR4 Dove
|Publication||Practical Classics August 2001|
|Restoration Triumph GTR4 Dove. Four plus two. Stored for 26 years, this Triumph Dove had seen a lot of rest. Recuperation came in the form of brave Andy Smith - Ben Field passes the smelling salts.|
Never say die
|Publication||Classics Monthly July 2011|
|Never say die - This Triumph TR4 has been restored, rallied, crashed, rebuilt, and upgraded - and it's still going stong.|
How to buy a Triumph TR4/4A
|Publication||Classics Monthly January 2011|
|How to buy a Triumph TR4/4A - Once overshadowed by the more-powerful TR5, values for the TR4 are now reflecting its wide range of abilities.|
Buyer's guide: Triumph TR4, 4A, 5&6 (1961-1976)
|Publication||Classic Car Mart June 2010|
|Buyer's guide: Triumph TR4, 4A, 5&6 (1961-1976) - Cheap to buy and easy to run, the later Triumph TRs make cracking classic transport.|
Buyers guide - Triumph TR4/4A
|Publication||Classic & Sports Car July 2009|
|Buyers guide - Triumph TR4/4A- Simple, honest, fun and a fine touring car that is incredibly cheap to run with superb spares supply, a Triumph TR4 or 4A makes a brilliant classic buy, according to Malcolm Mckay.|
Buying Guide - Triumph TR4
|Publication||Octane November 2008|
|Buying Guide - Triumph TR4- 'The TR4 is a usable classic that's long-legged, practical, and easy to upgrade.|
Buying Power - Triumph TR4/TR4A
|Publication||Classic Car Weekly 8 May 2008|
|Buying Power - Triumph TR4/TR4A- The TR range blossomed from traditional roadster to civilised sportscar with the launch of the TR4. IAN SEABROOK tells you how to avoid disaster with Gary Bates of TRGB dishing ot the expert view.|
The Magic Numbers
|Publication||Classic & Sports Car March 2007|
|The Magic Numbers - From TR2 to TR8, the essential flavour of Triumph's sports car remained the same despite and ever-changing recipe. James Elliott drives them all.|
Buying power - Triumph TR4/4A
|Publication||Classic Car Weekly 18 August 2005|
|Buying power - Triumph TR4/4A - Triumph's first 'civilised' TR has long been one of the world's favourite British sports cars. DALE DRINNON tells us how to pick a good un'.|
|Publication||Classic & Sports Car August 2005|
|Your Classic - Triumph TR4.|
Wild 'Goose Chase
|Publication||Classics Monthly August 2005|
|Wild ’Goose Chase - Ivan Ostroff didn’t refuse the chance to try out two potent classic track cars, a TVR Griffith ’Mongoose’ and a far from standard Triumph TR4. Both are designed to get round most circuits and much more powerful machinery quicker than you might expect. But which was proved best? 1965 TVR Griffith 'Mongoose' v 1961 TR4 Racer.|
Extraordinary Tale - Restoration: Triumph TR4
|Publication||Classics February 2005|
|Extraordinary Tale - Restoration: Triumph TR4 - Robert Tyler took on a full Triumph TR4 restoration, was then diagnosed with cancer and found himself renovating parts in between chemotherapy sessions. Paul Bussey tells a remarkable story.|
Thinking of Buying - A Triumph TR4?
|Publication||Classic Car Mart September 2004|
|Thinking of Buying - A Triumph TR4? - A smart Italian suit transformed the Triumph TR3 into a British Sports Car which looked a lot more modern. Ted Purcell guides us through the TR’s history, and suggests things to look for if you’re considering one of your own.|
Service Guide - Maintenance: TR4 & TR4A
|Publication||Classics July 2004|
|Service Guide - Maintenance: TR4 & TR4A - Maintain your TR4 and TR4A at home with our expert, easy to follow, step by step guide.|
Your Classics - Memory Maker - Triumph TR4
|Publication||Classics January 2004|
|Your Classics - Memory Maker - Triumph TR4. Reminders of former classics owned ensured that Richard Saunders would buy this Triumph TR4 he spotted in the ads.|
Classics February 2001 pg 36
|Publication||Classics February 2001|
|Rare treats at Goodwood. Malcolm McKay revistis this years Goodwood Revival Meeting to bring you details of some of the most interesting cars at the meeting.|