1967 Triumph TR4A and 1972 Triumph TR6

1967 Triumph TR4A

After graduating and being in the work place for a while, I took over Craig's 67 TR4A project which he found in a farmer's field. He paid $250 for the car and $250 for a new hood. The engine was siezed and it hadn't been run in years. He already owned a 76 TR6 and was pretty gung ho about restoring another Triumph after helping me with mine. If you ever know anything about Triumphs, you'll know that owning one is enough work in itself. So realizing that he couldn't keep both Triumphs running, Craig reluctantly sold me a running 67 TR4A for $1500.

After JCM

1967 TR4A when I bought it

Craig had pretty much done all the mechanical work and rebuilt the engine. It was a 4 cylinder based on a Massey Ferguson tractor engine that Triumph had basically attached dual sidedraft Stromberg carbs to. It had a 4 speed manual transmission and electric overdrive. The A in TR4A indicated that the rear suspension was independant. It was basically a TR6 chassis with a TR4 body.

TR4A side view

TR4A repainted and "customized"

I wasn't into restoring the TR4A, much to Craig's dismay. I found that restoring requires too much patient and money. I took off the original side chrome and ugly red interior and traded it for black TR6 seats. I painted the car yellow using about 15 cans of Tremclad spray bombs. I wanted to make sure that it would never rust! I redid the interior in a black diamond pattern, replaced the rotted cardboard transmission hump (who would design a car with a cardboard transmission hump?) with one I made out of fiberglass using the original as a mold. Never got around to putting carpet on the floor, just painted it black.

interior

Interior view

checker board hood

Engine compartment and checker boarded hood

The best thing that I did to the car was to checker board the underside of the hood. It looked fantastic and was very useful as when the car broke down on the road, I could raise the hood and traffic could see me for quite a distance! I used it for that purpose quite a few times....

front

TR4A front view

I bought new bias ply tires, put TR6 centers and chrome rings on, a new softop and new hardtop for it. I thought I had a roll bar but I don't see one in the picture. I may have taken it off or given it to Craig. Typically, Triumph roll bars block the view from your rear view mirror. I replaced the front grill and muffler with parts from a very old JC Whitney catalog. The muffler took 6 months to find, it was unique and the local muffler shops just laughed when I brought the car in to see if they could do anything. Weekly, I was putting muffler tape and patch compound on the old muffler to stop the racket until the new one came in.

I owned the car for just under 2 years and decided to sell it. I was tired of the Lucas electric system failing and having to tune up the carbs and rocker arms weekly. It was also a gutless wonder, the engine screamed and sounded like you were driving a million miles an hour but in actuality you had a hard time keeping up with traffic.

The suspension was old school which meant hard shocks and hard springs so you had a bone jarring ride and you bounced all over the place. It was hard to keep it on the road if the road was anything but flat. I kept loosing signal light lens as they were pressed fit on and the bone jarring ride kept bouncing them off! I think that I eventually rubber cemented them on...

I sold it for $3500 to a girl who had just sold her Harley and bought it at the insistence of her new boyfriend (which I'm sure was soon to be her ex). I was pretty tired of owning it and sold it based on the fun of open air driving. Sometimes, I have no scruples...

Anyways, she contacted me about 2 weeks later to say that she got electrocuted driving the car on the freeway. She was so afraid that she pulled over and refused to drive the car without thick winter gloves on (this was in the middle of summer). It turned out that the wire that grounded the steering wheel to the frame had broken and when she touched the steering wheel while shifting she got a shock! The horn had shorted 12 volts to the steering wheel and with the broken wire to the frame, she provided the ground path from the steering wheel to shifter. I fixed it for her and that was the last time I saw the TR4A. I next bought the 72 Vette but that's another story.


1972 Triumph - this is not mine, never took a picture of my car for some reason!

I had briefly owned a 1972 TR6 in 1980 while going to school. I bought the TR6 after it had rear ended a pickup truck and had hood damage and front fender damage. I replaced the hood and front fenders, painted it white then ran out of money and had to sell it to stay in school. Never got the chance to take a picture of it.

The TR6 had a strange oil problem which I believe was due to worn main bearings. After running for about 45 minutes, the oil pressure would slowly drop to 5 psi. I never got around to really checking it out whether it was the main bearings. Sold it for $1500 Cdn after the rad froze - no antifreeze.

Like any Triumph, the dual Stromberg carbs were constantly going out of tune and the rockers needed adjustment weekly. I had an unheated garage underneath my apartment where I worked on the car much to the horror of my neighbors who shared my apartment.

One day the neighbor's cat walked under my car after I had just spray bombed white paint, the cat jumped up on a pristine jet black cadillac and proceeded to paint little white cat paw prints across the hood. Another time, I was leaning over the fender changing the oil filter when I knocked off the fuel line which was just spring clamped on to a rubber hose. I could just reach down and plug the fuel line with my finger with one hand. It was 25 below zero and I had a full tank of gas. So here I am, stuck stretched leaning over the fender, in an unheated underground garage, in 25 below zero with my finger jammed in a fuel line so that my full fuel tank doesn't spill all over the place wondering how I'm going to put the line back in place. After 15 minutes of futile effort, my friend Craig shows up and saves the day!

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Copyright May 2011 Eugene Blanchard