1969 Triumph TR5
1969 Triumph TR5
When Michelotti"s sharp-suited new TR4 was unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1961, the car looked thoroughly modern, especially when compared with the venerable TR3A that it replaced. However, the reality was that, under the skin, the car was still very much a TR3A as little more than the sleek bodywork was actually new. Despite this, the TR4, and the TR4A that succeeded it, were amongst the fastest affordable sports cars on offer throughout the 1960s. Cheap to buy and run, the car's road manners, however, left some room for improvement over the TR3A, despite the TR4 having gained rack and pinion steering, wider front and rear tracks to make it more surefooted, and an all-synchro gearbox. However, as stylish transport, they were pretty much unbeatable. All it cried out for, to compete with the new wave of GT saloons was more power. Lots. The standard 2-litre GT6 engine was tried and, although smooth, was actually no quicker than the old tractor-derived, four pot. In the end, the solution was remarkably simple. The straight-six was enlarged by 500cc to a lusty 2.5-litres, the cylinder-head redesigned and a more sporty camshaft fitted, all of which resulted in a much more 'manly' power unit, albeit a little 'lumpy' at low revs. Fuel-injection proved the answer to that particular problem and, in October 1967, the TR5 was launched. Outwardly the car was barely discernible from the TR4A, but the new engine, complete with Lucas fuel injection, turned the '5' into a genuine performance car, with a handy 150bhp on tap. Realistically, the car was effectively a stop-gap and only had to last around two years until Karmann had finished its work on the replacement, the TR6, however, with the benefit of hindsight, the TR5 is arguably the best of the lot, enjoying the great unsullied looks of the TR4 but with the raunchiness of the TR6. Only 2,947 TR5s were ever built with 1,161 of those being finished for the UK market and, today, only around 500 are believed to remain on UK roads.
Presented in striking Jasmine yellow, this rare 1968 UK-market car has benefitted from a money-no-object restoration to a breathtakingly high standard. For over twenty years prior to work commencing, Simon Eaton and his engineer father, already prolific Triumph collectors, set out on a treasure hunt to source all available new/old stock and boxed 'Stanpart' components. Their brief was simple - to build the very best example possible. Well-known Triumph restorer, Michael Papworth, was to provide the Eatons with the ideal basis for their project, reluctantly parting with his stalled TR5 restoration project - a desirable home-soil example with just one former custodian from new. Over subsequent years, the car was stripped and progress was made. A brand new chassis by CTM was commissioned as the starting platform, but utilized N/OS turrets and steering column brackets and absolutely nothing reconditioned was fitted. The inner bodyshell and Stanpart panelwork were prepared and finished by respected restorer, Mark Johnson, of Jules Bodycraft. Simon's father was tasked with the meticulous job of rebuilding the car's fuel-injected 'six' to its original factory specification, including balancing the crankshaft. The stated 150bhp is transmitted through a fully rebuilt gearbox featuring all Stanpart internals and a new/old stock Laycock three-piece clutch. Upholsterer to HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Gary Wright of Milton Keynes, was chosen as the ideal candidate to retrim the car's interior (all to original specification) and provide weather protection in the form of a perfectly fitting mohair hood. Finished off by a set of period Minilite alloy wheels, this spectacular TR5 is one of the best we have ever seen.
Upon completion, the car received much critical acclaim and has won a plethora of high-profile Concours d'Elegance events contested by Triumph owners from all over Europe including,
2000 Meguiars / TR Register International - 'Best Standard TR5 - 250'
2004 Meguiars / TR Register International - 'Masters Class Winner'
2007 Meguiars / TR Register International - 'Best Paintwork'
2010 Meguiars / TR Register International - 'Best Standard TR4-5'
As you might expect from such fastidious owners, the car is supplied with a substantial quantity of paperwork, photographs completely documenting the mammoth restoration, and many of the aforementioned awards. Truly a 'Best of Breed' example that couldn't be replicated for even half the guide figure, we invite and encourage your viewing of this rare and desirable TR to confirm the sheer quality on offer.