View Full Version : A New Member (Kinda) Looking For Some Info

10-14-2012, 10:15 AM

Over the last 10 years I've owned a AH Bugeye Sprite (recently sold) and a 64 Sunbeam Alpine (considering selling). I'm interested in getting something with a little more performance and power, so I'm looking at Triumphs. I like the looks of the TR4 and the TR-3s. Can someone direct me to some info on the web where I can get more insight on these cars? Like performance info, owners feedback, average costs, etc.?

Mike Pennell

Geo Hahn
10-14-2012, 11:24 AM
I was going to direct you to the VTR Buyers' Guides for the TR3 & 4 but I see they don't have guides for those 2 models. Possibly all owners are too busy driving to sit and write about them?

In my opinion, the things you ask about (performance, owners' feedback, costs) are more dependent on the specific car in question rather than TR3 vs TR4. IOW, the mechanicals are similar enough, power about the same & maintenance cost equal so these categories don't make for much contrast.

Now in other areas:

Initial cost - all things equal, TR3As cost about 1.5x to 2x the price of similar TR4s.

Creature comforts - with side curtains & cut-down doors the TR3A is pretty spartan compared to the full doors, roll-up windows of the TR4. But then you drove a Bugeye so perhaps Spartan suits you.

Handling - The steering box of the TR3 presents quite a different feel from the rack & pinion of the TR4. I would hesitate to call either one 'better', just different and both good fun IMO.

Maintenance - Very similar unless you get into a 4A w/IRS. Again, 'different' but not necessarily 'better', again just my opinion.

Your best course will be to actually drive a decent example of both. I have let some drivers try my cars back-to-back to help them decide though even then they are only sampling one example of a something that can vary quite a bit.

The one other area to be aware of is TR3 vs TR3A (though not all discussions or ads note the 'A'. There were changes through the years, some cosmetic (the wide grille on later cars) some functional like the switch to disc brakes. The former is a matter of taste, the latter is a desirable feature for a car to be enthusiastically driven.

10-14-2012, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the reply, it was certainly informative. I have noticed a significant difference in price betwee the 3s and 4s. I've always found the 3s to be especially cool looking (a style of unique design - like the Bugeye - that is eye catching). However, I also find the 4s to be particulary cool looking, so I'm really leaning toward a 4.

I've seen the 4A/IRS. Are there any particular negatives about these? Also, can these engines be modied to provide better-than-stock output w/o going overly crazy (or overly expensive)? Finally, what about rust issues - similar concerns to other British sports cars of that vintage?

Mike Pennell

10-15-2012, 10:01 AM

Since the TR4A's frame was the predecessor to the TR6, it has the same weakpoints which include rust in the area where the rear A-arms attach to the frame and cracking in the differential mount pins. I think some people consider the IRS-setup to be more complex since there are more moving parts (4 more U-joints for example) but I never thought that was a big issue and in fact thought it was great since I could easily remove and replace sections of the rear drivetrain easily if needed.

Rust points are the typical places to check for British cars - rocker panels and floors of course. Also the lower rear section of the front fender and the rear fenders where mud/water gets thrown up from the wheels.

I rebuilt my engine stock so don't have any experience on increasing power but there are others here that could speak to performance camshafts etc.


10-15-2012, 10:19 AM
In my experience, the power of the 4A is pretty good. I did add fuel injection with MegaSquirt and that has helped with warmup, run-on and many of the other issues. In our club drive to Hawk's Nest the big Healeys had trouble keeping up.

Dan B
S. Charleston, WV

80 TR7

10-16-2012, 12:26 PM
Not much performance difference between a healhty 4 and 6, but very differenct character between them.

Either will be very distinct from your Bugeye and Alpine. If you can ask the local club to help arrive a drive in both - you'll know right away which one you want.

10-16-2012, 01:21 PM
All great recommendations, but sleek, sexy, and nimble quick, says GT6+.

10-16-2012, 06:37 PM
GT6 might be a touch warm in the Bahamas :-)

10-17-2012, 08:35 PM

Thanks for all the info. I'll now have to take a look at the GT6, but am very encouraged about the 4. I'll see about the possibility of a local club arranging a drive. I'm actually out of the Bahamas now, but due to transfer to Mexico in the near future.

Thanks again,
Mike Pennell