True to my theme, this is one of those cars that has a story. Our customer got this car in the mid 60’s. It was a driver, and she loved the lines and style of the car. Who can blame her, the TR 4A IRS is one of the best looking cars that Triumph ever built. A few years after she acquired the car, she decided that it was time to fix it up. At this point she took the engine and transmission out, stripped the interior and basically got a really good start on the restoration. She was even able to tear the engine down and re-assemble it and get it ready.
At this point things changed. She got married and life went on. The fortunate thing is that she never lost sight of her TR 4. Equally important is the fact the her husband realized how important the car was to her, and he kept the flame of hope alive for the restoration. Fast forward to about six months ago, and that thoughtful guy she married finally was able to put his plan into action.
He was nice enough to enlist us as the shop he wanted to restore the treasure he and his wife had protected for so many years. We picked the car up and the project began.
The major issue we found was that rust had taken over way too many parts of the car. This became the most costly and time consuming part of the restoration.
We removed the tub from the frame, began repair on the tub and then began repair on the frame. After the frame was repaired, we had it powder coated.
While the body work was continuing, we started on the restoration of the parts we were going to put back on the car. One of the main parts was the engine. We were happy to find that the rebuilding work she had done 30 years ago was still very serviceable today. We opted to check everything, and install new seals and gaskets. We did upgrade to the rear main seal to where there really was one, and made sure all other tolerance issues were met.
After we were able to get the drive train in the chassis, we started getting everything installed on the frame. This is where the Triumph’s really shine on restoration. You can get everything on the frame and have it basically on the ground and then set the tub on. It’s just like they did it in “The Old Days”. Now the body work was drawing to a close, and things were getting painted.
The painted parts started to take shape.
Now it was time to secure the tub to the frame and start the assembly process.
After the finishing touches were put on, it was time for delivery.
It’s now on the road, and ready to go. A project that started a long time ago is completed, and the big smile she had as she drove away told us everything we needed to know.
It’s this kind of story that makes it all worthwhile for me.
Enjoy the ride!
Here’s a little quick project that our guys here at British Auto Works just got back on the road. When I say quick, that’s in restoration time. It really took about six weeks. What we have is a later Bugeye Sprite that our customer has had for about 10 years. It was a pretty original car, it ran well and, the most important things is that it didn’t have any rust.
A major problem with the Bugeye is that they are very light and the trunk area is very susceptible to rust. Of course the car is spartan to say the least, but they are very cute, and can be modified to run very well. We have actually upgrade three of these type cars to a 1275 and installed the B210 5 speed, and they are very quick, and a ton of fun to drive.
What we have with this car, is that the customer wanted something a little different. After some discussion we decided on using a Corvette red and add the two white stripes. I think it made the car look sharp.
Our process was the usual. We stripped the car of all the lights and chrome, we took out the interior and repaired some small dents.
Once we had the car back from paint, it was time to install the new carpet and insulation. The seat were in good shape, so the customer opted to keep them as they were. From there, it was installing the chrome and the lights, and it was back on the road.
I’ll have to admit that compared to an MGB, a TR6, a Midget, Spitfire or even a GT 6, this was a pretty easy car to work on. Like all British Cars, they are good looking and fun to drive.
Enjoy the ride!
Out of the backroom, comes another good looking restoration. This TR 4 is owned by a customer in Tillamook. We didn’t do a frame off on this one, but it had been in an accident and had some front end damage. We had to replace a front fender, and the inner fenders, but the rest of the car was in very good shape.
The engine and transmission were also in good shape. We installed new seals and gaskets, and new mounts.
We added new carpets, new upholstery and put new rubber gaskets and seals for lights and glass.
The car is not painted with an original color, actually it’s a ’02 Ford color, but it grows on you, and we actually had several good comments about the color. What really made the car was when we put the Minilite style wheels and new P185 Michelin tires on the car. After that, it became a true “eye catching” TR 4.
If you’re on the coast, watch for it. The owner wanted to have a driver, and he’s driving it
Once we were able to get the motor in the car for the final time, everything bolted up Then came the hard part. We discovered that the drive line, though the directions said it was an easy install of the Morris “just fit the slip yoke from the Datsun”. We we didn’t get the Datsun drive line and we didn’t have a slip yoke. So off to the drive-line shop we went and put in an order for a new drive-line.
While we were still under the car, we decided to finish off the clutch linkage. Here too, we found that we were missing parts. Thank goodness we have a talented crew. Our guys took on the design challenge and came up with a very suitable linkage system that worked nicely.
Once this was done, the final task below was the exhaust. We did receive an adaptor pipe but unfortunately it was for a different car. So we had to modify that as well. That being done we were able to lower the car and get started on the painstaking work of getting everything hooked up. One thing can be said for Japanese cars, they have more hoses going more places and doing less things that any car on the road. We did have a good diagram of what hoses went where, and what hoses did what, so we cut and plugged about two thirds of them and went on to hooking up the carb linkage. This actually went quite well. The Morris cable, with a few modifications, worked. Then it was off to the wiring. Fortunately the Morris dosen’t require much electrical. The hard part was figuring out what we didn’t need on the Datsun.
After five days of work, and a little frustration and some standing back in amazement that we could do this, we put the cooling system together; which by the way, there is only room for a piece of paper between the water pump shaft and the radiator, but we found a fan to work. We tested all the systems, and they all worked. It was time for a test drive and a shake-down so to speak. Wow, the Datsun engine really made a difference. We have installed several B210 five speeds, and they really enhance the driveabliity of the car, but we had no idea the boost in horse power from the Datsun engine would make this much difference. All in all it was a fun project, and the results were above expected.