World Classic Autos Index > Guides Index > Triumph


TR range

The Standard Motor Company under Sir John Black had commissioned a touring car known as the TRX. The project was cancelled because it was too expensive. After a failed attempt to buy Morgan, Black set his design team the challenge of producing a cheap and simple car that could give Standard a share of the US sports car market. Black had bought Triumph after the world, the car side of the Triumph business had gone broke in 1939 and decided to use that name to market the car. The car was to be cheap and he didn't want comparisions with Standard vehicles.

Black gave the engineer Harry Webster and stylist Walter Belgrove just £16,000 for tools to make the body. Using Standard parts they produced the Triumph 20TS. Former racing engineer Ken Richard completed reworked the 20TS and made it as fast as the Austin-Healey 100. The new car was called the TR2 and went into production in 1953. It sported a 2 litre Standard Vanguard engine and was an instant success.

In 1956 a face-lifted version of the TR2 was launched as the TR3. The only part of the car that was obviously different were the disc brakes, a first on a mass produced car. A year after its launch for the US market the TR3 gained a full width radiator grille and and up-dated engine and was called the TR3A. The model was a such a success that it was eventually sold into other markets.

In 1961 a new body shape was conceived and the TR4 was born. In contrast to previous models this was more luxurious to compete with new sports cars such as the Sunbeam Alpine. In 1965 came a major redesign of the back suspension and the engine changed from a Standard Vanguard 2.0 litre to the Triumph 2000. This model was known as the TR5 or TR250 in the US. It was later rebodied as the TR6

The TR7 was based on the Dolomite saloon and had controversial wedge-shaped styling. A V8 was sloted into the TR7 for the US market and was known as the TR8. In 1981 the financial troubles at British Leyland resulted in the closing down of Sports Cars production.


TR2            1952-55
TR3            1955-57
TR3A/TR3B      1957-62
TR4/TR4A       1961-67
TR5/TR250      1967-68
TR6            1969-76
TR7            1975-81
TR8            1979-81


Rust is the problem to look out for on these models. There is a separate chassis so that the sills are not structural. Any point where the body touches the chassis there is likely to be rust. Gearboxes and steering boxes will fail. Spares are scarce.


The TR4 brought improvements. Rack and pinion steering and ally synchromesh gearbox and the TR4A gave the buyer better seats, windup windows and a collapsible steering column. They rot in the same places but engines are reliable.


The TR5 was a stop-gap model but included a new engine that gave 150 bhp. In the US with emission controls in mind the car badged as a TR250 only had 104 bhp. Karman were given the job of designing the TR6. The engine was detuned in 1972 for the UK to 124 bhp. Other than rust the big problem was the fuel pump but these have generally been resolved. Check whether the VIN plate is the original or whether is it a US model that has been converted.


The TR7 was more of a British Leyland venture, with similar designs aspects and parts found on other BL models of the era. The convertible and the TR8 came too late in the cars life cycle. Rust is still a problem and especially so because the sills are structural.

Workshop Manuals
Triumph GT6 And Vitesse 2-Litre USA BL
Triumph GT6 Mk II & GT6+ Handbook USA Triumph
Triumph GT6, GT6+ & 2000 Competition Preparation USA BL
Triumph GT6 Handbook To 1974 USA Triumph
Triumph GT6 Mk III Handbook USA BL
Triumph Herald, Spitfire I-III & Vitesse 1600 USA Brooklands
Triumph Herald 1200-12/50 Handbook USA Standard-Triumph
Triumph Herald 13/60 Handbook UK USA Triumph
Triumph Herald 13/60 Models Parts Catalogue USA Brooklands
Triumph Vitesse 2.0 Mk II Parts Catalogue USA Brooklands
Triumph Spitfire Mk III Parts Catalogue USA BL
Triumph Spitfire IV USA Brooklands
Triumph Spitfire IV Handbook USA BL
Triumph Spitfire 1500 USA Brooklands
Triumph Spitfire 1500 Handbook USA Triumph
Triumph Spitfire 1969-1980 Owners Manual USA Autobooks
Triumph Spitfire I-IV Competition Preparation Manual USA Kastner/Cook/Barratt
Triumph TR2 & TR3 USA Brooklands
Triumph TR2 & TR3 Spare Parts Catalogue USA Brooklands
Triumph TR4 Handbook USA Triumph
Triumph TR4a Handbook USA Triumph
Triumph TR4 & TR4a Workshop Manual USA Brooklands
Triumph TR5 PI Supplement (Use With TR4) USA Brooklands
Triumph TR6 Parts Catalogue To 1973 USA BL
Triumph TR6 (1974-1976) Spare Parts Catalogue USA BL
Triumph TR6 Handbook USA Brooklands
Triumph TR250 Spare Parts Catalogue USA Triumph
Triumph TR4a Spare Parts Catalogue USA BL
Triumph TR4 Spare Parts Catalogue USA BL
Triumph TR6 Repair Operation Manual USA Brooklands
Triumph TR6 PI Handbook USA Brooklands
Triumph TR7 Handbook 1979 USA BL
Triumph TR8 Handbook USA BL
Triumph TR7 & TR8 Parts Catalogue USA BL
Triumph Stag Repair Operation Manual USA BL
Triumph Stag Parts List (April 1978) USA BL
Triumph Spitfire 1962-1981 USA Haynes
Triumph Stag USA Haynes
Triumph TR7 1975-1982 USA Haynes

Triumph 2000-2.5 1963-1977 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Cars In America USA Cook M
Triumph Herald And Vitesse USA Robson G
Illustrated Triumph Buyer's Guide UK USA Newton
Essential Triumph TR TR2-TR8 USA Hodges
Original Triumph TR2/3/3a - Restorer's Guide USA Piggott B
Original Triumph TR4/4A/5/6 - Restorer's Guide UK USA Piggott B
Original Triumph Stag: The Restorer's Guide USA Taylor J
Original Triumph TR7 & TR8 UK USA Piggot B
Triumph Herald 1959-1971 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Vitesse 1962-1971 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Dolomite Sprint USA Clarke R M
Complete Guide To Triumph Herald & Vitesse USA Costigan M
Practical Classics, On Triumph Herald/Vitesse Restoration USA Clarke R M
TR For Triumph USA Harvey C
Triumph Sportscars Colour Family Album USA Sparrow
Triumph Spitfire Restoration, Practical Classics& Car Restorer UK USA
Triumph Spitfire And GT6: The Complete Guide USA Taylor J
Triumph TR USA Taylor J
Triumph TR's, The Complete Story USA Robson G
Triumph TR2 - TR8 1953-81 UK USA Zeichner W
Triumph TR4/TR5/TR250 1961-1968 USA Clarke R M
Triumph TR6 1969-1976 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Spitfire & GT6 - A Collector's Guide USA Robson G
Triumph Sports Cars USA Krause B
Triumph Spitfire 1962-1980 USA Clarke R M
Triumph GT6 1966-1974 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Stag 1970-1977 USA Clarke R M
Triumph Stag Restoration UK USA Practical Classics
R & T On Triumph Sports Cars 1953-1967 USA
R & T On Triumph Sports Cars 1967-1974 USA
R & T On Triumph Sports Cars 1974-1982 USA
Practical Classics On Triumph Herald Restoration USA
Triumph TRs Collectors Guide USA Robson
Practical Classics On Triumph TR6 Restoration UK USA
Triumph The Sporting Cars USA Piggot Bill
Triumph Sports Cars USA Robson Graham
Triumph TR7 & TR8 1975-1982 USA Clarke R M
Triumph TR7 & TR8 1975-1981 USA Taylor J L
Triumph TR2 & TR3 1952-1961 USA Clarke R M
Triumph By Name-Triumph By Nature (TR2/3) USA Piggott

Die Triumph TR's von Graham Robson (2003)