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Hooniverse Weekend Edition – How About a V8-Powered Triumph TR4A?

Here is another one of those unusual eBay Listings served-up for the Hooniverse audience, and you will either love it or hate it, but I bet most of you will love it. This is a 1967 Triumph TR4A that was converted to V-8 power more than 30 years ago, and the conversion is so sanitary, you wonder why the lads at Triumph never did it in the first place. Come take a look and see if you agree.


The eBay listing is quite comprehensive, with quite a number of images to help any future owner feel comfortable with their purchase decision. According to the listing:

Hellooo! What’s under that hood? Wow – looks like it was meant to be. Yep, it’s a U.S.-made V-8 engine, one that has powered many a Brit. Morgan, Rover, Land Rover, MG, TVR – at one time or another, they all were available with this derivative of General Motors’ 215 cu.in. Buick all-alloy motor, which was licensed to be produced in Solihull, way back in 1965. Compact dimensions and light weight ensure a perfect fit – no extra hood scoops, flares, or fender vents needed!

Yes that’s a 60′s vintage Buick 215 sitting snug inside the engine compartment, only built by Rover. Instead of Lucas electrics and SU Carbs, this one comes with an Edelbrock Performer intake and a Carter AFB 4-bbl carburetor with electric choke.

And as if having a Rover V-8 powering this magnificent Triumph isn’t enough, this car comes equipped with the ultra rare, two-piece, factory installed Surrey Top, which makes this Triumph an actual four season car.

The only thing that will get the true enthusiast up-in-arms is the fact that this Triumph is now sporting an automatic transmission, which is a GM Turbohydramatic 350 unit, so at least it will be durable.

The guy also knows how to sell it, with beautiful photography of the car and his “companion”. The top bid as of this writing is $10,000, with an unmet reserve. So, what do you think the reserve is, and would you ever consider purchasing a V8 Triumph conversion in the first place? See the eBay listing here.

Currently there are "20 comments" on this Article:

  1. Cynic says:

    Cool, but….slushbox…

    • M44Power says:

      Yeah, he had me up until the Hydromatic. They have their place, but that place just isn't in a roadster.

  2. tonyola says:

    Such a shame – the automatic is just so wrong in a classic British roadster. Triumph did end up making a five-speed Rover-powered roadster, and it was quite fast for its time. Too bad it was the POS TR8.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7b/'81_Triumph_TR8_(Hudson).JPG/800px-'81_Triumph_TR8_(Hudson).JPG" width=400>

    • Tanshanomi says:

      My understanding is that they eventually got most of the TR8 right toward the end of the run, but it was too late to save the car's reputation and long after anybody who mattered stopped caring.

      • tonyola says:

        It got better towards the end, but it was nonetheless a long way from being "right". British Leyland was still constantly afflicted by strikes and poor quality by workers.

  3. mdharrell says:

    A long-time friend of mine had a TR6 with a hopped-up Buick V6 back when we were both undergraduates; it was a hoot and a half.

    It did not, however, have an automatic. No, it did not. No, no, no, no, no. Nope.

    For some reason, though, it kept breaking ears off the bell housing. We never did figure out what was wrong, but he dutifully replaced the bell housing several times over the next few years before reluctantly deciding it was no longer worth the hassle. Ah, well.

  4. facelvega says:

    The transmission isn't the end of the world, you could swap in a stick easily enough. The condition is exceptional– I hate when a listing doesn't show what an old car looks like from below, the most important aspect for rust condition, but this one clearly has nothing to hide. The color good, the surrey top distinctive, the install of the V8 looks very clean and has has plenty of time on the road now for any bugs to be worked out. It's even more or less an historically appropriate engine choice for this car. Thumbs up from me.

  5. speedygopher says:

    That is absolutely the only appropriate V8 to put in there, and it looks factory to boot. Get an adapter and drop in a modern 5-speed and this thing would be a blast.

    • Rust-MyEnemy says:

      I would have thought the Triumph 3.0 V8 from a Stag would be more appropriate, and sound nicer to boot. They've even found a way to prevent them silting up and overheating every ten minutes. That'd get my vote.

  6. Feng says:

    What a nice find, and then the real surprise … it's parked a bit over 30 miles from me. Wish I had a bucket o' cash sitting around. I'd even take it with the Turbohydromatic.

  7. salguod says:

    There's something a little creepy in my book about a guy who'll use is girlfriend / wife / sister / friend as eye candy to help sell a car.

    • west_coaster says:

      Uh, from the looks of the guy in the other photos (in the eBay listing), that might be his daughter. Not really creepy — she's not wearing a string bikini like you see in some ads.

  8. JeepyJayhawk says:

    Deal. I'll let the auto stay so I can concentrate on hanging onto the steering wheel.

  9. AteUpWithMotor says:

    The reason Triumph never did a factory TR4A/TR250 V8 was that (a) when they were developed, Standard-Triumph and Rover had not yet merged and (b) Triumph was busily developing its own small V8, initially intended to be 2.5 liters, eventually expanded to 3.0 for the ill-fated Stag.

  10. west_coaster says:

    Oooh…me likey!

    Yeah, I know, the automatic is blasphemy to many, but they're so much easier to deal with in a swap like this. (Putting Chevy V8s in Datsun Zs was all the rage in the late '70s, and I think 99% of them were automatics.) Adding isses like clutch and shift linkages to a swap is going to increase the headaches two-fold, at least.

    Bonus points for the correct yellow-on-black California plates, but a big "D'OH!" to the redneck-y choice of white letter tires. My first stop after picking this thing up would be at a tire shop to have them replaced with blackwalls, as the seller suggests. Other than that, awesome sleeper.

  11. JayP says:

    The guy who ran the karate school in my hometown crammed a 327 in one. Rear axle was about 4 inches too wide. It was regularly making sub 4 sec 'to 60' times. This was in the late 80's were sub 5 sec times was supercar territory.

    I was scared to share the road with that thing.

  12. Maymar says:

    I thought that sort of web design died with MySpace (the internet ghetto that's probably due for gentrification) or maybe Geocities. I'm sort of surprised there's no fisheye shots (to hide physical flaws), or moving .GIFs (to hide a lack of anything interesting).

    The car looks nice though, even with the Slushee-Matic, it'd still be a hoot.

  13. ZomBee Racer says:

    Yes, yes, and more yes!

    I love the TR4 and 4A bodystyling, and this car is in pretty great shape. add the fact that it's a vintage conversion and this thing just oozes cool. I'd even let the auto stay for a while.

    I love the tires too, they almost look vintage. I've got a brand new set from 1975 on 4-spoke Cragar S/S rims, pre-metric "Size B"! Look cool as hell, but have hardened and are like driving on sticks of butter, so they are only used for the occasional car show.

    Nice Triumph! (from an MG guy)

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