Recently Restored: 1962 Triumph TR4 – SOLD!

by | Mar 2022 | Sports Car Saturday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

April 24, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Since starting to offer collector cars for sale on this website as well as blogging about Craigslist finds, the sadder stories we run into are when a fellow enthusiast passes before completing their project car(s).  In the case of this 1962 Triumph TR4, we’re pleased to see the current caretaker found a way to finish the decreased prior owner’s vision to restore the car.  Originally listed in March 2022 in Newark, Delaware, the current caretaker reports they’ve added new tires, updated the brakes, sourced and installed a pair of correct TR4 seats and “Banjo-style” steering wheel.

Currently offered for $26,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their TR4 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $17,900 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $31,000.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $22,000 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $34,400.

Triumph launched its successor to the TR3A, the TR4, in 1961 and subsequently produced the car through the 1965 model year. While the new TR4 featured a modern body styled by famed designer Giovanni Michelotti, the chassis and drivetrain were pretty much carry-over from the prior car.  The new TR4 body style did away with the cutaway door design of the previous TRs to allow for more convenient door glass windows in place of less convenient side curtains. The angular rear provided a trunk with considerable capacity for a sports car.

Advanced features included the use of interior ventilation, and the option of a unique hard top that consisted of a fixed glass rear window with an integral rollbar and a detachable, steel center panel. This was the first such roof system on a production car and preceded by five years the Porsche 911/912 Targa, which has since become a generic name for this style of top.

On the TR4 the rigid roof panel was replaceable with an easily folded and stowed vinyl insert and supporting frame called a “Surrey Top”. The entire hard top assembly is often mistakenly referred to as a Surrey top. In original factory parts catalogs, the rigid top and backlight assembly is listed as the Hard Top kit. The vinyl insert and frame are offered separately as a Surrey top.

Features such as wind-down windows were seen as a necessary step forward to meet competition and achieve good sales in the important US market, where the vast majority of TR4s were eventually sold. Dealers had concerns that buyers might not fully appreciate the new amenities, therefore Triumph produced a special short run of TR3As (commonly called TR3Bs) in 1961 and ’62 just for the U.S. market.

The TR4 engine continued from the earlier TR2/3 models, albeit with an increase in displacement to 2138 cc in the TR4 by increasing bore size.  Triumph engines up to this point featured a wet-sleeve cylinder design, making it a relatively straightforward exercise to swap in bigger cylinders and pistons to increase displacement.

Some cars were fitted with vane-type superchargers, as the three main bearing engine was prone to crankshaft failure if revved beyond 6,500 rpm; superchargers allowed a TR4 to produce much more horsepower and torque at relatively modest revolutions. For example, while the standard engine produced 105 brake horsepower, supercharged and otherwise performance-tuned, a 2.2-liter version could produce in excess of two hundred brake horsepower at the flywheel.

Other key TR4 improvements over the TR3 included a wider track front and rear, slightly larger standard engine displacement, full synchromesh on all forward gears, and rack and pinion steering. In addition, the optional Laycock de Normanville electrically operated overdrive could now be selected for second and third gears as well as fourth, effectively providing the TR4 with a seven-speed manual close-ratio gearbox.

In spite of its modern styling, the TR4 ended up being one of the rare Triumph sports cars produced with a total of only 40,253 cars were built during its five-year manufacturing run.

The Historic Motor Sports YouTube Channel features this Point of View (“POV”) video of what it’s like to drive a ’62 TR4 in modern times:


With Spring now fully underway, a freshly restored and sorted 1962 TR4 is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather. 

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This recently restored 1962 Triumph TR4 is finished in green with a black soft top over black upholstery, and power comes from a 2,138cc inline-four paired with a four-speed manual transmission. I acquired the car from the estate of the previous owner who passed after having done about 85% of the restoration. Since acquiring the car I have done the following:

New tires
New rear brakes and drums.
Had the Speedometer rebuilt (true mileage is unknown)
Replaced seats with correct TR4 seats.
Powder-coated the metal dash to factory original “Spa White”
Installed a correct Banjo steering wheel.
Installed a High Torque starter”

Do you have a Triumph TR4 story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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