1967 Triumph TR5 - The First Ever TR5

Lot Number: 479

1967 Triumph TR5 - The First Ever TR5

Offered from The Twin Sparks Collection. Believed to be the very first TR5 made, fully restored and a rightful representation of arguably the jewel in Triumph’s crown.

  • Sold for: £39,333

LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 25th February, 2023 at 12.00pm GMT at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh Rd, Coventry, CV8 2LG

  • Body Colour

    BODY COLOUR
    Blue

  • Drive

    DRIVE
    RHD

  • Registration Number

    REG NUMBER
    LHP 288F

  • Odometer Reading

    ODOMETER READING
    10013 Miles

SUMMARY

Offered from The Twin Sparks Collection. Believed to be the very first TR5 made, fully restored and a rightful representation of arguably the jewel in Triumph’s crown.

DESCRIPTION

When Michelotti’s sharp-suited new TR4 was unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1961, the car looked thoroughly modern, especially when compared with the old-fashioned TR3A that it replaced. However, the reality was that under the skin, the car was still very much a TR3A as little more than the outer skin was actually new. Despite this, the TR4, and the TR4A that succeeded it were amongst the fastest affordable sports cars on offer throughout the 1960s. Cheap to buy and run, the cars’ road manners, however, left a little room for improvement, despite the TR4 having gained rack and pinion steering, wider front and rear tracks to make it more surefooted, and an all-synchro gearbox. However, as stylish transport, they were pretty much unbeatable. All it cried out for, to compete with the new wave of saloon GTs was more power. Lots. The stock 2-litre GT6 engine was tried and, although smooth, was actually no quicker than the old tractor-derived four-pot. The answer was simple though – enlarge the straight-six by a massive 500cc to give a lusty 2.5-litre and help it breathe a little easier. With a better cylinder head and wilder camshaft, the engine worked well, although it was a bit lumpy at low revs until fuel injection was fitted to better monitor fuel delivery. All this led, in October 1967, to the launch of the TR5. Outwardly the car was barely discernible from the TR4A, but the new engine, complete with Lucas fuel injection, turned the TR into a genuine performance car, with a handy 150bhp on tap.

In truth, the TR5 was little more than a test bed for the new engine (which quickly found its way into the 2000 saloon). Realistically the car was effectively a stop-gap and only had to last around 18 months until Karmann had finished its work on the replacement, the TR6. However, with the benefit of hindsight, the TR5 is arguably the best of the lot, enjoying the clean unsullied looks of the TR4 with the raunchiness of the TR6.

This delightful home-market, right-hand drive TR5 (#CP1) was first registered on 22nd September 1967 and, according to the TR Registry and TR Action, it is believed to be the first TR5 ever produced. While #CP2 is correctly described as the first Production TR5, #CP1 was built not on the production line, but assembled in ‘Project Development’ on 5th July 1967, implying it to be the first TR5 produced. Initially put to work as one of the few press cars, LHP 288F featured in many magazines in road tests such as Autocar  (8th August 1968) in Spain and Motor  4th May 1968. Further evidence to support this comes from a letter within the history file from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, dated 1989, suggesting that the earliest car they have records of is CP/2, and they therefore speculated CP/1 to be the first Triumph TR5 PI, possibly built as a pre-production car or finished not on the production line hence their lack of records.

The car was believed to have been destroyed or gone missing, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. The car had been purchased by D.M. Bishop in 1993 as a sorry state restoration project, and during his ownership he set about restoring CP1 to the highest of standards. As with all projects and restorations, this can take longer than expected, and the car wasn’t finished and completed until 2008, but the before/after photos in the history file show no stone was left unturned in the work undertaken and it was worth the wait. Due to the outstanding condition and the understandable anxieties that come with a car of this quality, the car has covered less than 1,000 miles since its completion in 2008, but has been continually looked after in our vendors ownership to ensure it runs and drives perfectly.

Possibly due to its less than sympathetic treatment whilst being used as a 'press car', the original engine (#CP3) was destroyed. It is unknown whether it blew up in usage or was inspected by Triumph, deemed unfit for purpose, and replaced with a new one (#CP28E) as is correctly registered on the V5.

The history file is like a novel, with old MOTs, a few tax discs, original Workshop Manual Supplement, TR5 PI Owner’s Handbooks, TR5 Spare Parts Catalogue, plenty of invoices for work undertaken and parts ordered, some photographs of the restoration, and four magazines from 1968 that feature either the specific car, or adverts for the ‘new’ TR5 that was being released, which are always a fascinating read with the benefit of hindsight.

There are just three former keepers with our vendors seeking out the best example of a TR5 to add to their Twin Sparks Collection, and evidently, they found the best candidate. Presenting in truly outstanding order, the Royal Blue paintwork is exceptional and truly pops in natural sunlight, the Biscuit leather interior is expectedly clean and tidy, and mechanically, as with the entire Collection, it is absolutely on-the-button.

Even without the #1 TR5 built element to its name, this TR5 is exceptional, and to bring a TR5 to this standard would be near impossible without the stomach of a six-figure restoration. Add in the provenance of this car being number 1, and you’d surely find it impossible to find a better combination, quite possibly the ultimate TR5.

SPECIFICATION

Lot Number
479
Make
TRIUMPH
Model
TR5
Registration Number
LHP 288F
MOT Expiry
Exempt
Chassis Number
CP1
Engine Number
CP28E
Transmission
Manual
Body Colour
Blue

CONSIGNOR

Consignor

For further information regarding this lot please contact Harry.

CONTACT

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