True appeal of the TR

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Sir,

I have resisted the temptation for two or three months to write to you on the subject of Triumph TRs, expecting enthusiasm for these cars to be sufficiently unimportant to continue to take up space in your columns. However, I now succumb.

None of your correspondents seem to have brought out the true appeal of the TR, and that is, surely, that the car is basically “dangerous”. I use the word in the sense of “exhilarating”, for I suspect that readers of MOTOR SPORT derive more satisfaction from driving their cars than from polishing them; and a car that demands the exercise of some ability in order to drive fast and safely in all conditions is often more satisfactory from the pure driving point of view than the more sure-footed car. My own experience is that the better the car handles, the faster I drive it, so a car that engenders a healthy respect in me because of its inherent instability is more likely to preserve me for relaxed old age than the car I can blithely drive on the limit. The TR seems to me to be a car that engenders some respect, particularly on wet or slippery surfaces, and yet it does have a degree of power.

Its other great quality is its ability to “potter about”. I don’t pretend for a moment that the TR is in the same class as the E-type, but its tractor-based engine gives very relaxed cruising revs (100 m.p.h.,: 4,100 r.p.m. in overdrive). I have, in fact, on two occasions covered 1,000 miles in a TR3A in less than 24 hours (no-one gave me a Dior dress!) and not been unduly tired, though the wind noise got me down and I had to stuff my ears with chewed-up opera tickets (I was driving from Vienna to Stockholm).

I am, obviously, a confirmed TR addict, having been seduced away from MGs (I had an interesting 1934 L-type Salonette and an open VA which was ideal transport in early student days) to a 1955 TR2, which had an embarrassing stripe down the middle and a plaque on the dashboard proclaiming it had taken part in the Trans-America Rally, whatever that was; followed by two 3As and now a well-worn TR4. I cannot answer for the most recent TRs, though I have had a ride in a TR6, but I believe they continue the tradition of fast, straight-line cars, offering relaxed cruising and that inherent TR instability I mentioned, and which I consider half the point of the car. My favourite was is lightened and modified 3A which would reach 100 m.p.h. in 25 seconds and maintain it all day long in Continental driving if I were prepared to stand the wind noise.

I should add that this addiction to TRs has not been without hair raising incidents. The first resulted in me motoring into a quiet Buckinghamshire village on three wheels, whilst the truant, complete with brake drum and part of the hub, careered on ahead only coming to rest when it rolled through the open door of the local tavern. I also suffered two fractured brake pipes, one discovered when I was stationary and the other when I was attempting to stop at a pedestrian crossing. But I am not so much blaming the individual cars for these experiences as, perhaps, commenting on some of the risks to be guarded against when buying hard-used second-hand sports cars.

So although your excellent road-tests of very desirable cars are temptation itself, nevertheless I continue (along with many others apparently) to derive a fair degree of satisfaction from a car I would describe as good all-round transport.
London, SE11.
C. G. Masterman.