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Triumph TR2

Triumph TR2 Published: 7th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR2
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Morgan-like character | Excellent owner support | Easy to maintain | Good for sport

What’s their attraction?

These original four-cylinder TRs can be considered as a more mainstream equivalent to a Morgan ‘Four’, yet are less rustic than MG T-Type MGs when contemporary although compared to a later MGA is the more hardcore car. They are charming quintessential sports cars that are easy to own and maintain.


For their age, performance remains quite impressive – especially their lusty pull through the gears, care of that engine that found a happy home in Ferguson tractors. Overdrive is worth fitting if not already equipped, potentially gives you seven-speeds to play with, means you have gear for every occasion and need which is ideal for classic motorsport (such as rallying, autotests and hillclimbing) as well as road use.

The handling is nicely antiquated for that 50’s feel and geared to understeer (quality tyres make a significant difference) but can cock a rear wheel when pushed and feel more agile and fun than the later six-cylinder TR5 and TR6 versions due to the lighter engine upfront. The drum brakes are usually quite adequate for normal motoring but the later disc set up of the TR3 is worth having and may be fitted already. In terms of civility, the TR2 is typically 1950’s rudimentary, but superior to a T-Type and with better performance and character into the bargain.

Prices to pay

Four-cylinder TRs traditionally trailed the six pots by fair sums but the market has seen the gap in values shrink to the point where some early TR2s can even TR6 prices. Values generally start from £6000 for a running project to £20,000 for a nicely restored car and perhaps around £30,000 and above for a specimen or one with some motorsport history. Left hand drive cars abound due to the bulk going to America but think twice over converting it back to driving on the left as LHD can be a desirable resale asset as well as making overseas touring safer.

Top buying tips



Finding a totally standard, unmodified car may prove pretty hard but as improvements from later TRs make this car so much nicer and safer for modern roads, this isn’t a bad thing – unless you yearn for showroom spec – and such upgrades are accepted club mods.



Due to their age more than anything else, rot is rife so inspect any car, not matter how immaculate thoroughly. The chassis takes a big hit around the axle and suspension mounting points, for instance. A good test of the extent of decay is to jack the car up and watch for the door gaps to alter, proving that the chassis is weak. Other rusty regions include floors, inner wings, jacking points, steering rack locating points and the sills and the B posts.



The vast majority went Stateside and since repatriated so it’s always a smart move to especially check the offside suspension and chassis areas for past ‘sideswipe’ damage and the quality of repairs.


Being a Triumph, you need to ascertain the state of the crankshaft washers because, if worn, they can render the block scrap although that’s very rare. As an aid works the clutch, watch the crank pulley for excess movement and whether oversized replacement are needed – an engine strip down. The wet-lined engine is easy to service and rebuild at home with new sleeves and pistons.

Dates to remember

1953 TR2 goes on sale based on a revamped pre-war Standard Flying Nine chassis and using a Triumph engine, down-sized to 1991cc

1954 Doors are shortened with a sill inserted due to problems clipping the kerb

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