Tag Archives: Sutcliffe

Michelotti Zest – Triumph TR4

Project Zest was the code name for the Triumph TR4 which was launched in 1961.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

It turns out that the TR4 gave Giovanni Michelloti a second crack at updating the Triumph TR3A having designed the body for the Italia 2000 GT, which was built on a Triumph TR3A knock down kit, first seen in 1959.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

Michelotti’s new design did away with the window curtain’s of previous TR’s replacing them with proper glass window’s operated by proper window mechanisms, it was also one of the earliest cars to have a removable roof panel, predating the Porsche 911/912 Targa Top by five years.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

Mechanically new for the TR4 was synchromesh on all gears, with a Laycock overdrive on 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears and the steering was altered to accommodate a rack and pinion.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

Two engine options were available for the TR4 one just under 2 litres / 122 cui and the other just over.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

TR4’s found competition success in the USA where Bob Tullis drove a Kas Kastner prepared example to class victory at Sebring in 1961 and SCCA class championships followed in 1962, ’63 and ’64.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

This particular TR4 was part of the works rally team and was driven to a 4th place overall finish in the 1962 Alpine Rally by Mike Sutcliffe and Roy Fidler.

Triumph TR4, TNF Herts, Ware,

Sadly of the over 40,000 TR4’s built between 1961 and 1965 less than 1,000 are still registered with British Authorities.

Thanks for joining me on this “Michelotti Zest” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Original Lightweight – Jaguar Lightweight E – Type 9/12

In 1962 Jaguar built a Low Drag Coupé E-type, with a steel inner tub but aluminium outer pannels, that was more in the spirit of the D-Type from which the E-Type styling and design had evolved. The car was not any more competitive than it’s all steel namesake despite it’s higher performance and the prototype was sold.

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From 1963 – 1964 12 Lightweight E- Types were built that evolved from the Low Drag Coupé, again making extensive use of aluminium body panels and other components.

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The standard 265 hp iron block straight six engines were upgraded to 300hp aluminium block XK6 specs fitted with fuel injection.

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The cars failed to emulate the international success of earlier ‘C’ and ‘D’ types at Le Mans or Sebring but they were moderately successful in club racing.

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Of the 12 Lightweights built and two additional bodies it is thought ‘at least one’ was a Coupé some of the open top cars were converted to Low Drag Coupes with even more powerful 340 hp motors.

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The vehicle featured in these photographs was the 9th of the 12 originals and carries the chassis number 850666.

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The car was purchased and raced by Peter Sutcliffe from 1963 to 1965.

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This was the most successful Lightweight E-type in the 1964 season scoring victories at Mallory Park, Zolder and Montlhery out side Paris, France.

Hope you have enjoyed another Lightweight edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you’ll join me again, for Ferrari Friday, tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !