The Triumph TR4 was launched at the London Motor Show in 1961. Externally, it was quite a departure from its predecessor, the TR3A, with a body designed by Giovanni Michelotti that employed cleaner, much more modern lines, allowing for a more spacious boot and a slightly wider cabin.
With the capacity of the in-line 4-cylinder engine enlarged to 2138 cc, the TR4’s maximum speed topped the 100 mph mark, and it could complete the 0-60 dash in around 11 seconds. The optional ‘Laycock’ overdrive, which could be selected for 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears, improved the performance still further. Steering was now rack-and-pinion, and there was full synchromesh on all four forward gears.
The driving experience was much more civilized than the TR3A thanks to the introduction of wind-up side windows and adjustable fascia ventilation. The TR4 was also offered with an optional hardtop with fixed glass backlight, integral rollbar and detachable steel centre ‘targa’ panel, the first roof system of its kind on any production car. The detachable panel could be replaced by a optional foldable vinyl insert and supporting frame called a ‘Surrey Top’.
Production of the TR4 continued until 1965, with 40,253 models built during that period, many of which were exported to the USA.
High Performance Engine on Weber Carbs, Uprated Overdrive on 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Oil cooler, Kenlow Fan, Uprated Suspension and Brakes, Large Bore Exhaust, Brake Servo, Alfin Drums, Avo Shocks, Chrome Wire Wheels, Competition Bucket Seats, Branz Retro Trip, Motalita Steering Wheel, Halogen Headlight, both ‘Surrey Tops’.
This is a UK RHD ‘Surrey Top’ TR4 that has been built to perfection. The Old English White Michelotti-styled body, with its modern, clean, flat-panelled lines, is in excellent, rust-free condition, with straight flanks and a good gloss having been restored by Barry Hodson of RH Classics in the past.
Chrome work around the car presents very well throughout. The car sits squat and purposeful with its chrome wire wheels and up-rated suspension. Competition wing vents are the only variation from standard on the bodywork.
The interior of the car is immaculate having been refinished in the past and obviously well cared for since. The period competition bucket seats look fantastic and bring a sense of excitement and race pedigree to this TR4 along with the woodrim Mota-lita steering wheel and analog Branz trip counters located in the centre of the dash. Other sensible upgrades include inertia reel seatbelts and a fire extinguisher.
Unmarked upholstery on front seats is black with matching black carpets and rear black padding. The door trims, dash top and passenger grab handle are finished in black leather, all of which are in excellent condition. There is no radio or modern tech but plenty of gauges, knobs and switches along with the entertainment of the engine noise, drive and classic motoring experience to keep both driver and passenger entertained.
An immaculate boot retains a black carpet which hides the spare wheel and jack.
Engine & Transmission:
Dick Langford or Langford Performance Engineering (Specialists in Historic race cars) built, modified and tuned the engine resulting in a very tractable 150bhp.
Running on Weber carbs abd wuth a high-torque starter motor the engine bursts into life, it is in fine working order, producing surprisingly raucous performance, smooth acceleration and an overall exhilarating driving experience. It displays a healthy hot oil pressure of 70Psi at 3000rpm which drops to 55psi at Idle. There are no signs of leakages in teh well presented and show quality engine bay, just lots of detail and improvements in the form of n oil cooler, cowling panels to guide air through the radiator and a Lumenition electronic ignition system.
The four-speed manual gearbox is a vast improvement over previous TRs, with synchromesh on all gears, and a uprated overdrive on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears with the switch moved to the gear knob. The rear axle is naturally fitted with a Limited Slip diff to aid traction from the performance engine.
Wheels, Tyres & Brakes:
The car’s gleaming wire wheels are entirely free of rust or corrosion, and spokes are well-fitting. They come wrapped in Yokohama tyres.
Uprated disc brakes are fitted at the front, and Alfin drums at the rear, an equal and much welcomed match to the engines increased power output.
Built in April 1962 and first registered in June that year, this TR4 chassis CT8631 retains its original engine and displays its original build colour of Old English White as well as its first registration number 3480 SF.
Showing just 3 previous owners on the logbook it is likely (but not verified) that this car was rescued from its first or second long term owner as a restoration project by Dick Langford with photos showing it as such in the history file. Specialising in Historic race cars the engine was built into a high performance unit while the bodywork was commissioned to Barry Hodson, a vintage race cars specialist known for his GT40 prototype, and Lotus Cortinas. Barry’s work is fantastic with true attention to detail. Dick Langford then did all of the engine work himself.
Upon completion the car then sold to two further owners, who while have only covered very minimal mileage, have enjoyed the incredible quality and astronomical cost of the original build and expertise of those who put it together, not to mention the performance and exhilarating driving experience.