1968 Triumph TR5
In 1885 Siegfried Bettmann, a German living in London, founded S. Bettmann & Co and started importing bicycles from Europe. Initially, he was selling them under his own trade name, however, in 1886 the name changed to Triumph. In 1897 the company was renamed as the Triumph Cycle Co Ltd and in 1902 the company started producing motor cycles at their factory in Coventry. Business was booming, thanks to big orders from the British Army which needed motor cycles during the First World War and by 1918 Triumph had become Britain’s largest manufacturer of motor cycles.
In 1921 Bettmann acquired the assets of the defunct Dawson Car Company and started producing cars. The first car to wear the Triumph name was the Triumph 10/20. This car and its immediate successors were only produced in small numbers, however, that all changed with the introduction of the Triumph Super 7 in 1927. This car was a success and it was sold in large numbers through until 1934.
In 1930 the name of the company was officially changed to the Triumph Motor Company. Times were tough and Triumph was struggling to compete with larger car companies. The company started having financial problems and in 1936 the bicycle and motorcycle business were sold to Jack Sangster of Arial. In 1939 the Triumph Motor Company went into receivership and the factory, equipment and goodwill were offered for sale. They were sold, but the Second World War stopped production and the Triumph factory was completely destroyed by bombing in 1940.
After the Second World War, what was left of the Triumph Motor Company and the trade name were purchased by the Standard Motor Company. In 1946 the first new Triumph, the 1800 Roadster, was released to directly compete with Jaguar. In 1950 the company decided to use the Triumph name for all sports models and the Standard name for saloon cars. History now says that this was a strategically brilliant move as it signalled the birth of the Triumph TR series cars.
The TR series Triumphs stand as iconic British sports cars that are well known and loved by enthusiasts all over the world. It started back in 1952 when the Triumph 20TS, a prototype sports car which later became known as the TR1, was shown at the London Motor Show. Reactions were mixed, however, Triumph thought they were on to a good thing and the prototype evolved into the TR2 that was subsequently shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1953. Triumph built over 8,500 of these 1991cc 4 cylinder sports cars from 1953 – 1955 and as they say the rest was history. The model evolved into the TR3 (produced from 1955 – 1962), the TR4 (built from 1961 – 1965), the TR4A (built from 1965 – 1967), the TR5 (built from 1967 – 1968) and ultimately the TR6 (1969 – 1976). Subsequent TR models were interesting cars but it’s fair to say the evolution of the TR2 finished at the TR6.
Perhaps the most interesting and certainly the rarest of all of the TR production cars is the TR5 with only 2,947 cars built. The most significant change from the TR4 was the introduction of a 6-cylinder 2.5 litre fuel injected engine that boasted an impressive 150 bhp that could propel the car from 0 – 50 mph (80 km/hr) in just over six seconds and a top speed of just under 120 mph (200 km/hr).
Today the TR5 remains the most sought after and collectible of the TR series cars.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a fabulous and incredibly original 1968 Triumph TR5.
This is an Australian delivered example that is fitted with the rare and desirable surrey top. This car was understood to have been a Motor Show car in period, attending the Melbourne and Brisbane Motor Shows in 1968. Following the Brisbane Motor Show the car was despatched to Annand & Thompson in Toowoomba and sold on the 29th August 1968 to its first owner Mr R Reis. The car was first registered in Queensland as PJC 254, a registration it still carries today. This history is confirmed by the original service book which is still with the car.
The car was kept by its original owner for 47 years until it was sold in 2015. The next owner only kept the car for a short period before selling it to the current owner in May 2016. This car is well known to Oldtimer Australia as that change in ownership was facilitated by us. At that time the odometer read 93,893 miles.
When the current owner purchased the car, it was in stunning original condition. This Triumph TR5 was an incredible time capsule that had been in single ownership for most of its life.
Over the next few years, the current owner went on a journey to take the car to the next level whilst respecting its originality. In 2017/2018 the interior was refurbished. This included re-trimming the upholstery in leather, installing sound deadening to the floors & firewall, fitting a new mat for the boot, fitting new carpets and a new dashboard. As you will see from the photos this has been beautifully done and the leather even looks to show some very light patina. All the instruments were cleaned before being refitted into the car.
Brisbane based Triumph specialist, Greg Tunstall Mechanical, has been the preferred mechanic for this car for many years. They were the obvious choice for the current owner to use to enhance the car. There is a thick file of invoices on file showing the work he has done in recent years. Amongst other things, the fuel injection system was overhauled, a new clutch was fitted, the clutch master & slave cylinder were reconditioned, the pedal box re-bushed, the gearbox was rebuilt, a new overdrive wiring harness was fitted, new shock absorbers & and springs were installed for the front & rear suspension, a new stainless-steel exhaust was fitted and of course regular servicing. When the current owner acquired the car, it still had its original wheels. In 2018 he decided to upgrade the car with Minilite wheels which with were sourced from the UK through Greg Tunstall Mechanical. Importantly, the original wheels are still with the car.
Cosmetically the car was in great condition, however, a decision was made to repaint the bonnet (due to stone chips) and surrey top (due to a few blemishes). At the time new stainless steel bumpers were sourced and fitted.
Today this car presents exceptionally well. The paint work, which looks to be original in part, is in incredible condition for its age presenting with just the right amount of patina. All of the exterior trim is in excellent condition. Obviously the bumpers are new, however, the grill, badges, lights & lenses and the glass are all in really good condition. The wheels are also ‘as new’ and shod with Pirelli Cinturato P1 tyres that were purchased & fitted in 2018.
Is there a better colour combination of white with a red interior on a TR5? We don’t think so. Open the door and you can immediately see that the car hasn’t been used much at all since the interior was refurbished. Quite frankly, it is just stunning! As you would expect the seats are firm and supportive. The timber work is beautiful and the steering wheel, instruments and controls all present like new. And that fresh leather smell . . . what a great place to be!
It is with great anticipation that we took this car out for a test drive. It drove incredibly well back in 2016 and following all this work it drove even better today. The car needs full choke to start but it starts easily from cold. The choke needs to be shut off immediately after starting and you have to feather the throttle for a short time to get the engine to settle into a smooth idle.
All of the work done to this car means that it is an absolute delight to drive. There’s only one way to describe the driving experience of this car . . . “a lot of fun”. It is tight on the road with no rattles or squeaks and it handles just superbly. The car feels so balanced in every way. The steering is light, yet you feel the road through your hands. Many of these traditional British sports cars look great but they don’t go so well. Fuel injected Triumph TR5’s go ‘very well’ and this car has loads of power on tap. The engine is smooth and very responsive. The rebuilt gearbox changes gears easily and the overdrive kicks in and out at the flick of the switch.
A period looking modern radio has been installed but honestly, the sound of the engine is the only sound track you will need!
The car still has its original service book, owner’s manual, factory sales brochure and a thick history file. There is also a spare wheel and the original set of wheels.
Today the odometer reads 94,434 miles, confirming the car has been used sparingly travelling only 541 miles in the last 5 years, As a result, its current owner wants the car to find a new owner who will use and enjoy this fabulous car as its makers intended.
- Australian delivered desirable TR5 PI.
- First owner for 47 years and only 3 owners from new!
- An incredible time capsule that has been sympathetically and lightly restored in recent years.
- Lot of money spent over the past 5 years to make it a very reliable classic.
- Just serviced, ready for its new owner to use and enjoy.
- Triumph TR5
- 94,434 miles