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Triumph TR5 PI

Triumph TR5 PI Published: 5th Jan 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Triumph TR5 PI
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It’s the shortest-lived of all the TRs, being built solely to fill the gap between the demise of the TR4A and the arrival of the TR6 plus showcases petrol injection. The TR5 is also the best of the fullwidth TR bunch, with its macho Michelotti lines, smooth and torquey in-line six and independent rear suspension that ensures more predictable handling over earlier TRs yet with a better ride. This model’s rarity will always ensure cult status among enthusiasts and five figure prices are on the horizon.


Although basically a bigger-engined TR4, there’s very little that’s bad to say about driving a good TR5. With a sporty if notchy gearchange and overdrive on second, third and top, it’s dead easy to be in the right gear all the time – helped by a straight six that’s so flexible and punchy. While it comes into its own above 3000rpm, you need barely a third of that on the clock for the car to pull away without murmur and the power plant remains smooth swift at all times if the infamous PI is set up well. Less endearing, is the US TR250 which only musters 104bhp in standard tune. TR5s are no Lotus Elans but predictable and fun to spirit across country all the same. From a practical level, the TR5 is a good tourer with enough refinement, civility and space to make long jaunts a pleasure.


The TR5 is by far the rarest of all the Michelotti-styled TRs, and because most have been rebuilt over the decades, restoration projects are hard to find. Even tatty runners aren’t that easy to source so expect to pay £30,000 upwards for something that is fairly tidy albeit needs some work to make it decent. Top TR5s can go for double this and even projects make five-figures with ease – before the expensive rebuild starts! On average, a US TR250 is worth at least ten grand less.


1967 Launched in October 1967, externally barely discernible from the TR4A, but the new stoked GT6 engine with fuel injection turned the TR into a genuine Healey replacement with 150bhp on tap

1968/69 Because of strict emissions’ regulations in North America, the TR5 was fitted with twin SU carburettors instead of fuel injection, badged TR250 instead of TR5. Dropped by the end of ’68 (TR6 arrived in January 1969) after 2957 TR5s and 8484 TR250s had been built

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This is where their values will increasingly lie, right down to the Lucas PI system that can now be made reliable and handle up to 200bhp


US cars are detuned but are simply uprated to UK spec plus being on carbs, are inherently more trustworthy. Can be strong on value


Optional Surrey top (pictured) is rare on this model but has benefits over crude hood design. 2+2 seating plan was rarely taken up

Top five faults


The six-cylinder engine is a long-stroke unitand suffers from the same problems as all the cars to which it was fitted, especially trouble with the crankshaft end float. Check for play in the crankshaft thrust washers.

Fuel injection

The Lucas mechanical fuel injection is fine – if tuned from stem to stern correctly by a TR expert. A superior Bosch fuel pump, re-routed to keep it cooler and so prevent fuel evaporation, is a worthy and accepted mod.


Check the trailing arm locating areas; locating chassis outriggers – often badly repaired. Chassis arms located under the boot floor can give trouble as do floors and inner wings. Panel supply is fine.


If the panel gaps are excessive or uneven it could be because of a bad restoration. And if a car has been badly rebuilt it’ll be a lot more hassle putting that right than starting with an unrestored example.


If you’re looking at a car re-imported from America, check for RHD conversion and driver-side swipe damage to chassis frames.

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