TR4 & TR4A Forum

TR4A Car Story

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rsanford Raleigh Sanford
Millington, TN, USA   USA
Last post on this. They had a best story award which I did not win but here is my car story and a few more of the car. I hope my info in there is correct. I will now turn the forum back over to the real car guys.

My car is a 1966 Triumph TR4A. This model was only made from 1965 through 1967. It was made in Coventry, England (the city where Lady Godiva made her famous ride), at a time when England was still heavily feeling the effects of World War II. It is basically a hand-built car with high tech additions here and there. It has been in the family since 1972 (45 years now). My father would have been 42 then and was very into cars and hot rods. He had a couple of friends that were about ten years younger and also into cars. I could always tell that my mother and the other wives did not particularly care for one of these friends. Well, that friend apparently was involved in non-standard pharmaceutical sales and got in trouble and had to leave the country in a hurry. He gave the car to my dad and the other friend who later turned it over to my dad. This other friend recently told me that the original owner apparently never came back to the country and he read later something about him being arrested in Europe for the same thing.

In any event, my father got the car in 1972 and, upon his death in 1988, I got the car and, ever since then, it has been sitting in my detached garage here in Rosemark. In December of last year I made the decision that I was going to work on it. Part of me regretted that I waited so long to work on it; but, I realized that, without the present resources of the Internet, I would not have been able to do all the repair work myself as I have. Along those lines, there was a man in New Mexico who was restoring the same model and doing a very thorough job. He was very knowledgeable and helpful to me. He had answered one of my questions by email on June 27. I thanked him in an email on June 28 and never heard back from him. About a week later I read that he had passed away on the 28th. His brother posted that the man loved working on the car but never got to ride in it. I guess there is a lesson in there to not take tomorrow for granted and appreciate today.

Other than the paint (which is the original factory color for the car), I have done all the work on the car myself. It is pretty much all original. Very few items had to be replaced. All the chrome and lettering is original with only the world globe symbol replaced. I had to re-veneer the original wood dash. I did not have time to reupholster the seats prior to the show but the seats are the original ones with temporary covers. As you can see, I have here for display my rare, original wooden steering wheel (available as an option) which I also did not have time to redo before the show but plan to do so. Wood steering wheels necessitated the use of driving gloves (Who knew?). The "Banjo" steering wheel I have on the car is not original to this car but was the standard wheel for this model and I obtained it as a temporary replacement. It is made of Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic. A Banjo Steering Wheel was an option on many early automobiles. Banjo Wheels predate power steering. The wire spokes were a buffer or absorber between the driver's hands and the drum of the road. Most were 3 or 4 spokes made of four or five wires in each spoke, hence the name "Banjo". The car has overdrive and the original spoke wire wheels which are also painted the original factory color. Both of these were optional extras. The interior carpet is replaced but almost all the other interior trim is original. Attached is a period ad featuring a white TR4A and mentioning the walnut dash, a period dealer option sheet mentioning the wooden wheel as an option, and a photo of what a restored wooden wheel looks like.

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Perdido Avatar
Perdido Gold Member Rut Rutledge
Tuscaloosa, AL, USA   USA
Great story and great restoration work on you TR! I'm so happy you decided to undertake this project and get it to this level...keep taking pictures and posting!

rsanford Raleigh Sanford
Millington, TN, USA   USA
Thanks Rut and thanks again for your help. You are right that I have only and gotten it to a certain level. I still have a lot to do and sort of skipped some things to focus on the things that would allow me to make the show. I have plenty of things to chase down and/or address. Expect some calls if that is ok.

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ric350 Avatar
ric350 Jim Feeney
Holmdel, NJ, USA   USA
Nice car! Good work!


ShortBulge Avatar
ShortBulge Brian LeBlanc
Falls Church, VA, USA   USA
Look'n good
I got my 4a in late 80's...
and just started working on it 2 months ago!

rsanford Raleigh Sanford
Millington, TN, USA   USA
That's the same with me. The car had not been driven for a year or so when my Dad died in 1988 and a year or so after that I moved it out to my place and stored it until the first of this year. So roughly 30 years of sitting for both cars (and by both of us) before the work started.

Hayesman64 Avatar
Hayesman64 Jere T
Westhampton, NY, USA   USA
great story and great looking tr4A ; keep driving it
rsanford and Jim Feeney nice white TR4A'S

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briarpatch Avatar
briarpatch Grant G
Kennewick, WA, USA   USA
Fine looking Triumph!

HairyGilmer Alan Friday
Birmingham, AL, USA   USA
1966 Triumph TR4A "Old Car"
Darn--wish my white Triumph was that inspire me to wash my car Saturday!

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