Finish Up and Back on the Road
Alive Again on a Nice Day
The next part of the project was to finish out the interior. My plan was to get away with minimum expense here and to do a proper interior redo the following year.
The TR4A style seats in my car were useable and I planned to use them. But, as a long term goal, I wanted to get a set of the original early TR4 seats that have the more traditional TR3A type design. With the help of a friend on the Triumph Mailing List, I found a set of original seats earlier than I expected.
They came from a salvage yard in the Midwest and were very dirty from being out in the weather somewhere in their life. The metal seat pans and springs were rusty on the inside and the they had a good dose of that old damp upholstery smell. But I was happy to have them because they are rare and hard to find. The early TR4 seat rails that go with them were an other difficult treasure hunt. I found them a little while later from another Triumph list member.
My only goal for the seats was to acquire them in any condition just as candidates for refurbishing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that after hours of soap and water cleaning... the seats didn't look that bad at all. I let them dry out and re-cleaned the leatherette material vigorously with vinyl cleaner and a finger brush. In short order I had a set of useable seats that could be installed for the 1999 season in lieu of the TR4A seats that came with the car.
My old rugs were only fit for the garbage can. I needed a short-term cheap solution until the Winter '99 season. I had read in Piggott's book that the first years of TR4 production came with a charcoal gray nylon pile carpet. Most every TR4's carpets have been replaced with the available black kits by now. Again, based on info from members of the Triumph List, I found a list member in Tennessee that was making up carpet kits in the correct charcoal gray color and for only $149. I had to have something, so I took a gamble.
The carpet set from Southeastern Fabrics was a nice fit and looked very close to what I remembered from my original car. I had to do some custom fitting... But the carpets really came out looking good.
final task to have a finished car was to fit out the rest of the interior pieces. The hood sticks were painted
flat black which was not the original color. They got cleaned up and given a coat of beige semi-gloss paint. Another
list member loaned me some missing pieces of trim that covers the hood sticks when they are down and stowed. They
were used and worn from a parts car and fit right in with my worn interior trim. Here's the car interior on the
right with everything in place except the horn push which was giving me some trouble. From 10 feet away the interior
didn't look bad at all. I was pleased because we were taking the car to the VTR convention in Portland, ME and
wanted to have a presentable car.
Reborn and Look'in Good