Monday 22nd July 2019,

Triumph TR4A 1965-1967: The Car With a Choice of Rear Axles

Triumph TR4A 1965-1967 black and white front left corner top down
1965 saw the arrival of the Triumph TR4A. The most important change from TR4 was IRS which was badged on the boot-lid. The IRS system (independent rear suspension) was not fitted to improve the handling but the ride. It was quite a bit softer than the Triumph TR4, so much so that around 25% of new TR4As were specified with the old TR4 live-axle. It was never intended to offer the TR4A with a live-axle but the howls of protest from the clientele forced Triumph to reconsider the spec.  In either form, it was still a classic sports-car.

The live-axle was indeed a harder ride but was more predictable in corners. Triumph TR4A is the only TR ever sold with a choice of rear suspension systems. There was a new chassis to accommodate the IRS. TR4A had a few small detail differences to the trim but was essentially identical to Triumph TR4. The `Surrey-top` was still an option. Like all TRs it was a great British sports-car.


The new chassis was of box-section steel to permit the fitting of the IRS system. Coil and wishbone front suspension was utilised with IRS coils at the rear. Telescopic dampers were fitted all-round with a front anti-roll bar. Steering gear was by rack and pinion, giving the car 2.5 turns lock-to-lock. Lockheed disc brakes were fitted to the front as standard, drum brakes were fitted to the rear. The TR4A`s braking and handling was excellent although it was a little softer now at the rear. Wheels were 15” steel, 48-spoked wire wheels were an optional extra.

Engine and Transmission:

The Vanguard 2138 cc inline 4-cylinder OHV with a three-bearing-crankshaft was still the best in it`s class, although it was reaching it`s developmental limits at 105 bhp with 132 ft/lb of torque. With the bigger twin SU carburettors it performed very well reaching a top speed of 110 mph and a 0-60 time of 10.5 seconds. The compression ratio was 9:1. Triumph`s excellent, all-synchro, 4-speed gearbox with optional Laycock de Normanville overdrive on the top three gears was offered. This gave the Triumph TR4A seven forward ratios. Gear selection was tight and positive. All-round performance was excellent.


The steel, Michelotti designed, 2-seater body had wind-up windows, so the interior was now warmer and quieter with an acceptable level of luxury. The US market loved it and it sold very well. The TR4A had a large boot capacity and full-width chrome bumpers were fitted.

This was to be the last 4-cylinder TR. A new generation, the Triumph TR5 was waiting for it`s launch with the legendary 2.5 Pi engine. For the US market it would be badged as the TR250. We should thank Triumph for some wonderful traditional sports-cars.

Triumph TR4A 1965-1967 Specs
Body Type2 seater convertible, surrey top
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo VolumeBig enough to take the Surrey top and your shopping
Engine2.1 Vanguard OHV 8V
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement2138 cc130.5 cui
Power78 Kw105 bhp4700 RPM
Torque179 Nm132 ft. lb3000 RPM
Power/weight103 bhp/t
Top Speed175 km/h109 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph10.5 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual+overdrive (opt.)
Weight1016 kg2240 lb
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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