Triumph TR4A IRS by Gilles : A memory trigger

Published on Monday, March 11, 2019.
Updated on Friday, July 19, 2019.

Like many young boys in the 60’s, Gilles fell for the Triumph TR4. When he turned into an adult, he looked for a memory trigger, in the IRS version. He told us about his passion for the model and how he was finally able to manage to offer himself this boyhood dream:

« The very first Triumph TR4 A IRS was presented in 1966, not in England but at the Paris fair, not in the British Racing green as it should be for a well-bred English, but in a beautiful Royal Navy Blue livery… It’s not a coincidence that the British manufacturer chose the continent to present the last version, for what one could consider to be one of the most Latin of the roadsters. Of course, the true amateurs know that this lovely English car was designed by the Italian,  Giovanni Michelotti…Even if several irreducible purists only swear by the radical TR3, this new TR4 A brought along a true revolution. The three letters IRS (Independent Rear Suspension), meant much more than a simple logo, chrome-plated on the trunk….

By replacing the venerable rigid rear-axle by single wheels, Triumph completely changed the philosophy of this English convertible. From then on, the after-war children could drive with their hair flying, behind the wheel of a car, whose road holding was like the best sports cars of the modern European production, those days.

This new model immediately caught the attention of the boisterous youth, which saw her as an alternative to the legendary motorcycle Bonneville T100. Just like all pubescents, the amateur collectors always bought the car which made them fantasize, when they received their driver’s license. Except those days, they had the means to drive a moped, even a Dauphine or a second hand Simca 1000

The TR4 A IRS is typically the Identikit of a car, which made us dream! For a long time, I looked for one which was in an acceptable condition. Most of the ones I found were ravaged by rust or couldn’t be driven…I saw at least ten of them! And then one day, in a little garage, down by my place, I saw this Triumph that I had been dreaming about for years. In its original state, Royal Navy Blue, not redone like a starlet of the tele-reality show! Except…she wasn’t on sale.

For years, I wooed the owner…to no avail! Until such day, where the latter admitted that he would like to buy a… Ducati Mostro. Of course, I encouraged the latter to do so and he finally-yielded the object I was lusting after. Now it has been more than 20 years, that I have been driving this TR4 A IRS, delighted as ever. However, my job gave me the privilege to drive the best cars of the world. Series or race cars…State-of-the-art worldwide, while it was being implemented on the market. I was also lucky enough to drive in several prestigious classic cars.

Of course, Triumph doesn’t seem to match with its 4 agricultural cylinders (the same block which equipped most of the tractors! I am not kidding). However, each time I am behind her wheel, whether it is summer or winter, I am happy…as if I had the chance to buy her a few days after getting my driver’s license! This TR4 A IRS, is a genuine memory trigger”.

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