And virus keeps on deteriorating…
In the spring of 2002 I had seen a Triumph Tr4 at Upper Classics. Maarten had bought this one while he was in California for the purchase of some cars. He bought the Tr from a guy named Don FULTON , who had driven official SCCA old-timer races in the past, like on the circuits of Search Point and Leguna Seca ( California ). He drove a Tr3 at the time, but had stopped racing. The Tr3 was dismantled and a Tr4 was purchased. Some parts were built in this Tr4. The owner was transferred job wise and that didn't leave him time anymore for the Tr4.
It had been stalled in a garage for a couple of years, unused. As Maarten still had some spare room in one of the containers, he brought the Tr4 with him to Holland .
a Surrey top is perfect
After having contacted the former owner in the USA , Mr. Don FULTON, he among other things sent me these specifications on the Tr:
Engine: Modified for SCCA production racing; head ported and polished, combustion chambers reworked for improved efficiency, milled to approx. 11.5 compression, racing valve springs with aluminum retainers, factory competition pushrods, lightened filters, DeLong racing cam, forged pistons (.50 oversize) 2.2L, rods balanced and shot peened, flywheel lightened Tr3 (lighter than Tr4), SU carburetors flared intakes, rich needles, intake manifold ported and matches to head, oil cooler, SW electric fuel pump.
Drive train: Competition clutch, Tr4 transmission (stronger case), electric overdrive (2 nd , 3 rd & 4 th ), Salisbury limited slip, 4.55 ratio.
Suspension: Lowered approx. 2 inches, Koni front shocks, racing oil in rear shocks, 11/16” front sway bar, 5/8” rear sway bar, traction bars, oversized Tr3 brakes front and rear, magnesium (in stead of aluminum) racing wheels 15x5, 205/60-HR15 high performance tires.
The Tr still had American license plates and my first job was to apply for Dutch plates. It was brought to my buddy Martien's garage by car ambulance. He himself is in possession of a very neat Tr4A and has restorated that one himself, so he has all knowledge needed on the Tr4. We took a good closer look at mine and concluded that it looked very well. Due to safety conditions we decided to completely renew the braking system, this means new pipes , brake piston cups, cylinders, headbrakecylinder, brake shoes , so to be short every aspect that has to do with the brakes. The clutch cylinder was renewed as well and of course everything was filled with silicon brake fluid. Furthermore a few minor repairs like the headlights and a heavier battery to cope with the high compression.
We also built in a mass-switch so that the power can be turned off completely with one flick. The Tr sounded like a race car, bit the exhaustion wasn't damaged or leaking. The dimmer boards appeared a little bit worn off and rotten due to the long term having stood still, and they were blown away after starting the car. I just had to hope on what they would comment on that at the Dutch RDW. The Tr was brought in at the RDW in Veldhoven (NL) for import- and plate control on the 22 nd of April 2002 and was approved (not surprisingly). Only the Vehicle Identification Number had to be hammered in (by computer) at the RDW for which I had to return 14 days later, with a little additional costs. An advantage though that this number is attached in a professional and neat fashion. I have seen other examples of numbers having been hammered in by the customs….a shame…The plate numbers were set on AL-16-56 .
After the usual rides, domestic and abroad, the engine appeared to run not quite smoothly, but what to expect with all this messy work on the ignition and carburetion. Some SU carburetors with K&N air filters and all original needles as well as the original ignition were placed back. the sound the exhaust produced was impressive, but it drove me nuts while driving hatch down. I also had noticed friends of mine wearing earlaps while driving with me, so that was a little sign…I now understood why they never let me drive in front, hahaha. That's why I assembled a new RVS Bell exhaust. This helped a lot and it didn't effect the speed of the Tr4. The road-holding was absolutely flawless, perfect, like that of a cart!
Those race seats, I sure could do without them, certainly on long distance drives. Finding original seats for the Tr4 is nearly impossible, and if you do find them, prepare for a monster price. So I had do go with something different, which turned out to be old Recaro race seats , they didn't look that great but they were damn comfortable. We attached original carpets in the interior as well as the rubber mats. Hit the road….
With the Tr4 we made some trips, to Germany (Salm) and again to the English South shore. During one trip in England the electronical (aircraft) fuel pump broke down. This part (as well as the oil cooler) had been assembled by Mr. Fulton. He works as an engineer at the Lockheed aircraft company and these parts were from the aircraft industry. Luckily for him this pump wasn't assembled in an airplane!!! Back in England it isn't that hard finding an original (electronical) fuel pump. Assembling is a DIY job on the road. Only thing was, we were kind of running late for the boat trip home, but Sea France appeared to be very cooperative towards us…
with Martiens Tr4A at Filching Manor (East Dean)
Triumph TR 3 , MG midget, Triumph Spitfire, Triumph TR4
this is the way a TR4 should be .
My wife had tried to prevent me from selling the MGB, as she liked it a lot, and she at all wasn't amused with me wanting to buy the Triumph. She couldn't ‘connect' with it one bit, and to be honest (looking back), neither can I….We share too much happy memories with the MG, and as I do not want to make trips by myself, I decided to put the Triumph up for sale…
In 2006 I sold the Triumph to a German guy. I hope he enjoys the car.......
For all true admirers and Triumph-minded ones it's a unique, original piece of work that drives perfectly and isn't in need of any repairs whatsoever on short term, merely periodical maintenance…..
The virus however is still active nonetheless, and my next challenge is already waiting for me in the garage……check out the Wolseley section on the site…..