An exceptionally rare and genuine Triumph GTR4 Dove in show condition.
Steel panelled body on cruciform chassis, forward hinged bonnet and doors, chrome bumpers, chrome headlamp surrounds, detachable laminated windscreen, safety glass, winding windows, enamelled dashboard, full minor instruments, glove locker. GTR4 Dove specification; one piece bespoke roof, rear top hinged hatch with internal release, opening rear quarters, 2+2 child seating configuration, folding rear seat, 18 gallon horizontally arranged fuel tank, L.F.Dove Ltd moniker on dash, GTR4 and Dove boot badges. Factory options; Overdrive, wire wheels. Accessories; Motolita steering wheel, map reading lamp.
The Triumph GTR4 Dove gained its existence and namesake from Triumph main dealer L.F.Dove & Company of Wimbledon who recognised the appeal of a practical long distance tourer based on the successful TR4 Roadster. L.F.Dove Ltd commissioned coachbuilder Thomas Harrington & Company to carry out the conversion to be sold exclusively through their dealership, and which upon seeing the quality of craftsmanship the model was officially recognised by Triumph. At an asking price of £1,093, it was a 30% premium over the standard car and equal to a Jaguar E-Type. It is suggested that this and the concern of diluting sales of the similar GT6 meant Triumph did not enter into mass production with the model, and just an estimated 50 vehicles are thought to have been converted.
The elegant lines of the Giovanni Michelotti design are instantly recognisable along with the addition of the one piece bespoke roof. Triumph heritage confirm that this beautiful example is finished in its original colour of Wedgewood Blue (code 26) which boasts a beautiful uniform finish and polished shine. Close scrutiny will reveal only very faint and localised areas where the paintwork is less than perfect, all utterly minor. All trim sections, glass, lights and badges show exemplary attention to detail and the chromework is pristine. With less than 20 GTR4 Dove’s known to remain, this is undoubtedly one of the best in existence.
Incredibly original, the interior is simply wonderful. The seats still wear their factory Blue Vynide covering which is in remarkable condition aside from three miniscule nicks to the driver’s seat base. The factory original enamelled dashboard is in beautiful condition with the unique L.F. Dove Ltd moniker still affixed below the glove box. All switchgear is correct and operational and all gauges give healthy readings. A high quality replacement carpet set is exquisitely appointed to enhance the appeal. The clean boot area is carpeted in the matching pile and below the boot floor houses the spare wire wheel, jack and wheel brace.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Mechanically identical to the standard TR4, the 2138cc four cylinder engine with factory optional overdrive and twin Stromberg 175CD set up produces 100bhp. A 0-60mph figure for the Dove quoted at 18.4 seconds is 0.6 seconds slower than standard owing to the added weight, however 0-100mph is actually 3 seconds quicker in the Dove, attributed to the improved aerodynamics. The high detail to the engine bay is ready for showing with factory plates, stampings and stickers visible. The four speed + overdrive transmission performs flawlessly.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The optional 60 spoke chrome wire wheels are beautifully made and remain in amazing order. Matching quality Michelin XZX 165 SR15 tyres have plenty of tread remaining and the Girling hydraulic braking system offer predictable and safe braking.
Registered new on the 2nd October 1963, this genuine GTR4 Dove number CT21794 is well known to the TR Register and file correspondence from the clubs TR4/4A Registrar, Jon Marshall, confirms its authenticity and original colour of Wedgewood Blue. The remarkable history folder is befitting of this very special car, with magazine and club publication features included. A Practical Classics feature from August 2001 covers the restoration carried out by previous owner, Andy Smith, who in 1998 restored the car from a near wreck to the incredible example we see today. The article makes fascinating reading and leaves no doubt over the fastidious nature of both owner and the project undertaken.
Further correspondence from previous keepers will delight the next owner, including coverage of the cars time in Switzerland and subsequently Holland before thankfully returning to the UK and being given back its original registration number. Completing the history file is a large collection of specialist receipts and invoices to allow the next owner peace of mind and assurance. An exceptionally rare and equally important piece of Triumph TR history, and a wonderful interpretation of one of Coventry’s finest.
MOT October 2017, Tax Exempt and HPI Clear.
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