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Brian-Northampton

Wanted - TR4 / 4A

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Hello All,

 

(Sorry ...... Just in case someone misses my post in the Buy, Sell, TRade section :P )

 

After 12 months TR Register membership (to read, research and having met other TR chaps and chap-ess's in the Nene Valley Region) and a hard slog putting the TR Tokens in the bank I am now ready to buy.

 

I am looking to buy a TR4 / 4A in good order throughout. Ideally the car will have been subject to a previous restoration in the past, just so long as that restoration has finished ;)

 

I live in Northampton, so I'm quite centrally based to travel to see the car.

 

I would like to see plenty of photographs (very recent ones please) of the car, PM me to exchange email addresses

 

Cash waiting.

 

.... and looking forward to "meeting" everyone on the forum.

 

Brian.

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Hi Brian,

A warm welcome to the other forum we now both frequent!!

"Its about time".

Very glad to see you are now ready to buy,after the research and our chats.

Will be keeping my ears and eyes open for you.

hope you find your ideal car in plenty of time to enjoy using it this year!!

Hopefully you will attend Malvern with or without one!

Your luverly 1 family owned Rover P6 2000tc will be welcomed I am sure!

GOOD LUCK...

Dave

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Started my search in earnest yesterday. Armed with my knowledge gained from TRAction, Forum, Pilkie, TRRegister "Buyer Beware" and Practical Classics Feb 2003 Buying Guide ......... I went to see this 1966 TR4A at a dealer in Oxfordshire being advertised in Practical Classics for £11,400.

 

mini-P3060025.jpg

 

The panel gaps at the bonnet and the doors were not to my liking..........

 

mini-P3060027.jpg

 

mini-P3060028.jpg

 

mini-P3060032.jpg

 

mini-P3060034.jpg

 

And the bonnet seemed to stick up at the rear trailing edges.......

 

mini-P3060029.jpg

 

The passenger B post had a plate fixed on with pop-rivets and skim filled and painted .... but couldn't hide it....

 

mini-P3060042.jpg

 

and underneath the dashboard was plenty of spaghetti - count the scotch-locks!!

 

mini-P3060043.jpg

 

The drivers door had received a repair in the past and had been resprayed - badly, with plenty of orange peel. Supposedly done by professionals too - I saw the invoice!

Small dents (43 years of wear and tear) across the top of all wings.

A damp passenger footwell near the transmission tunnel!!!!!

Dashboard switchgear felt like it hadn't moved in ages, struggled to get half of them to work!

 

On the positive side, she did drive very well, but signs of not being mechanically cared for were there. No sponge in the front carb pancake, rear carb pancake sponge looked like an old hoover bag full of muck, garden hosepipe used as the engine breather from the rocker cover..........

 

There were plenty of bills, I counted £16,000 of bills paid to one of our famous suppliers, but I think the previous owner didn't do any DIY on the car, just paid for necessary work to be done. Hence it's likely to be a good drive train and chassis etc, fly through the MOT, but failures are waiting to happen and would cost a significant amount of money and time to make this purchase not viable - certainly at the price they're asking for what is plainly a condition 2 car.

 

Planning the next trip to another TR4 very soon...

 

Brian.

Edited by Brian-Northampton

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You'll have to travel many a mile and kiss a lot of frogs. One way to reduce the pain is to register your requirements with the reputable TR specialist/dealers including TRGB, Classic Marques, Manvers, TR Bitz. Paying a little bit more can get you a well-vetted car and some after-sales support and the extra security and saving in hassle, time and money wasted viewing rubbish can easily outweigh the dealer margin.

Bon chance smile.gif

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Welcome to the Forum!

 

It looks as though you had a lucky escape with that red one!

 

I assume that you have driven both a 4 and a 4A? They do drive and feel quite differently.

 

Good luck with your search - the right one is just waiting for you to discover it.

 

Regards

 

Peter

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Hi Brian

 

Good luck with your search.

 

Know the feeling of vehicles described as 'excellent condition' actually translating to 'basket case' when you get to see them.

 

I agree that spending more will get you something which will save you far more money in the long run.

 

The example shown, as you have pointed out would need a complete restoration to bring it up to scratch, the paint, gaps and corruption look horrific. I like the scotch locks in the wiring loom.

 

With all your own work and not knowing the condition the mechanicals I reckon you could easily throw £10K and a couple of busy years at it and still not have something as nice as spending £13 to 15K in the first place on a genuine resto, to enjoy from day one from one of the TR specialists or a TR enthusiast.

 

It would be better without the IRS as well... but that's another well worn debate which I've probably just raised again.

 

All the best

 

Darren

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Thanks everyone for your kind words of support. I spent a good 2 hours looking over the red one, making loads of notes and taking loads of photos. Then as time goes by, I'll always have good reference material about what I've seen and for how much.

 

I'm off to Kent next week for a TR4 viewing (would have been today but he's ill). That one looks much more hopeful.

 

I've registered my interest with most of the major suppliers, this forum (here!) and also my Group Leader (Rob - Nene Valley) who's passed the word around locally.

 

If you hear of anything going - let me know!!

 

As soon as I do find one, you'll all be the first to know - well OK, second. I'll probably be on the phone to Pilkie first!!

 

dykins - No, I've only driven a 4A so far, that will change next weekend when I test drive the 4, cant wait ;)

 

Question for you ........ I've heard that buying a Surrey Top would cost £1,000+ - but when buying a car that comes with a Surrey Top, how much extra would the Surrey put on the price of the car?

 

Cheers,

Brian.

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I look forward to seeing photos of the 4 you are going to see next w/e! I do think the 4 looks a bit nicer...but then I would say that I guess! Is it my imagination or are 4's much more difficult to get hold of than 4a's? I thought about buying a running TR4 but I couldn't afford one upto the standard I would want so am now restoring one myself... I would definitely get one with a hard top - they look great. A surrey top went for £700 on eBay recently but had no rear glass and needed restoring - I would pay an extra £500 personnally.

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I look forward to seeing photos of the 4 you are going to see next w/e! I do think the 4 looks a bit nicer...but then I would say that I guess! Is it my imagination or are 4's much more difficult to get hold of than 4a's? I thought about buying a running TR4 but I couldn't afford one upto the standard I would want so am now restoring one myself... I would definitely get one with a hard top - they look great. A surrey top went for £700 on eBay recently but had no rear glass and needed restoring - I would pay an extra £500 personnally.

 

 

 

Yes it`s your imagination! There was 11788 more 4s made to 4a`s but unfortunately this forum loves to slag the later car.

 

 

Derek.

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"but unfortunately this forum loves to slag the later car"

 

Come on Derek, let's not stretch poetic licence into bollocks ! ;)

 

TR4 owners can't help it . . . . they're sidescreen men at heart, but the passing years have made the relative civilisation of the windey-windowed car irresistibly attractive. It still has the beam axle rear, the arse slapping ride, and the real TR wayward slide when provoked . . . but better heating, fewer draughts, and more comfortable seats. You can see their point, it's better suited to middle-aged spread, whilst satisfying that hankering after lost youth . . . . B):lol:

 

The 4A is a different animal, it's a more civilized touring sports car, it doesn't convey quite as much of the road surface to the seat of the pants, and is probably less demanding of underwear space in the boot . . . . But it doesn't quite fit the lost youth bit, it's a bit more grown up, you can't have it both ways ! :P:blink:

 

As the late Stuart Jenkins once memorably put it, in his inimitable fashion, when asked the difference between the IRS and live axle TRs . . . . "it's the thinking man's TR against the stinking man's TR. One you drive with your head, the other with the seat of your pants. The sphincter is the weakest link". That was years before the wretched TV show, I hasten to add, Jenks sadly failed to make the 21st Century.

 

Cheers,

 

Alec

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Brian:

I couldn't put it better than Alec. Doubtless you will have a better idea of the differences between IRS and live-axle cars after your trip to Kent. Meanwhile, there are lots of posts on the Forum discussing the merits of both and in particular of the TR4 v. TR4A (not forgetting the live-axle TR4A).

 

I won't repeat previous postings, including many by myself. However, after many years with TR3A and TR4A I can definitely recommend one of each - the experience is the same but different! Otherwise, be very clear what it is you want from the car before settling on one or the other.

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"but unfortunately this forum loves to slag the later car"

 

Come on Derek, let's not stretch poetic licence into bollocks ! ;)

 

Yes, very well put, Alec.

 

I haven't seen any bias. Forum contributors will point out the

different driving experience but if a preference is expressed,

it's always qualified by "IMO" or "but then I'm biased".

 

AlanR

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Hello Brian et al,

 

I too have been scanning the ads for a TR4/4A since last summer in readiness for serious purchasing after I retire at the end of this month.

 

Your photos of the red one were a bit of a horror story. Wondered if you'd been to see

 

MGX 800D http://forsale.classicandperformancecar.com/detail.aspx?ad=13372&d=1107

 

or

 

EHY 647C http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/classic-car-page.php/carno/87626

 

Real motive is that I live in Scotland so some feedback from south of the border would be much appreciated!

Good hunting,

Wynne

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Hi Wynne,

 

No, I've not been to see those, but they appear to be old adverts, so my guess would be that they are either way overpriced, or sold long ago and the ad hasn't been updated.

 

When one does come up that looks good, like this one today

TR4A in Derbyshire on eBay

 

Which was put on eBay at 4pm, I rang at about 8pm and it had been sold !!

 

One day one will be mine :rolleyes: and I think the best way is to get known as a buyer and catch the car before it is advertised.

 

So, hopefully ......... my "new friends" on this forum will be keeping their eyes and ears open!

 

Cheers,

Brian

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Hi Wynne,

 

No, I've not been to see those, but they appear to be old adverts, so my guess would be that they are either way overpriced, or sold long ago and the ad hasn't been updated.

 

When one does come up that looks good, like this one today

TR4A in Derbyshire on eBay

 

Which was put on eBay at 4pm, I rang at about 8pm and it had been sold !!

 

One day one will be mine :rolleyes: and I think the best way is to get known as a buyer and catch the car before it is advertised.

 

So, hopefully ......... my "new friends" on this forum will be keeping their eyes and ears open!

 

Cheers,

Brian

 

 

 

 

I hadn't appreciated the market was as active.. so your experiences and advice of everyone is a great help. I need to make some more contacts and be ready to respond.

Cheers,

Wynne

Edited by wynne

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I haven't seen any bias.

 

 

I haven't seen any bias or arguement either - because everyone knows that the 4 is the better car :lol:

 

Regards

 

Peter

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Another weekend, and another trip across the country hunting for my TR4/4A

 

This was a white TR4 from 1963 in Kent with an asking price of £9,450.

 

The owner, lovely chap and very honest, said he wasn't sure what it was worth and knew that he'd put it up a bit high, but wanted to see what would happen I guess.

 

this is the old girl ...... number plate masked out this time, as this is a private car, not a dealer like the other one.

 

mini-P3130043v2.jpg

 

On the face of it, when you drive up, she does look rather nice. At first glance, the panel alignment looks OK, certainly round the bonnet, only the drivers door looked a bit wide.

 

mini-P3130029.jpg

 

For the kind of car that I'm looking for, and in the 10K bracket, this car was in need of a respray. There was plenty of crazing over the rear wings and if I ran my finger over the top of the rear wing, there were undulations, so there would need to be a good rub down and flatting required.

 

Closer inspection revealed that there was quite a bit of filler lurking beneath:

 

Certainly some remedial work required to the rear wing and a new passenger door

 

mini-P3130014.jpg

 

mini-P3130035.jpg

 

Underneath the outer sills made me wonder what was going on underneath these, signs of filler again, looking like it had been smoothed down using a pallet knife normally associated with icing a cake!

 

mini-P3130021.jpg

 

mini-P3130025.jpg

 

mini-P3130023.jpg

 

The owner did say that some work was advised on the chassis by the MOT man last year (due in the summer), a look underneath suggested it was this part as far as I could see

 

mini-P3130028.jpg

 

The engine bay was in good clean condition running a pair of strombergs, improved starter motor, kenlowe fan:

 

mini-P3130005.jpg

 

mini-P3130007.jpg

 

But it desperately needed a good tune up. It spat through the carbs when under choke and wouldn't idle very well unless hot. In fact, when it was hot, it still wasn't idling that well. It did drive very well, but the Overdrive was a bit lazy. It wouldn't engage overdrive until the car had warmed up, and O/D in 2nd was very hit and miss.

 

Overall, again I believe that the mechanicals have been reasonably well looked after (despite being out of tune and a lazy o/d) but the bodywork could be hiding too much underneath the filler for my liking and my current skillset.

 

The interior was vinyl and in good order, it could do with a re-carpet. The dashboard looked like it had been painted with a brush at some time (or they were marks that would come out with a good T-Cut) so would need a respray.

 

The floor was good, black and looked like a new one.

 

This is a condition 2 car, drivable but requiring work and I wouldn't give more than £7K for it personally.

 

I know that I need to look in the 10-12++K bracket, but from their adverts, these two cars were stated to be there.

 

The hunt continues ...................

Edited by Brian-Northampton

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Thanks for the write up and photos - very interesting. I don't think I would have the nerve to take all the photos before buying - but it's a sensible thing to do.

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The owner was very accommodating with me taking photos. I do it because once you get home, you forget what you've seen and where, and after seeing a few, start mixing the cars up and getting very confused.

 

I take lots of photos and take lots of notes. If they want to sell me the car, then they'll have to put up with it after all, I have got to make a judgment over properly spending my hard earned cash :)

 

Bri.

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I always thought the 5 was a much better car!

 

 

Then you need educating Mr Oldman as you have obviously fallen for the hype :D:D

 

Regards

 

Peter

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Hi Brian,

the undulating wing top could be serious rust/filler thus expensive.

The chassis could also be a problem if it is iffy in areas that you can see then what about the areas you can't.

 

If the car ar £9k5 is to much for your skillset then any car in this condition at any price would have the problem.

It's amazing how quickly 'small' repairs done professionally can eat your money up.

 

Roger

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