View Full Version : Ride Comfort Considerations

04-05-2012, 02:03 AM
I owned a 1966 TR4A IRS, and a TR6 when i was much younger. They both rode fine and were fun to drive even on longer trips. BUT, i am older now, 67 and am looking at a TR3 and another nice TR4A. I am leaning to the TR3, but having never driven one was wondering if anyone could contrast the ride characteristics of the 3 v. 4. Will the TR3 beat me up?

Thanks :smile:


04-05-2012, 06:13 AM
I'm nearly 66 and my wife and I enjoy trips in my '58 TR3A, true it's bumpy, but its really quite a comfortable and most enjoyable car. What you'll notice more is that the steering, brakes, clutch and gear change are all pretty heavy if you're driving slowly in built up areas.

We love ours and would recommend a good one to anyone. It's a real character car.


Mickey Richaud
04-05-2012, 07:34 AM
Mike -

While I had a good time restoring the '57 TR3, after driving it a while, I found it didn't "agree" with me. The cutaway door design is unique, but on the road, it can be an issue for some. You certainly feel more vulnerable, though I'm sure a lot of that is psychological.

Ash's comments about heavy steering is spot on. But he's also right about the car's having character. The key is whether it matches yours.


04-05-2012, 07:53 AM
IMO a lot depends on the condition of the rear springs. If they've been kept oiled properly, the ride is a lot better. I even inserted some slippery plastic (UHMW) between the leaves to reduce friction.

But the solid axle cars are definitely sprung a lot stiffer than the IRS cars.

Geo Hahn
04-05-2012, 08:41 AM
I drive both (around town and long trips) and enjoy both but there is a great contrast in the experience.

For the pure joie de driving (pardon my French) the TR3 is the one for me. But I find the TR4 to be the better highway cruiser. Some of that is due to the specific cars I have as the TR3 always wears skinny tires but for long trip the TR4 has overdrive and usually wears 195/65s.

When my wife is along on a long trip the car of choice is the 4, she likes the feeling of more car around her whether riding or driving (she is much more likely to drive the TR4).

Luggage space is about equal (both have luggage racks) though if you take the side curtains along in the 3 they do occupy quite a bit of space.

Both take an age to get the top & other weather equipment in place with the 3 being simpler and quicker than the 4. A 4A of course would be quicker than either I think.

Both my cars are solid axle -- a handling I quite like and possibly more trouble free (or at least simpler) than the IRS. The steering is different but not that noticeably so to me once above 10 mph.

Mike -- I'll add that I'm about your age and getting the usual stiff joints in case that put the comments in context.

As a side note -- here in the Tuscon area we have the most active car club I have ever heard of with 7 to 9 events every month. Coffee meet-ups, short drives, long drives, overnights, lift-days, tech sessions, revivals, picnics & only one club meeting per year. I'll PM you some more info on all that as contact with a local club can be invaluable even while you're still just looking.

04-05-2012, 10:20 AM
Nothing puts a bigger smile on your face then driving a TR3 on a sunny day. But this is a rare thing up here in the pacific north west. Since your in Arizona you dont have to worry about getting soaked with the top up when its raining..a 3 will do that a 4 wont. I have both and take them to differant shows all the time. The farther I drive relates to which car I take..Longer trips I take the 4. Just buy one of each and let your wife drive one.

04-05-2012, 10:26 AM
My TR4 is setup similar to Geo. I am 64 and have the usual stuff going on. The best thing I did for my comfort was install Corbeau Classics with adjustable lumbar support.

Geo Hahn
04-05-2012, 02:34 PM
Mike --

After I sent the above message I drove out Old Spanish Trail to meet friends for a hike. Somehwere among those twisties I realized the thing to do was to have you come up to Tucson and drive the TR3A & the TR4 back-to-back on that road or the Mt Lemmon Highway.

I'm on the far east side so you won't have to get across Tucson, still it's about 2 hours to here from Hereford.

I'll send my contact info and if you're interested we'll set something up.

04-05-2012, 08:34 PM
Thanks fellas, I appreciate this info.

Last night i was getting a little too excited and too anxious to buy. The TR4A at Daniel Schmidt Motors in St Louis is compelling because it is exactly like the one i had back in the day, check it out if you have time. It is a beauty and its finished and ready to hit the road. But, they are pretty proud of it.

Still, would love to take the TR3 test drive though, meet the Tucson people, and see some TR's. I lived and worked in Tucson and am now retired in the beautiful Huachuca Mt.

My other hobby is buying, selling and doing bolt & nut restorations on Farmall Cub Tractors (1947 to 1960 round bonnet machines). They are pretty similar to the TR engines and the have HYDRAULICS :-)

I may be selling some Cubs soon.. LOL

Here are the two cars I am most interested in

https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1967-TRIU...#ht_42138wt_952 (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1967-TRIUMPH-TR4A-IRS-ROADSTER-ONLY-57-168-ACTUAL-MILES-RESTORED-/390400739980?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item5ae5b28a8c #ht_42138wt_952)

This TR3 is a beauty too:
https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1959-Triu...ht_500wt_964has (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1959-Triumph-TR3A-Hardtop-/251033711542?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3a72c673b6 #ht_500wt_964has) the hard top.

Thanks again


PS, don't you go stealing either of these just yet

04-06-2012, 01:16 AM
I love our TR3 but that 4 is gorgeous. I think you should have both

04-06-2012, 08:52 AM
Having all three flavors (TR3, TR4A solid axle and a TR4a with IRS) the IRS car has a significantly better ride in my opinion. For road use I have not found any handling compromise, at 7/10 it actually handles better in my opinion as it is less disrupted by road surfaces.

The 4 / 4A is also a more comfortable car with better wind control, which can be a big deal for extended touring. YMMV.

04-06-2012, 12:27 PM
Mike...Not to be a stickler...but looks like both cars do not have the correct color wheels. That may...or may not mean much...but might mean that other things were not done back to original specs. That 4 is a very nice looking ride. Will you be able to see it up close and personal?
There have been some very nice 3's for sale recently in California. If I see something that might be of interest will share that with you. Good luck in your quest. Gil NoCal

04-06-2012, 03:34 PM

Add this to your list. One owner, original. From the photos, it has several options but no overdrive: adjustable steering wheel, windscreen washer, ash tray. And it says never driven in rain, salt or snow. I'd lose those whitewalls first thing.

https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Triumph-T...602a9d175#v4-43 (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Triumph-TR3-Type-20-All-Original-One-Owner-Low-Milage-1959-Triumph-TR3-/300692394357?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item4602a9d175 #v4-43)

Simon TR4a
04-06-2012, 08:03 PM
I agree with TDSkip on the TR4 being more useable, roomier cockpit, less exposed feeling, synchromesh on first etc. Of course the cars were developed over time- the 4 is more practical for modern driving conditions. Is that better? Depends what YOU want....

Just a word on the white car linked by Peter- to me the passenger front fender looks "wavy" at the bottom, sort of weird, makes me uncomfortable. Might look fine in real life.

Andrew Mace
04-06-2012, 09:12 PM
I agree with TDSkip on the TR4 being more useable...synchromesh on first etc. ...Geez, didn't you guys learn how to double-clutch? :devilgrin: :driving:

04-06-2012, 09:33 PM
Thanks fellas

Its going to have to be that '67 TR4A......i think :-)

I noticed the wheels were pained grey on the TR4A, but this nice car deserves panasports or chrome wires... and likely a set of Michelins. I am going to call them next week. So far i have just emailed with their sales rep. That proved a real disappointment. I asked him to show me pictures of the undercarriage and that was too much for him without an offer that he could take to the owner to prove I was interested. He also said he would have to move a bunch of cars around and it was just too much for him. Poor fellow. I will give Schmidt my best offer contingent on my inspection and test drive ( 24 hrs). If the undercarriage is as nice as the rest of the car, like he says, i will be satisfied. Hope its not been undercoated.

The TR3's sure do look classy though and yes i noticed the California TR3 this morning.

Does anyone know the weight difference between a TR4A and a TR6. I was TRless for about five years between my TR4A and my TR6. In my mind, whats left of it, the TR4A had more pep, but the six was a smooth on the road.

Which car is faster 0 to 60.


This forum might be almost as good as farmallcub.com. :-)


Geo Hahn
04-07-2012, 08:14 AM
...the TR4 being more useable, roomier cockpit...

The TR3 has the roomiest cockpit I've driven since I had a bicycle.

...In my mind, whats left of it, the TR4A had more pep, but the six was a smooth on the road.

So much depends on the state of the engine and tune, but I rather agree.

...Which car is faster 0 to 60.

The TR3A. Then the TR4, etc (noting about comment about state of engine & tune).

04-07-2012, 10:30 AM
0 to 60 lists the following times for each

TR3A 11.3 seconds 95 bhp/117 ft-lb
TR4 10.4 seconds 100 bhp/127 ft-lb
TR4A 10.3 seconds 104 bhp/132 ft-lb
TR6 10.6 seconds 104 bhp/143 ft-lb

I would have to say not enough to worry about or notice. And if the TR3's engine has been replaced or rebuilt as 2138cc instead of 1991cc then it should be in the same range if not faster with the lower weight.

Looking for weight information for each model is harder as I didn't find any sources that seemed to agree with each other although they all showed similar differences between the cars. The following were from one of my TR books (TR for Triumph). I would have picked Robson's book but he showed the TR4A as lighter!

TR3 2138 lbs
TR4 2200 lbs
TR4A 2245 lbs
TR6 2390 lbs


04-07-2012, 11:59 AM
I'd personally not base any decision on 0-60 acceleration but rather driving experience. A 3/4 vs a 6 are very different drives in my experience due to the 4 vs 6 engine. Don't assume a TR6 will be quicker in the real world of variable engine condition etc.

Of more importance would be which one(s) have an overdrive. That will make a far greater difference in the real world than a couple of 10ths 0-60 difference.

If you drive them back to back, or in reasonable proximity, you'll know which one you want.

04-07-2012, 10:18 PM
Thanks George and Scott, thats great info. I need some manuals.

I last drove my TR4A IRS back in 1971. I just remember that it seemed to have ALOT more giddyup than the TR6 that i drove from 1972 to 1977. I hope that the ride is as fun as it was back then. Now i have those darn aches and pains from time to time :-(

I would not buy a car based on 0-60 times either Yoda, i was just wonderin'..i am stuck on the TR4A.

Now let me ask you this :-) From the standpoint of an investment, ride, and overall comparison, assuming both cars are in fine condition, how do you feel about the TR250 v. the TR4A :-). I know i have already decided on the TR4A , i think :-).

1968 was a neat year, last for the Italian styled car, which i prefer over the German styled TR6 car, BUT ..with brand new 6 cylinder. I don't know if the first year six had any problems, but sometimes first year engines had issues?

From what i have seen the TR250's are bringing more money than TR4A's, right ?

I thank you again and in advance

04-07-2012, 10:54 PM
TR250s are more valuable than a TR4a given the same condition, no issues at this point in early vs later TR 6 cylinder engines as to reliability. Earlier cars are generally more desirable in the TR6 range due to differences in emissions controls and other differences.

Finding a good TR250 is generally the biggest issue.

04-08-2012, 02:02 AM
4A vs. TR250, I can speak to that one a little bit. Although a lot of time passed between ownerhip I had a solid axle 4A (roughly a third were sold in the USA without the IRS) and now drive a TR250 I restored.

I know what you mean about the 4A feeling punchy, despite a mild cam, raised compression and a couple other mild tweeks the TR250 doesn't really feel any faster than I remember the 4A, and maybe a tick slower, but on paper the 6 cylinder should be producing a little more power and torque.

The 4 cylnder engine is slightly more robust than the 6 cylinder, which are pretty good, the main issue to look for is the crank thrust washer wear in the six.

They talk about the 6 cylinder being smoother than the 4, but honestly they are both torquey low revving engines and I didn't feel that much difference there.

The 4 gets slightly better MPG.

The 250 has a slightly better top, seals around the windows better.

The 250 has a little more wow value with the racing stripes, 6 cyl. v. 4 and one year only production.

The biggest difference between my cars from a driving standpoint was the chassis. The IRS feels much different than the solid rear. For you this comparison would be more IRS 250 or 4A vs solid axle 4A or TR3. THe solid axle car rides much firmer, bordering on pretty harsh actually. The IRS soaks up bumps pretty well. The IRS puts power down out of tight corners better, but that being said if spirited driving is one of your goals the IRS setup probebly needs more modification than the solid axle. The solid axle is also more rugged and dependable, although you should have no problems with a preperly set up and refurbished IRS setup either.