The Triumph TRs – The Triumph TR4

The Triumph TR4 was introduced in August of 1961 and was made until January in 1965.  The TR4 was a further refinement of the TR3A.  The most obvious change was the body style.  The body had been designed by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

The Triumph TR4 shown below is owned by Tim Burgess in Ontario.  This is an early example of a Triumph TR4, as its production number is 217.  This is a special car as this car is actively rallied in Ontario.  I saw this car when it competed in the Maple Leaf Winter Rally in February this year.

Tim Burgess’ Triumph TR4 during the First Frost Rally

The design of the TR4 was in response to the comments that the TR3A looked out of date with its low door and side curtains.  There was a desire to provide a car with roll-up side windows which would improve the security for storage of items in the car.  Triumph also wanted to further improve the interior by upgrading the ventilation and heating system.  The luggage space was improved as well.


Tim Burgess’ Triumph TR4

The body was lower and wider than the TR3A and featured a full width hood that was hinged at the front.  The hood was low on the body which necessitated a hood bulge over the dashpots of the twin SU carburetors.  

Besides having more creature comforts, the TR4 was a lot more driver friendly.  The TR4 had rack-and-pinion steering and servo brakes.

Bob Tullius Successfully Raced a Triumph TR4 in SCCA Races.

The engine used was a larger 2138cc Standard engine with 86mm pistons in ‘wet liners.’ The horsepower rating is 105bhp with 128 foot-pounds of torque. Road and Track magazine reported in 1962 that the TR4 would go from zero-to-sixty mph in 10.1 seconds with a standing quarter mile time of 17.5 seconds at 77.2mph.

John Sprinzel/Graham Robson in the 1962 Tulip Rally

The TR4 improved upon the overall performance over the Triumph TR3A. The track was enlarged and the steering now used a rack-and-pinion unit. The transmission was now fully synchronized on all gears and the engine was enlarged slightly. An optional Laycock de Normanville electrically operated overdrive could be selected for second, third, and fourth gear.

The wheels original used were 15×4.5 inch disks. One of the more typical tires was the 165×15 bias ply. 48 lace wire wheels could be ordered and were often painted the same color as the car. Other popular options were to have them painted silver, matte, or polished chrome.

The Triumph TR4 was actively rallied in major events like the Alpine Rally. 

The image below shows the works Triumph TR4 team at the 1962 Alpine Rally where they competed for the Coupe des Alpes.

The Powder Blue Triumph TR4 Works Rally Team at the 1962 Alpine Rally

1963 Alpine Rally

 Mike Sutcliffe/Roy Fidler Finished 4th in the 1962 Alpine Rally

Vic Elford’s Disabled Triumph TR4


Another View of Sutcliffe/Fidler in the 1962 Alpine Rally


Triumph Entered Works Rally Cars in the Shell 4000 Rally in Canada


On Later Triumph TR4 Works Rally Cars a Side Vent Was Installed to Allow Hot Air to Flow From Under the Hood

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