50th anniversary of the TR5 by John Tuohy

 

The first British sports car with petrol injection was a new 6 cylinder 2.5 litre engine. A big rise in size and power. Top speed 125mph (UK Spec 0-50 6.5 seconds Standing ¼ mile 16.5 seconds).

In October 1967 British Leyland, in order to keep up with the increasing power upgrades of the Austin Healy, the MG’s were still on the 1500 BMC Motors although there were rumours of a 6 cylinder version maybe in the pipeline!!  By now the TR4A was getting somewhat antiquated. British Leyland needed an interim model with a 15 month (at most) production run.  The new 6 cylinder motor, derived from the existing 2000cc motor developed 90 BHP,  and, by increasing the stroke, achieved 125BHP.

To increase the power and for the first time in a production sports car Lucas Mechanical fuel injection was installed which caused a lot of chagrin amongst mechanics not used to this system.

A total build of 2947 cars over a 15 month period between 1967 and 1968, chassis numbers CPI-CP3096.  As the American market would not allow the TR5 with fuel injection, British Leyland detoxed the motor with twin carbies and called them TR250.  8484 built between August 1967 and September 1968, chassis numbers CDI-CD8594.

My car is CD686.  All my numbers still match although the car has had two restorations and, according to Vin Anderson, was the first TR5 in Australia.  It was flown in for car shows.  If not the first in Australia, it was the first in South Australia.

JOHN TUOHY.

 

Triumph TR5 – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Overview.
A new six cyclinder Triumph TR arrived in 1967, the TR5. The TR 5 engine was a larger version of the unit used in the 2000 Saloon range and measured 2498cc and produced 150 bhp. Wheelbase 2240 mm (7ft 4in), length 3908 mm (12ft 9.625in), width 1470 mm (4ft 10in) and height 1170 mm (3ft 10in).

Another all new feature on the TR5 was the use of a Lucas Fuel Injection system, a first for a British sports car.
Externally the TR5 looked much the same as he TR4A and optional extras were carried over for buyers to choose from. The TR5 sold in small numbers until the arrival of the TR6 in 1968.

The Triumph TR5 was built for a 15 month period between 1967 and 1968 by the Triumph Motor Company in the United Kingdom, during which time approximately 2,947 cars were built.

The main differences to the TR4A were under the Giovanni Michelotti designed bonnet, and the most significant of these was the engine and a hot cam. The TR5 boasted a 2.5 litre straight six fuel injected engine developing around 150 bhp (110 kW) and produced performance equal to many 1990’s sport sedans. The engine was carried forward to the TR6. At the time, fuel injection (or petrol injection as it was sometimes called back then) was uncommon in road cars. So much so that Triumph claimed in their sales brochure that it was the “First British production sports car with petrol injection”.  This engine could propel the TR5 from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

The TR5 came equipped with front disc brakes, independent rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and a four speed gearbox. The available optional extras included overdrive, wire wheels and a hard top with detachable roof panel and a small removable frame with vinyl cover – known as the ‘Surrey Top’. In 1968,  the basic price of the TR5 in the UK was 1,260 pounds including taxes, with extras, wire wheels (38 pounds), overdrive (60 pounds) and a tonneau cover (13 pounds).

The TR5 was produced in small numbers when compared with the later TR6, with just 2,947 units produced in 1967/8 – the first car being assembled on 29th August 1967 and the last made on 19th September 1968. In a similar period 8,484 TR250’s were built for the US market. Only 1,161 TR5’s were produced for the UK market, with the remainder being LHD TR5’s and going to France, Belgium and Germany amongst others.

The TR5 was available in the following colours;

Signal Red, White, Jasmine Yellow, Wedgwood Blue, Royal Blue and Valencia Blue.

The TR5 was virtually identical to the TR250, built during the same period for the North Amercian market. Due to price pressures and emission regulations the TR250 was fitted with twin Zenith-Stromberg carburettors rather than the Lucas fuel injection system, and took 10.6 seconds to get to 60 mph (97 km/h).

Jeremy Clarkson labelled the TR5 as “the best TR ever” and named it #74 on his list of Top 100 cars.

 

 

 

2 Responses to “50th anniversary of the TR5 by John Tuohy”

  1. Roger Says:

    Finally a post from a member other than the President or myself! Well done John and Dean!

  2. Ian Rigby Says:

    Great story and the pictures look good too. Ian

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