1965 Triumph TR4A 2.1L 4-Cylinder 4-Speed Manual w/ Electronic Overdrive

Price: US $25,000.00 Item location: Kennewick, Washington, United States
  • Make: Triumph
  • Model: TR4A
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: --
  • Year: 1965
  • Mileage: 56,000
  • VIN: CT5562126H16
  • Color: BLUE
  • Engine size: 2.1L 4-Cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Power options: --
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Honey Tan
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Options: --, Leather Seats
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!
Description:

1965 Triumph TR4A --

Imagine waking up on a magnificent Saturday or Sunday morning, donning your driving clothes, heading out to the garage, polishing off the sleek old English sports car and heading for parts unknown (or known). Of course it helps if you are within driving distance of the coast or the mountains, but even lakes or rivers will suffice. You ease yourself down into the rich leather seat, your legs and feet disappearing into the driver tunnel. You pump the throttle twice, pull the choke out to the first notch and key the starter. The engine comes to life with a throaty growl, you rattle the gear shift to confirm the neutral position and then move the shifter to the upper left corner of the shift pattern, feather the clutch to move the car outside where you sit for several minutes to allow the engine to warm up. And so starts the commune with the world enjoyed by the small world of old English sports car owners.


Once on the road, top down, you begin the experience of becoming one with this classic mechanical conveyance. The first thing you learn is how fast the steering reacts to any movement of the steering wheel (2.5 turns lock to lock). You coordinate the clutch-work, throttle manipulation, and shifting to bring the car up to speed or to slow down. All the time listening to the throaty gurgle so familiar with these old Triumphs. And the trip won’t be complete without powering through a few tight corners. Every time I get behind that old banjo steering wheel, I hurry to the freeway on ramp to give me the excuse to walk through the gears, running up to speed with the engine barking through the exhaust and then hitting the overdrive paddle shifter in order to electrically change to the overdrive gear, dropping the engine revs for a little quiet cruising.


Most of us, anymore, are so used to enclosed cars with tight bodies, soundproofing, air-conditioning, tinted windows, recirculation of cabin air, and always in a hurry, that we have completely forgotten what an experience it is to drop the top and ride through the countryside taking in the sights, sounds, and even the smells of our environment. And most of those not so fortunate are always there with the wave and thumbs-up, even rolling down the window to shout their complements. And forget attempting to get out of a parking lot, convenience store, or scenic overlook without someone stopping to tell you that they or their parents had one just like it. I guess I never noticed back in the ’60s but based on people’s stories at car shows, every college student drove one while in school. My only real car accident was caused by a TR3. In 1959, I was in riding in a very nice 1955 Chevy BelAir with five other high school kids. We were in the countryside near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and one of the passengers said, "I can take this next corner at 60mph in my TR3. We tried at 70. One less tri-five Chevy to restore in the 21st century! Anyway, enough nostalgia from the old guy. I am having to part company with my newly completed Triumph due to some difficulties associated with old age and arthritis. My feet just do not want to work the three pedals any more. So on to the important stuff!


Like most gear heads in love with the classic automobiles, We have owned and restored a plethora of "couldn't live without" classics. In reverse order, here is a partial list:

1946 Ford Two Door Sedan Deluxe (stock)

1928 Ford AA Truck (Chevy 283 drive train)

1965 Ford Mustang (Ford 352W, T-5 Trans)

1937 Chevrolet Master Deluxe, 2-door sedan (chopped, ZZ4 engine, O/D trans)

1970 Dodge Challenger (400hp small block Dodge)

1963 Chevrolet Impala (409ci)

This only takes us back to 2006 and I was born in 1942 so you get the picture.


Four years ago, a good friend whom we have known for some 40 years asked if we would be interested in purchasing his 1965 Triumph TR4A. He had owned it since 1985 (we were with him when he bought it) and had really never quite managed to get it on the road. Long story, lot of work, but there it sat. My wife and I decided that an English sports car would be a nice change from all the "hot rods" that we have played with over the years. We were actually tiring of car shows, Hot August Nights, Cool Desert Nights, and all the like. For the previous few years we had become more attuned to the "cruises" where we could actually enjoy driving these bits of Nostalgia. So we bought the Triumph, looking forward to a quick engine rebuild and a "scuff and shoot" paint job. A month or so and we would be winding and shifting our way through the Blue Mountains and along the Pacific Coast. Yep! I should add at this point that I am an engineer and tend to be a little OCD about things mechanical.


So we pulled the engine and shipped it to Mike Ryan of Vintage Racing fame so he could clean it up and put a good tune on it. We then hauled the Triumph down to Combined Metals in Idaho for a quick paint job. They asked if they should media blast to metal since British cars are prone to rust and we concurred. They found rust in the usual places and that was the beginning of a two year body restoration.


While that was occurring, we received a call from Mike. He had pulled the head and there was water sitting on two of the pistons. Total overhaul time. We all know how the rest of the story goes. We bought the car to drive and enjoy. After much deliberation, we decided to make some modifications (improvements) to the car to increase the enjoyment factor. The first was to paint it a non-traditional color. We settled on a dark blue as darker colors accent the great Giovanni Michelotti (I sense that he isn’t English) inspired TR4A body lines. The House of Kolors' Cobalt Blue was picked for the shade and the abundance of pearl. Like red, it is hard to photograph in a way to do it justice. Suffice it to say that whenever out in Public, this TR4A draws a crowd and the oohs and ahhs never cease. The body lines are straight as an arrow without the waves seen in so many car restorations. All weather stripping was replaced, cabin sound/heat insulation installed, leather interior installed, new glass installed, new top installed, new stainless steel bumpers and over riders and on and on. It took two plus years because We researched every part of the build in order to settle on the best parts and pieces, relying heavily on the Triumph enthusiast/owner forums.


Mike Ryan built the engine with an eye toward added performance and horsepower. Along with all the other tricks of vintage racing builds, he used an Elgin cam, shaved the flywheel, balanced the rotating parts, etc. One of the major engine modifications was the addition of an honest to goodness rear main seal. This is quite a task and requires modification to the crank. One of the worst things about English cars is their inate ability to leave puddles of oil on the garage floor or driveway surface. While this might have been acceptable in Jolly Old England where most cars were parked on grass or dirt/gravel driveways, most of our better halves will not tolerate oily surfaces. These cars were equipped from the factory with "oil slinger" rear seal systems rather than a rear main. The system worked well until you stopped and it puked the latent oil wherever it was parked. The modification works great, stopping 99% of the oil leaking. Once in a while I will see a small drip but have no idea where it came from. While the engine work continued, we took a look at the original wiring (and we all know how great that is) and decided new wiring was in order. We bought an Advance Autowire harness based on feedback from users and set up for a negative ground to enable the use of an alternator. The harness should be trouble free and included wiring for an electric fuel pump although I haven't seen the need to install one.


While researching information on the TR4A, we found that they had a tendency to run hot. So we bought a new radiator, electric fan, water pump, and hoses. We live in SouthEastern Washington State and our summers are generally triple digit, temperature wise. The new equipment and electric fan has really paid off as the car runs cool even in the hot weather. We also added a spin on oil filter conversion and an oil drip can in the crankcase ventilation system to prevent oil vapors from being sucked into the Zenith Stromberg carburetors. In order to take some of the stress out of tune-ups we added electronic ignition.


When we were first married (1964) we had a good friend that owned an Austin Healy with electric overdrive. I drove that car occasionally around the San Francisco Bay Area. That overdrive four speed made it a pleasure to drive. That memory drove me to search out a J type four speed overdrive transmission and I bought a completely rebuilt unit from Brad Orndorf in Florida. It came with all the original equipment needed, including the "paddle" shifter. If you are going to drive an English sports car around the United States this is a "must have" option. Cruising at 70 and 80 comfortably cannot be done without a good overdrive transmission. Of course we added a new clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing. Put new seals in the axles and rear end. New shocks, brakes, etc. new chrome wire wheels (interesting that the purists have complained about the wheels as they were originally painted) and the chrome against that deep blue pearl paint is stunning. The grey painted spokes would have looked like a sock on a rooster for this car. To provide a little "throttle music" we installed a new stainless steel dual exhaust system. I should add that all this work was coordinated by my younger brother who was responsible for the restoration and builds associated with the Rod and Custom Dream Truck, the famous Ak Miller 1927 Ford Hot Rod known as the El Caballo De Hierro (Iron Horse) that was raced in the early ’50s Carrera Panamerica Mexican Road Race, the Gene Winfield 1950 Chevy Bel Air Convertible and many others. He was also very active in racing his flat head powered, Crosley framed, Almquist Saber sports car at the vintages races all over the West Coast.


After completing the total restoration of this fine Triumph, we have spent the past year in working out all the “fine tuning” of the car and the final small touches that come with a total build. The car is now ready for someones total enjoyment. Of course the car comes with many extra/spare parts, mostly new, some used.


This is a listing of some of the new/rebuilt parts used in the build:


Engine (rebuilt)

A-type Overdrive Transmission (rebuilt)

Clutch, pressure plate, throwout bearing (new)

Radiator (new)

Electric Fan (new)

Electronic Ignition (new)

Fuel Pump (new)

Alternator (new)

Leather Interior (new)

Top (new)

Tonneau Cover (new)

Radio (new-not yet installed RetroSound radio)

Wheels (new)

Tires (new)

U-joints (new)

Stainless Steel Dual Exhaust (new)

Windshield (new)

Side Trim (new)

Wiring (new)

Rear End and Axle Seals (new)

Brakes (new)

Master Cylinder (new)

Polished Stainless Steel Bumpers and Overriders(new)

Polished Stainless Steel Light Bar (new)

Lucas Running Lamps (new - not wired yet)

Shock Absorbers (new)

2-Speed Windshield Wiper Motor (rebuilt - only operates on single speed so far)


Do not hesitate to ask for additional information or photos or go to cobaltbluetr4a.shutterfly.com for additional photos of the car and triumphtr4aparts.shutterfly.com for photos and a listing of the spare parts.






On Jul-16-18 at 17:09:36 PDT, seller added the following information:

It is difficult to remember all the pertinent information when putting an eBay ad together. I should have added that the car comes with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate. This certificate includes the chassis number, engine number, body number and a host of other information including original color which was Wedgewood Blue. The certificate also shows that this is a “numbers matching” TR4A. Date of the build was 29 May, 1965.