A blog about automobile styling. The emphasis is on history, but the appearance of current production and concept cars will be evaluated as well.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Triumph TR4: A Huge Improvement
The Triumph TR4 sports car (produced 1961-65) was a Giovanni Michelotti restyling of the earlier Triumph TR2 that I wrote about here and its mildly facelifted successor, the TR3. The TR4's Wikipedia entry is here.
The TR4 was progressively refined, with the final version, the TR6, being built as late as 1976.
A Triumph TR3, produced 1955-1962. It was an improved, slightly facelifted version of the TR2. The most visible difference was the thin, stamped grille that replaced an open hole with a grid-like grille positioned back near the radiator. Since the TR2 was an ill-proportioned, bug-eyed (note the headlights), chopped up (those cut-down doors) example of styling ugliness, the phase "putting lipstick on a pig" pretty well summarizes the effect of the new grille.
Triumph TR4 from 1964 (Branson Auction photo). I liked Michelotti's restyled TR very much when it was introduced, and still think it is nicely done, if not gorgeous. As I've mentioned before, I'm a pushover for sheet metal draping over hardpoints -- in this case the hood over the headlamps. I note three defects pictured here. The bumper guards create too much clutter placed near the headlamps and running lights, though in those spots they offer protection to the lenses. The body color paint around the windshield makes the car look a tiny bit taller than it should be: more chrome here, please. Finally, the tacked-on turn signal light fixtures at the tip of the side chrome accent are, well, tacky.
A sales photo of another 1964 TR4. That car has large wheels, forcing the tops of the wheel openings perhaps a little too near the top of the fenders. But this helps the car look powerful, so I can excuse that. The character line near the top of the fender is also necessary but, added to the large wheel openings, things get a bit cramped and busy in those zones.
A 1963 TR4 sales photo, this showing the simple, cleanly-styled rear.