It's not entirely a coincidence that we've come across this race-specification Triumph TR4 in the days preceding Goodwood's makeshift Speedweek event. It's got all of the old world charm needed to compete at one of the world's most photogenic circuits, although unlike some of the highly strung machinery on show this week, the TR4 is actually a proper road car - albeit with a welcome does of historic racer. Hard not to drool, right?
Obviously the car has been comprehensively upgraded, with the 1962 inline-four uprated from its original 101hp to 150hp, thanks to a significant overhaul by Langford Performance Engineering. Despite the big increase in performance, the Weber-fed (and factory correct) 2.2-litre motor is said to be a strong runner with no signs of leakage in the spotless engine bay. Jolly good. Same goes for the four-speed manual gearbox and its fully synchromeshed ratios, uprated overdrive and accompanying limited slip diff.
The chassis, too, has been tweaked, with disc brakes at the front and Alfin drums at the rear, while higher-spec springs and shocks feature in tandem with polished wire wheels, set on manifestly wider tracks. Inside, there is a brace of gorgeous race seats, a Motalita steering wheel and Smiths dials, while the TR4 wears fixed glass rear window and comes with a 'Surrey Top' - basically a targa top from the days before the term was coined. The TR4 and its optional roof design preceded the 911 Targa by four years, arming you with yet more bragging rights for trips to the pub.
This particular TR4 and its Old English White paintwork wear the top especially well, not least because the rest of the car's in such fine shape. Entirely reasonably there are signs of use - we spot a handful of slightly orangey bolt heads - but nothing that you wouldn't expect on a 78,000-mile, 58-year-old sports car. It's hard not to imagine it being driven in the manner of a Goodwood racer, which is to say at about 20 degrees of slip angle and with the throttle bodies wide open. The seller affirms this vision with cheery claims for "healthy hot oil pressure".
Admittedly, this isn't the only competition-spec TR4 on the classifieds, as there's a genuine FIA-grade car and a road-rally-ready one in the same search category. But the car stands out as with its unique mix of uprated and original features, even if £45k is not far off BMW M2 Competition money. That's by the by, of course: we're talking Union Jack-tinted spectacles here, and there's nothing quite like a throttle-cabled and Weber carb'd inline four racer to fill out a Goodwood week daydream...
SPECIFICATION | TRIUMPH TR4
Engine: 2,138cc, inline four
Power (hp): 150 (101@4,600rpm original)
Torque (lb ft): N/A (127lb ft@3,350rpm original)
Year registered: 1962
Recorded mileage: 78,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £44,995
1 / 4