Monterey

Portola Hotel & Spa
13 - 15 August 2015
Lot 306

1968 Triumph TR5 PI Roadster

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$74,250 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

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Chassis No.
CP/1011-LO
Engine No.
CR/1349-HE
Body No.
01240-CP
  • Very rare European-market model with factory fuel injection
  • Even more rare with factory left-hand drive
  • Properly and beautifully restored
  • BMIHT Certificate included

150 bhp, 2,498 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine with Lucas mechanical fuel injection, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, unequal-length A-arm front suspension with coil springs, independent rear suspension with semi-trailing arms and coil springs, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88 in.

As the latest evolution of Triumph’s post-war two-seater sports car, the TR5 visually featured the same handsome, clean Giovanni Michelotti styling as its predecessor, the TR4, while saving the main differences for what lay beneath. Under the hood was a 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine that, on U.S.-market cars, was equipped with carburetors and produced about 111 brake horsepower. Cars for the rest of the world, meanwhile, were what Triumph proudly advertised as the “first British production sports car with petrol injection.”

At the time, fuel injection was still a relatively new technology to European production cars, and it was such a sufficiently good selling point that Triumph referred to the model not simply as the TR5 but as the TR5 PI (Petrol Injection). The fuel-injected engine made European-market TR5s capable of 150 brake horsepower, versus the 111 brake horsepower of the carbureted TR 250 U.S./North American model. They were also genuinely quick little devils, capable of 0–60 mph in just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph.

Of course, since these cars were delivered in Europe and elsewhere outside of North America, the fuel-injected TR5 is a highly unusual sight on American roads. Like other Triumphs of this era, it is also rare to find one that has been properly restored and finished.

The car offered here is a happy exception. Originally delivered to the sunny climate of Portugal, through Auto Puma LDA, of Lisbon, it is a desirable left-hand-drive car, documented by its British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate, a copy of which is on file, as having been originally finished in Signal Red over Black with a Black top and equipped with an overdrive transmission, metric speedometer, Dulpo headlamps, and wire wheels.

The TR5 PI remained in Portugal for many years, gaining its present engine, a fuel-injected 1973 factory 2500 PI short-block, virtually identical to the original; presumably, this was done in the early ’70s, the only time that this engine would have still been available. It was restored a few years ago to excellent condition, described by the consignor as “spot-on, right, and spectacular.” Beginning with a rust-free car with no apparent accident damage, the body was taken off the chassis and properly restored. Among the special original details are a factory woven cloth-type wiring harness, properly trued and balanced silver wire wheels, and correct (unobtainium) OEM red-line Michelin tires. Paint quality, body fit, and the overall quality of the car are very good throughout.

An exciting and rare TR5 PI—so seldom seen in the U.S.—this is surely one of the nicest survivors, especially on this side of the pond!